Girl Scout troup rallies community to donate and send supplies to Project Medishare’s field hospital in Haiti
By Jennifer Browning
On Easter Sunday, Georgia Jet Critical Care Medflight Flight Nurse, Jean Saden, assisted a flight crew in helping a young girl named Farah get medevaced to receive care in the United States.
The flight crew were taken to the Project Medishare field hospital where they helped stabilize Farah, and eventually transported her to Boston. Farah sustained a 45 percent electrical/thermal burn to her upper body.
“It was quite a moving experience for the entire flight crew,” Saden said. “We were surrounded by Project Medishare’s medical volunteers as we worked on Farah. I was so impressed and honored to meet them. Farah was so sick, and the medical staff were quite attached to her and her family.”
After her experience, Saden felt the need to do something to help Project Medishare’s efforts in Haiti, so when she returned to her home state of Georgia, she shared Farah’s story with my family, friends, and co-workers.
“Everyone wanted to help in some way,” she said.
Saden’s flight coordinator, Jeff Gustafson told his wife Karen the story. Karen, who is the troop leader for a Girl Scout troop, was so moved by the story that she decided to share the story with her troop. Girl Scout Cadette Troop 1648 decided to make Project Medishare their annual project for the year.
The Girl Scout troop began collecting the donations the middle of April and worked on the project for about two weeks. The girls asked their families, close friends, and other Girl Scout troops to donate. One troop donated 10 boxes worth of supplies, a local doctor’s office donated medical supplies. Many families donated soaps, shampoos, blankets, sheets, new baby bottles and baby supplies, children’s clothes and shoes. Some of the local children also donated many of their toys to send to the children being cared for in the field hospital in Port-au-Prince. Other organizations that helped in donating and gathering supplies were the Gwinnett County Fire/EMS services, the Atlanta Women’s Roller Derby Team, and staff members at Critical Care Medflight.
By the end of their donation drive, the Girl Scout troop shipped 25 boxes of supplies.
“Each toy has a personalized note from each girl. Never underestimate a girl scout,” Saden said.
The girls boxed up the donations and Gustafson brought them to the hangar. The next move Saden and Gustafson had to figure out was how to get the supplies to Miami to be shipped to Haiti.
“I was quite overwhelmed by the number of boxes and had no idea how I was going to get them to Miami,” Saden said.
While standing in line to ship some personal items, Saden began telling her story to people in the store. One woman suggested a company called Roadway to see if they might donated the shipping. Saden called the shipping company, who approved of the shipping donation and sent all 25 boxes at no charge.
And for Farah? Saden has been following her progress and reports that Farah, and her Aunt Rose is at Shriner’s Burn Center for Children in Boston, and Farah is recovering well.