Logan med student in Haiti helping relief effort

For Logan’s William Betz, a second-year medical school student living in Tucson, this is a week of experience not routinely part of a young doctor’s education.Phil and Kathy Betz report their son arrived Saturday in Haiti. “He was on a rotation for his medical school in Tucson,” said Phil, “and heard about what was happening and wanted to be involved. He’s always been one of those people who have tried to be involved in helping. When he was younger he and a friend helped take medical supplies to El Salvador. “He received permission from the doctor he was doing his rotation to get away for a week to go help. It turns out the dean of his medical school and several other doctors wanted to go with him and be involved. He got in touch with (LDS) church headquarters and asked for their help to get them in.” Phil said the group arrived in Florida, and then jumped across to the Dominican Republic and the missionaries there picked them up at the airport and transported them to the border with Haiti. It was there more missionaries took them into the area where he is now. “He sent us a couple of e-mails,” said Phil, “and he said they’re doing great and having a lot of success helping people. Apparently there are about a dozen church buildings there in the general area and they basically turned all of those into treatment centers. Also, people have come and camped out on the grass and in the parking lot. He talks in terms of two to three thousand people gathered around these church buildings like refugee centers. “He said they’ve been seeing lots of cuts and lacerations and crush wounds. They’ve had to do some amputations on people. He said the church has brought in a number of 18-wheel trailers full of food and supplies and brought them basically to the churches. In the evenings the members that are available take things to people in their wards or branches, or to other people who need it. Members of the church are helping to do that.” Phil said most of William’s group has returned to the U.S. but he volunteered to stay and help a little longer. “He’s gone to the epicenter and seen the destruction. He said it’s absolutely horrendous to see piles of rubble and destroyed buildings. He said he didn’t think the smell of piles of dead bodies would ever leave him.” Tuesday the younger Betz went further out into the countryside to visit some of the orphanages. “He said in his second e-mail these poor little kids just have no food and very few supplies. He said he’s watching little children starving. It’s a horrible scene.”

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