A brief but poignant article from the Washington Post today provides a window into realities on the ground facing children and those seeking to help them:
…In Port-au-Prince, clinics are starting to grapple with what to do with children they have treated who arrived unaccompanied by a parent…
On Monday, as [a U.N. employee named Tamar] Hahn approached a field hospital near the airport, she was met by Karen Schneider, a pediatric emergency doctor from Johns Hopkins University.
“Did you find us parents for our kids?” Schneider demanded.
Five unaccompanied children had been brought by rescuers to the clinic, run by the University of Miami-based charity Project Medishare. One, an 8-year-old boy named Jonas, curled up in a ball on the ground and cried for his parents for two days, Schneider said.
“We realized he must have seen the bodies,” she said.
On another cot was a 2-year-old girl in a diaper, covered with bloody scratches.
“Orphan Baby Girl,” read the sign at the end of the cot.
No one knew who had brought in the little girl, who had the bowed arms and legs of a person with cerebral palsy. She whimpered softly.
“We can tell she’s never walked. She’s completely helpless,” Hahn said.
On another cot lay a 9-year-old, Sandi St. Cyr, who said she was on the school bus coming home when the quake occurred. Her bus tipped over, and a man brought her to the hospital for treatment of a sprain in her leg, she said.
“I don’t know if my mom is alive,” she said. “I haven’t seen her.”