The earthquake relief effort in Haiti has drawn support from across the globe. Whether it's financial support or teams of volunteers, the tragedy touched the lives of many, some of whom live right here in the heartland.
Dr. Rubens Pamies of the University of Nebraska Medical Center was part of medical team that recently returned from Haiti.
"Can't believe it," he said. "So sad."
Looking back on his trip from Dr. Pamies still has a hard time describing the amount of devastation.
Dr. Pamies was stationed at one of the main hospitals in Port-au-Prince. The magnitude of the quake struck him immediately.
"The school of nursing crumbled with 400 students inside of it and as you are walking by, the smell of the bodies that are still trapped inside was so overwhelming.”
The destruction, he says, has crippled the countries medical infrastructure. Most of the care is now provided in make shift tents. “They are being triaged outside and the ones who were sickest being escorted inside."
The lines are not only long to receive health care, but also to get the everyday basics. "For just replacing food and water you have to wait hours just to get in to get some of those things, bare necessities," he says.
Along the streets, nearly every other building is destroyed. Nearby are reminders of the countless love ones lost. “People come back to these buildings everyday waiting to hear some noise. You see people digging still, even two weeks after," says Dr. Pamies.
While it's going to take time and a lot of work to build back, he says those living here are resilient and are finding ways to cope, despite the tragedy that surrounds them. "They still believe in God. Try to help one another and they continue trying to make a living."
Dr. Pamies says he very much plans on going back. Those who want to help, UNMC has a Web site called The Foundation for Haitian Relief.