Mark Rampton

Profile Updated: September 23, 2015
(City) State or Country Corvallis, OR
Spouse/Partner Alice (Henderson) Rampton '1968
Military Service Army
Children, grandchildren Lisa Halverson, b. 1973
Meta Phillips, b. 1975
Marcus Rampton, b. 1976
Anna Fowler, b. 1978
Sara More…Egbert, b. 1981
Lora Rampton, b. 1984, d. 1986
Bobby Rampton, b. 1987
11 grandkids as of April 2010

From: Ramptons
ToSent: Saturday, January 30, 2010 2:47 PM
Subject: Last Haiti Update- From Mark

January 30, 2010
Hi Everyone,
It's good to be home!

I've been back on US soil for 2 days after 10 days in Haiti, and thought I should give a summary of this amazing trip.
This trip to Haiti was, for me, an impulse decision. On the day after the quake, I watched the CNN News, and kept saying to myself, "I have to go over there." I emailed 3 agencies, found that the application process took too much time, so I called and emailed the LDS Humanitarian Services Department, asking if they were considering sending medical help. They responded within hours, and told me I needed to be on the next plane to Salt Lake. A 2-day delay in SLC allowed me to gather much needed meds and supplies, and our medical team left with little definite plans, but big desires to help wherever we could. Our 20-member group was made up of 11 doctors (surgeons, ER and FP docs), 3 nurses, two reporters, 2 mental health counselors and 2 admin people from Humanitarian Services. We came from Oregon, Washington, and Utah. It was the first time that the LDS Church had sent an emergency medical team this large for a relief effort. Fortunately, four members of the team had lived in Haiti (one was born and raised there) so we had some idea of what we were getting into, and we tried to plan our activities on the trip in. Without going into details, I will say that is difficult to work in a place where the roads are damaged and strewn with rubble, the communications are mostly down, there was usually no electricity or public water, and the needs are so dense, that every city block had enough medical needs to keep someone busy.

I feel I have just returned from a war zone. Yesterday, back in my office at Corvallis Family Medicine, a dear patient came in, who was born in Aachen, Germany, and was 16 when her city was laid waste by the Allied Forces bombs. She had heard of my trip, and seen the news, and brought a book of pictures of Aachen after the bombs. It was so similar to what I had just seen in Haiti: almost every building flattened or damaged beyond use.

The description of the extent of damage is difficult. Haiti is a country where nearly every building is totally made of concrete: ground floor, wall columns with some rebar, walls of cinderblock and scanty mortar, and ceilings 6 inches thick with rebar. If the building is 2 or 3 stories, its just a repeat of the first floor, with more concrete. When the earthquake happened, the walls of cinderblock just crumbled like liquid onto those inside or outside the building. The weight of the ceiling and upper floors, were more than the columns could bear, to they became powder, and the floors pancaked down killing everyone inside. We heard many stories of entire schools and universities collapsing and killing everyone inside. The nursing school was in session, and every student nurse was killed. Driving around the city was very slow because everyone is avoiding going inside the remaining buildings, so they are on foot or in cars. The streets were narrowed by the rubble and the crushed cars and the piles of garbage. The stench throughout the city was pungent, the smell of death all about.

The medical carnage was mostly from falling concrete: when it cracks into pieces, it is like glass fragments, with sharp edges, coming down on the head, shoulders, arms, legs. The huge number of broken legs led me to imagine that the people were first knocked down, and then the large concrete pieces fell onto the arms and legs. We saw many with both legs broken who first found medical help over a week later, since they had been unable to get up. One lady with both legs broken was brought in on a door by family members on the 7th day after the quake. Most of the lacerations were large and deep and dirty and infected. Often the size of the open wound was 6 or 8 inches across, and would be treated in this country with skin grafts, but in Haiti will be left to heal in from the edges, a process that will take weeks or months. Some were so large, that we would clean the wounds, then put them in a car, and look for a facility that could try to access the Navy ship, "Comfort" off shore. One 18 year old girl, had a laceration from temple to temple, deep to the bone, gaping open an inch. It was severely infected, so closure would have made things worse. If she survives the infection and heals, she will be left with a giant scar across her forehead, so deforming that, unless it can be corrected, it will snuff out most opportunities for a normal life.

The case that seized my heart, more than any other, was 12 year old Fedline MonFleury. She was walking on the sidewalk at the time of the earthquake, and saw all the buildings around her crumbling to the ground, with large concrete missles flying everywhere. Her instinct was to "dive for cover" under a car in the street. The car motor was running, and she found her head, face, neck, shoulder and upper arm pinned against the hot muffler. When I saw her on the 6th day after the quake, she had only been seen once, on the 2nd day, and had been treated by placing gauze over the extensive burns. I removed the gauze, and with it came all the skin, exposing terrible infections and dirt, and on the scalp, exposed bone. We had no anesthesia, and she bravely endured the terrible pain of debridement. I knew she would need more treatment than she could find in Port Au Prince, so I promised to try to find a place for her to be treated, and asked her to return the next day for more wound care. The second day, after more painful removal of dead tissue, and infection, I hired a man with his slightly functional car to take me and Fedline and her mother to other facilities to see if we could get her to the US. We first went to the US Embassy, where we were told that they could do nothing. Then we went next to the UN, where they had set up tents for various volunteer medical groups. As Fedline and her mother waited in the car, I found Mediserve and Medical Teams International who were sharing a triage tent, and I quickly found interest in her case, by showing pictures from my camera. Medical Teams International accepted her, moved her to Kings Hospital, and Dr. Rob Sheridan, an excellent surgeon at Mass General's Burn Unit in Boston was also able to visit her and verify her need for medevac to the US. Within 2 days, she was flying with her mother to Miami Children's Hospital in Florida. I called the hospital last night where she has been treated with skin grafted from her legs on January 29th.
One member of our group was Jeff Randall, a physician who served an LDS mission in Haiti, then returned home, and decided to go to Medical School for the express purpose of returning to Haiti to create a facility to take care of people with disabilities. His organization, "Healing Hands for Haiti" ( ) is now over 10 years old, has a compound with 6 buildings, and takes care of over 4000 Haitians who have lost or disabled limbs. His work will now take on a huge increase in demand after the earthquake, with thousands of new amputees.

Our time in Haiti was a mix of clinics at churches, surgeries in two hospitals, connecting with other agencies, distributing food and shelter assistance, and a huge amount of help from locals, many of whom were college students and med students. Our clinics tried to serve anyone with need in the surrounding neighborhoods. The cooperation between various faith-based, medical, and governmental agencies was remarkable. We worked alongside with the US military, Islamic Relief, Cuban doctors, NGOs, etc.

My hope for Haiti is that there will be sustained comfort from the rest of the world, and that this tragedy will be a catalyst for political reform and an improved economy, and educational opportunities for young Haitians.
Thanks to all for your concern, prayers and interest..Mark

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Mark and Alice Rampton at 40th Reunion dinner.
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