Middleton doctor returns from Haiti relief trip - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Middleton doctor returns from Haiti relief trip


MIDDLETON (WKOW) -- One month after the earthquake that devastated Haiti, a Middleton woman is urging people not to forget the needs of the third-world country.

Dr. Elizabeth Pritts recently returned from a 10-day relief trip to Haiti, during which she worked with Family Health Ministries to heal injured children and families.

It was the trip of a lifetime, but this was no vacation for Pritts.

"I immediately put my guard up and stopped feeling anything for the full 10 days that I was there, because I knew I had a lot of work to do," said Pritts.

From 6:00 in the morning to 6:00 at night, Pritts and her fellow volunteers were hard at work, treating the sick and injured people of Haiti.

"As we were driving down the street, people and children were running alongside the car. They were so happy that a medical team had come to the community. They were so happy, joyful, jumping up and down, standing in the rubble.... People told us, 'You are bringing us help by coming. Thank you.'"

Her husband, David Olive, is happy she's home.

"It was scary. I would get 30-second updates on the phone from her but that was about it," said Olive.

It's been a difficult couple of days for Pritts as she adjusts back to her life in Middleton, where she has two adopted daughters from Haiti.

"I'm having a lot of nightmares. I'm consistently thinking about some of the patients I helped temporarily but I don't know if they had food two days later," she said.

But time keeps moving, and life goes on for many of those outside of Haiti.

"Americans, most of the industrialized world has a short attention span, and it's all about what's happening now. Well, Haiti is not happening anymore," said Olive.

But as the world moves on, Haiti still needs help, and it will for a long time.

"I just want people to remember how they felt when they were watching CNN and the kids with amputations and no pain medicine and watching mothers in the streets trying to find food for their kids. It's even worse now," said Pritts.

Pritts says she can't forget.

"I'll go back and pick up one stone at a time and rebuild the orphanage, rebuild the school, just like I've been doing all along," she said.

Olive will be going to Haiti on another relief trip in March to bring more supplies and help repair some of the clinics and orphanages that collapsed in the quake.

Olive and Pritts work with Family Health Ministries. To find out more about the organization and how you can help Haiti, visit the group's website.

Online reporting by Jamie Hersch
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