Phoenix doctor returns from Haiti, shares his story

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

Dr. David Beyda, critical care physician at Phoenix Children's Hospital, has returned after spending a week treating patients in Haiti. He shares pictures and stories with 3TV.

"The sounds and the moans and the grief that you're hearing, and the smell was just incredible, the smell of death everywhere," Dr. Beyda said.

He lived and breathed it for a week as he worked to help as many survivors as he could.

"People were being brought to us with severe crushing bruise, fractures, bad lacerations with infections, toes being gone, arms just mangled," Beyda said Monday, the morning after returning from his mission.

Beyda and his team of physicians, part of the group Medical Mercy, left Phoenix one week ago. When they touched down in Haiti they were met with chaos, but found their way to a slum area of Port-au-Prince and set up shop.

"We literally were in the street, we put some tarps up and worked right out of that," he said. "We used for the table a pickup truck's cabin and put our meds on there."

There were more patients than they could help, but they tried to reach all they could. Beyda said on one day, his team tended to 500 people in three hours. Most often they were giving medical aid, but at times their emotional support was in even higher demand.

"There were times for example we didn't have the medicine they needed but the fact we were there and they finally had someone who was listening to them and holding their hand, that was OK," he said.

Beyda and other members of his group Medical Mercy plan to return to Haiti as soon as they can. The group already has several other international aid missions planned in the coming months, including one to India this week.

For more information on Medical Mercy, visit www.medicalmercy.org./.