WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17
OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City University Adjunct Religion Professor Dr. Paul Williamson returned Sunday from a medical mission trip to Petionville, Haiti. Williamson, a Medical Doctor, spent nine days in the Port-au-Prince suburb, as well as in rural areas near the city, treating hundreds of victims still suffering from the Jan. 12 earthquake.
“The streets are still full of rubble and there’s smoldering smoky trash between all the buildings,” Williamson said. “Many people still haven’t been seen for their injuries.”
Williamson, who learned of the mission opportunity through the Church of the Nazarene, said the vast devastation and ongoing need inspired him to take the trip. He traveled to Haiti with six nurses through Heart to Heart International, based in Olathe, Kan.
“You hear about aid flowing into Haiti, but the need and devastation is so great that it isn’t getting to everybody,” he said.
Williamson, who focused much of his efforts on injured children, saw approximately 50 to 80 patients each day with his team. They worked 15-hour days mostly in an open field at a Nazarene seminary compound. With no hotels and no restaurants operating in Haiti, Williamson’s team camped out on mats with mosquito nets and lived on energy bars and bottled water that they brought with them.
Williamson treated numerous wounds, infections and broken bones.
“The number of sick people, especially children, living in the streets without shelter is overwhelming,” he said.
Williamson treated one pregnant woman who was so weak she needed assistance just to walk across the street to get his help.
Williamson said everyone he treated was extremely nice and grateful.
“There was no rioting and no trouble,” Williamson said, “just a lot of nice people in need.”
Williamson is a corporate physician for Hobby Lobby International at their headquarters in Oklahoma City. He teaches religion at Oklahoma City University and his wife, Marvel Williamson, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, is dean of OCU’s Kramer School of Nursing.