Raleigh couple provided medical care in Haiti

Posted January 17, 2010 8:47 p.m. EST
Updated January 17, 2010 10:57 p.m. EST

— Lois and Wayne Bockmann, of Raleigh, were in Haiti on a mission trip to help improve a medical clinic when an earthquake struck the region.

“I could feel the ground moving from side to side,” Wayne Bockmann said. “I could hear screams and, looking over the wall of the compound, I could see dust all around us.”

Lois Bockmann remembers seeing railings falling off of nearby buildings.

Shortly after the earthquake, the compound where the Bockmanns were staying became a makeshift emergency room. Dozens of injured people began flooding in.

“They just started coming in. It was like a mash unit,” Wayne Bockmann said. “We just let them keep coming through the gate.”

Lois Bockmann has worked as a registered nurse for more than three decades. For nearly three days, she helped treat patients with limited medical resources.

“You’re so used to having everything when you work at a hospital and you have nothing. I mean, we were taking sheets and ripping them for bandages,” she said.

While there, they helped to give people who did not survive the quake proper burials.

"I close my eyes at night and I see it," Lois Bockmann said.

Before they left the country, the Bockmanns said the people who were injured were transferred to a nearby clinic.

Wayne Bockmann said he would go back if the conditions were right.

"If we get a team together that's equipped to go in and help," he said. "I'd go back tomorrow."

The Bockmanns were traveling with a group known as Mission to Haiti out of Miami, Fla. The arrived Jan. 11.