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Saving Jimani: Life and Death in the Haiti Earthquake Paperback – October 20, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Before authoring books and magazines, Rene Steinhauer started a career in medicine as a photographer with the American Red Cross. As he responded to disasters he felt more inclined to assist in the disaster than to take photographs of it. During one disaster exercise he encountered a beautiful flight nurse from the University of California at Davis Medical Center. He wanted to meet this woman and a friend suggested he volunteer in the emergency room where the helicopter crew was based. He did it. At a young age, he never had the courage to speak with the flight nurse, but his career was initiated. He became an emergency medical technician (EMT) in 1991 and then went on to become a paramedic in 1992. By 1995, he was already working in international medicine with adventures in Saudi Arabia and a brief experience in war torn Sarajevo. After working in a refugee camp in Rwanda, he decided that he needed to obtain his nursing degree. In 1999, he completed his degree and continued on his quest to save lives, volunteer overseas and travel with medicine. Since then, he has practiced medicine on all seven continents including working as a flight nurse in Antarctica, a combat medic in Iraq and a disaster manager in Hurricane Katrina, the Asian Tsunami, the Haiti Earthquake and most recently Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines. Rene Steinhauer is currently working as a flight nurse for the United Nations in West Africa. In addition to writing Haiti Hearts; Life and Death in the Haiti Earthquake, Rene Steinhauer has written for numerous medical journals and magazines including: The Journal of Emergency Medical Services, the American Journal of Nursing, Parachutist Magazine and Soldier of Fortune Magazine. Learn more about Saving Jimani at www.renesteinhauer.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 20, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1494981971
  • ISBN-13: 978-1494981976
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,028,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Melinda on February 16, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Steinhauer horrifyingly recites the devastating carnage of the Haiti earthquake and of the countless victims affected. The unbelievable suffering the Haitians endured is absolutely halting, it’s shocking and will touch the reader beyond belief. The limited and unavailable supplies and resources the volunteers encountered leave you speechless. With the turn of every page, I found the carnage and obstacles unimaginable leaving me lost in sheer disbelief. A distressing read, however challenging, a story all should take note. The victims and volunteers both sacrifice in countless ways, a toll mentally, physically and emotionally for all involved. Natural disasters wreak havoc long after the catastrophic event subsides, an event lingering in the minds and hearts of those caught in its brutal hub. By far one of the most difficult memoirs I have read in quite a while. A disaster even the most seasoned of relief workers wrestled with, powerful story told from the compassionate, caring voice of Rene Steinhauer.
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Format: Paperback
Saving Jimani, while recounting the experiences and emotions of a seasoned veteran and a rookie volunteer, is truly a window to the soul of every disaster volunteer. Wracked by self-doubt and alienated from those they love the most, due to those loved ones incomprehension of calling or purpose, these volunteers are continually haunted by the images of those they could not save, yet they carry on believing they can and should make a difference.

For the previous international disaster volunteer who reads Saving Jimani the smells of open decaying wounds, rotting garbage, open sewage and diesel fumes will waft from the pages. They will recall the overwhelming feeling of “so many patients, so few resources and so little time”. They will be able to relate to the difficult decisions, the innovative solutions and the bizarre behavior at times of other team members. The former disaster volunteers will “get it.” They will smile as they recall a similar situation and cringe as they remember a comparably bad experience.

For the average person who reads this book it will provide that glimpse into what is experienced and felt emotionally by disaster volunteers who willingly go to places in the world where everyone else is trying to flee. It will only be a glimpse though, because until you see with your own eyes the natural or man-made devastation first hand, hear the cries for help of the trapped as they fade, smell the pungent odor of death wafting through the morning air and feel the weight of the limp lifeless form you now hold in your arms which no one could save, you will never truly understand that “feeling of impending doom” until you have experienced it.

Saving Jimani should be required pre-deployment reading for all disaster volunteers.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Rene Steinhauer tells a story of sacrifice in the face of destruction in his autobiography, Saving Jimani: Life and Death in the Haiti Earthquake. On January 12, 2010, a magnitude seven earthquake shook the Haitian people. This unexpected catastrophe caused more than 100,00 deaths and collapsed buildings and infrastructure, injuring many more.

Steinhauer, an EMT and passionate volunteer, responded to the disaster immediately and flew to the country to assist the wounded. What he encountered when he arrived was unimaginable. There were so many casualties that hospitals and medical facilities were being overrun, causing them to descend into chaos.

The author relates his personal experiences as he landed in Haiti and found a medical facility in Jimani that he felt held some promise in being able to assist the scores of wounded people. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before that facility, too, began to lose any sense of organization as resources became depleted under the stress. Steinhauer was the only one willing to step up and take command of the crowd of volunteers and patients to restore order and assist as many people as possible.

The situation Steinhauer encountered was one of utter despair. Days after the earthquake hit, survivors were still being recovered and patients continued to arrive in Jimani, seeking emergency care. Most had not been able to find help at all since the earthquake, so their already serious injuries had worsened with time. The volunteers were short on supplies and trying to accommodate thousands of people in buildings with much smaller capacities. Hospitals were already so taxed they could not accept the more serious patients Steinhauer’s volunteers were unable to help.
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Format: Paperback
The title, Saving Jimani, gives the reader an idea of the content. A valiant real-life effort was necessary to triage, treat and transport as many injured as possible with very little support, fewer resources and overwhelming challenges. Many people read about the challenges in Port-au-Prince, Haiti after Hurrican Sandy, few of us knew of the drama unfolding in the outlying areas around the city. One might never consider where the ill and injured may have sought medical assistance when they were turned away from the major hospitals in Port-au-Prince. Where did they go?

The small city of Jimani just over the border in the Dominican Republic received thousands of these victims. No hospitals available, a doctor made a plea to a private charitable organization. Help is sent, supplies are sent, challenges are faced head on. The reader will definitely learn the complicated process of triage in mass casualty incidents, treatment of severe and critical injuries that frequently become fatal injuries and dealing with the intricacies of a foreign government.

When a medical system is overwhelmed, under-staffed, with few supplies, how do they deal with the decisions that change lives, lose lives, separate families? This is one volunteer’s personal account of the day-to-day operation from start up to completion of the first phase. If one has ever wondered if all that I.C. training will ever be used, this is an excellent example of the practical application of the system.

Entertaining, educational and insightful. A great resource for those who practice emergency medicine in the field, in their communities, as volunteers in natural and man-made disasters.

Kris Bacheller, Medic

EMT Instructor Coordinator

Wyoming State PEPP Course Coordinator

Volunteer Community EMT
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