Posted by: Audiegrl
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, third from right, meets with Haiti's President Rene Preval, third from left, to discuss conditions in the country
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met Saturday with Haitian President Rene Preval and promised that U.S. quake relief efforts would be closely coordinated with local officials.
Clinton’s remarks appeared designed to counter any notion of a too-intrusive American involvement in the aftermath of the quake, while also assuring Haitians the humanitarian mission would continue as long as it’s needed.
“We are here at the invitation of your government to help you,” she said at a news conference at the Port-au-Prince airport. “As President Obama has said, we will be here today, tomorrow and for the time ahead. And speaking personally, I know of the great resilience and strength of the Haitian people. You have been severely tested. But I believe that Haiti can come back even stronger and better in the future.”
Haiti's President Rene Preval, right, answers questions from the press as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, looks on in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010
Clinton, the highest-ranking Obama administration official to visit since the magnitude-7.0 quake struck Tuesday, arrived in a Coast Guard C-130 transport that carried bottled water, packaged food, soap and other supplies. She was accompanied by Rajiv Shah, the U.S. Agency for International Development administrator who is acting as the top U.S. relief coordinator.
Clinton also met with U.N. officials and U.S. civilians and military personnel working on the relief effort. She said she and Preval discussed his government’s priorities: restoring communications, electricity and transportation.
“And we agreed that we will be coordinating closely together to achieve these goals,” she said, adding that she and Preval would issue a communique on Sunday outlining cooperation between the two countries.
Preval said he was encouraged to see former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush together with President Barack Obama at the White House earlier Saturday in a joint plea for international assistance to Haiti.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listens to Haiti President Rene Preval during her visit
He noted that U.S. aid has already arrived, and he told reporters he met a survivor who was pulled from the rubble Saturday and receiving care from American medical teams. He thanked Clinton for her visit and for Obama’s continued support of Haiti.
“Mrs. Clinton’s visit really warms our heart today,” he said.
During the news conference, officials noted the clatter of military helicopters landing and taking off nearby.
“That’s a good sound,” Clinton said. “That means that good things are going to the people of Haiti.”
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“We had a very good meeting about all of the priorities of the Haitian government and the Haitian people,” Clinton said after a brief news conference following the meetings.
She said air efforts are focused on providing water, food and medical help. She also stressed the importance of restoring the country’s communications networks, electricity and transportation.
A man carries an elderly woman who needs medical attention in Port Au Prince
“We agreed that we will be coordinating closely together to achieve these goals
In an interview with CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta, Clinton said “every day we are making progress and I expect that to continue.”
In addition to the immediate needs, Clinton said the focus will switch next week to long-term recovery and reconstruction, telling Gupta she believed that Haiti, with the help of the international community, could be a better place than it was before Tuesday’s quake.
Helicopters fly over the heavily damaged Port-au-Prince Cathedral
The U.S. Coast Guard plane she arrived on was carrying 100 cases of water, 100 cases of meals-ready-to-eat, and food and toiletries for about 140 U.S. Embassy staff members. Fifty Americans, who have been waiting to be evacuated, will fly back to the United States when Clinton departs.
Clinton landed hours after President Obama announced Saturday that former Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush have agreed to lead an effort to raise funds for Haiti.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talks to CNN’s Sanjay Gupta in Haiti about the relief efforts.
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Filed under Barack Obama, Cabinet, Charity, Children, Cities, Countries, Culture, Democrats, Disaster, Earthquake, Government, Haiti, Hillary Rodham Clinton (Sec of State), Military, News, Obama Administration, Politics, Port au Prince, Presidents, Uncategorized, United Nations, United States, Video/YouTube, Volunteerism, Women's Issues, World
26 Operations Done Over Six Days Gave 13 People New Kidneys In Huge Lifesaving Effort
Posted by Audiegrl
Kidney donors (left to right) Bill Singleton, Lucien Boyd, Sylvia Glaser, Kelvina Hudgens, Pamela Hull and Tom Otten attend a news conference at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington D.C. on Dec. 15.
—Thirteen patients with healthy new kidneys from what’s believed to be the world’s largest kidney exchange met the donors who made it happen Tuesday — including three who are sure to face the question, “Why
A hospice nurse who handed homemade cookies to her operating team. A retired stockbroker who had volunteered with the National Kidney Foundation and decided to walk the talk. And a woman inspired by President Barack Obama’s call to volunteer. They all donated a kidney with nothing to gain — they didn’t have a friend or loved one in the marathon chain of transplants that they helped make possible.
“It feels wonderful,” Sylvia Glaser, 69, the hospice nurse, said Tuesday at a news conference where most of the donors and recipients met for the first time. “You are giving someone a life, and there is no substitute for that.”
“It’s not like I’m doing anything courageous,” Bill Singleton, 62, the kidney foundation volunteer, told The Associated Press before his surgery. “If I don’t volunteer, who will?”
Kidney exchanges widen the pool of potential donors for the hardest-to-transplant patients — minorities as well as people whose immune systems have become abnormally primed to attack a donated kidney. What happens: Patients find a friend or relative who isn’t compatible with them but will donate on their behalf, and the pairs are mixed to find the most matches.
Roxanne Boyd Williams, left, cries as she meets her kidney donor Tom Otten, a suburban St. Louis police officer, in an emotional reunion at the Georgetown University Hospital in Washington D.C. on Dec. 11. Otten's wife, Irene, also received a kidney as part of the donor chain.
But a donor whose kidney isn’t directed to a particular patient — a so-called altruistic or non-directed donor — multiplies the number of operations that can be done in a kidney swap. And Dr. Keith Melancon at Georgetown University Hospital had three such donors, people he calls “pieces of gold
“People keep wanting to know why, why, why,” Glaser, the Gaithersburg, MD, nurse said before her surgery. “It sounds very trite but you pass through this world, and what do you ever do that makes a difference?”
The AP documented weeks of the complex logistics as Melancon’s team initially planned for a 16-way exchange, juggled donors and recipients for the best matches — and emerged with a record-setting exchange: Twenty-six operations over six days this month at Georgetown and nearby Washington Hospital Center.
Ten of the 13 recipients were African-American, Asian or Hispanic. And five were patients who never would have received a kidney under the traditional system, because they needed an extra blood-cleansing treatment to remove those hyperactive immune cells, treatment that only a handful of hospitals in the country offer.
Kidney transplant recipient Solomon Weldeghebriel, second from left, with kidney donor Bill Singleton, right, holds his children Mahor, 5, left, and daughter Simona Weldeghebriel, 3
“I cannot explain in words. I can raise my children now. He gave me life
,” said Solomon Weldeghebriel, 42, a Washington cabdriver. Two of his three children wiggled on his lap as he met Singleton, his donor.
The exchange started with a 45-year-old Maryland woman inspired by President Obama. She asked to remain anonymous but told The AP: “I just wanted to help someone out that needed my help, to give them a better life.”
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