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Carson couple leave Friday on Haiti aid mission

BRIAN DUGGAN
bduggan@nevadaappeal.com

A Carson City couple said they will spend two weeks in Haiti helping victims in need of medical attention after the island nation suffered a deadly earthquake last week.

Kelly Fluitt, 46, a nurse practitioner at Carson Medical Group Family Practice, and her husband David Fluitt, 52, the pharmacy supervisor at Raley’s, are leaving Friday for Port-au-Prince, 18 miles from the epicenter of last Monday’s earthquake that has killed an estimated 200,000 people.

The couple will be traveling with other medical professionals and a pastor on board a plane chartered by Lumiere Ministries. The devastated country is in desperate need of medical providers to help treats scores of injured earthquake victims, Kelly Fluitt said.

Fluitt said when she and her husband first learned of the disaster in Haiti, they immediately started to look for ways to help. After contacting Lumiere Ministries, Fluitt said she wasn’t expecting the call for help to come for months. Instead, it came on Monday.

“We’re madly packing,” Fluitt said on Tuesday. “David and I will each take a backpack for our own supplies. We want to save most of our luggage for gloves, medical supplies. I have a list of all of the things that I need. We’ve been asked to bring our own rice and beans.”

She said she and her husband traveled to Haiti in July on an aid mission.

“I won’t be able to talk about it without crying,” Fluitt said of her experience last year. Conditions there are “beyond what we can imagine as poverty, and we were in a fairly good part of Port-au-Prince. I just fell in love with the people, they are so humble and so gracious and so faithful. They are what drove me back.”

But the week-long trip last year will pale in comparison to what they are likely to encounter now, she said.

Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center also is donating medical supplies to the Fluitts, she said, adding her employer and her husband’s gave them the time off and financial support to travel to Haiti.

When they arrive in Port-au-Prince, Fluitt said she and her husband will be working in a hospital that survived the earthquake, but they will sleep outside. Electricity will be sporadic and calling home will be expensive, she said.

“I just ask for prayers,” Fluitt said. “Prayers for the people we are saving.”