Haiti has been slowly fading from TV screens, but not from the memory of Dr. Kevin Olehnik of Rockport, a longtime medical volunteer in Haiti. On July 12, exactly six months after the devastating 7.0 earthquake in Haiti, Olehnik shared his experiences and images with several dozen members of the Spruce Head Community Hall Association during its July meeting.

Fearful children, weeping parents, gaping wounds and severed limbs all appeared in the graphic scenes that played out during Olehnik’s presentation. His dedication to the cause was evident as he described the long hours, dreadful conditions and stifling heat that he and his medical colleagues endured during their two post-earthquake stints in the town of Leogane (population 200,000), which was nearly leveled.

Olehnik first went to Leogane in 2007 as part of a University of Notre Dame program to eradicate a painful, disfiguring, mosquito-borne disease called lymphatic filariasis. As soon as he heard about the earthquake devastation in Leogane, he began making arrangements to get there speedily to help in any way possible.

During their first 11-day trip, nine days after the quake, the Maine doctors and some emergency room physicians from Iowa managed to see 300 patients a day and perform 120 surgeries. Also on that first trip were Drs. Doug Cole and Lars Ellison from Penobscot Bay Medical Center. Five weeks later, Ellison and Olehnik returned, focusing more on what they called “everyday medicine,” again seeing dozens of patients each day in conditions that were only marginally better.

Olehnik and local colleagues will be heading back to Haiti in the late fall or early winter. There are several ways to support their admirable efforts and contribute to the recovery of Leogane. Contributions can be sent to University of Notre Dame Development Department, 1100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556 (put “Haiti Effort” on the memo line). To help the local medical volunteers with logistics, send a check to Kevin Olehnik, 4 Lexington Lane, Rockport, ME 04856 (put “Leogane Volunteers” on the memo line).