My Book Review For:
‘Saving Jimani Life and Death in the Haiti Earthquake’, By Rene Steinhauer RN, EMT-P, USA
My name is Doug Copp. Rene asked me to write a book review, for him. I suppose it is because I am known as the most experienced rescue, disaster mitigation, disaster manager, in the world.
Maybe, another reason.
It might have been a mistake, for book sales. I don’t know about book sales or what people want to read, but I do tell the truth. Hold onto your seats. Rene’s book is not for the weak; but it should remind everyone how lucky/blessed they are. It reminded me of how lucky I am.
Let me tell you about me and how ‘lucky’ I am; so you know who is writing this book review:
Personally, my life has been rough for the last year. My health has been terrible, from my 911 injuries. Constant pain, every molecule in my body is damaged and hurts. Doctor Tim Smith MD wrote a 39 page summation of my medical problems, last June. He states that “No one in History has ever survived as concentrated and varied an exposure to toxins”. (enough for 162 people to be legally certified as being ‘lead poisoned’, in the city of New York and up to 5,000 times the normal limit. The list of toxins found in my body is 35 pages long. At my worst point I had 47 simultaneous medical problems. I couldn’t speak. I didn’t know my own name and sometimes I was blind.). If I was smart I would just let myself die. Willpower keeps me alive.
When the weather turns cold, at night, my lungs fill up with fluid. It feels like I am drowning. When I wake up I go into coughing convulsions coughing up blood. I break out into hundreds of blisters. My immune system collapses with 20 other medical problems….etc..etc..etc .
Last winter, I fled our home, in Canada, to stay in the back of a truck, in the parking lot of a homeless shelter, in Desert Hot Springs. (It was bizarre receiving 3 awards; including the ‘keys to the city’, an award for saving more than 250,000 lives and an award for “giving safety information, to American Cities; that actually saves lives”. It was ‘the theater of the absurd’ getting dressed to go to City Hall, as a celebrity with TV Cameras and then returning back to a homeless shelter parking lot. Such is the life of an unpaid, volunteer humanitarian.)
Back home in Canada, my Mexican wife had a very difficult time, by her self in the worst winter of memory. She shoveled snow almost everyday. My wife came, to California, to drive back with me. En-route, we received word that our home had a fire.
The insurance Company were ‘bastards’. I stayed in the driveway, for several months fighting the insurance company, all day long. My wife stayed in the Hotel. I couldn’t stay there because the cleaning products cause my brain to swell and I pass out unconscious from lack of blood to my brain. I can die or have more brain damage from these cerebral edema attacks ( My 911 injuries try to rule my life.).
My wife disappeared. I got an email telling me that she had a nervous breakdown. Then I got an email telling me that ‘she couldn’t take any more stress’. Next I got a phone call from an attorney. He is a bastard. He wanted everything we own. Paulina fought him. He finally settled to do her wishes.
We are becoming legally separated. I haven’t spoke with the woman I love; since, the day before she left. We never fought. There was no warning, no explanation only that it was more than she could handle. I worry about my wife. Life has been tough.
But Rene’s book reminds me of how lucky, fortunate and blessed I am. For me, it reminds me of my own experiences in Haiti.
A NAZI concentration camp survivor is the only one who can truly understand our experiences, in Haiti. Nobody else. (A successful Afghanistan or Irag ‘experience’ would only be considered a minor -entry level qualification for ARTI disaster work.).
Rene’s book is about his experiences during the earthquake in Haiti. He has just retired after returning from fighting Ebola, in Africa. I don’t know if I should and it is unorthodox but I am going to write my review with excerpts from our Christmas Holiday emails, to each other.
After reading your manuscript I have ..one overriding comment/question..between us….
I have never had a nightmare, seen a horror movie..been so horrified as my experiences in Haiti. Hell can not be as bad..no place can be that bad. It is impossible.
One of my worst was: I remember lying on the bare sidewalk, behind a concrete fence…..next to a collapsed hotel…(I hadn’t slept for 3 days…I was sick from 911 before I had left..the doctors wanted to keep me in the hospital…After 72 hours of working while sick..I was ready to drop dead) …..nobody would go out at night..not a soldier, police, native..nobody…I laid there listening to a gun shot..followed by a woman’s screaming rape shrill..followed by a gunshot..rape..gunshot..over and over and over like a clock. I got up and went back to work after 20 minutes..never did that before or since…at any disaster.
I wonder how many first responders committed suicide?
It doesn’t bother me, now; but I think that ..with all my experiences, at all the disasters…that I could have a different nightmare..every night..for almost eternity.
It was a good thing we did; but it was tough.
Reply, from Rene:
Thanks for writing. Yes, I suspect we both have many nightmares from many activities. It is the cost of doing business. As for me, I have just retired from the international scene. A week ago I returned from Liberia where I was working as the chief nurse in an Ebola Treatment Unit. This was my last overseas assignment. It is time to find some peace. How many of us have committed suicide, it is hard to know. It would never happen in the disaster. We are too busy thinking of everyone else. It would happen at home. Who would know? I hope that is not on your agenda any time soon. If you ever need to talk, my phone is always on at: ———-.
Back to Rene from Doug:
I am going to the Middle East (probably Feb.), to the most dangerous areas, to teach people to survive being ‘blown-up’. A little bit of action. I plan to spend a bit of the winter in Desert Hot Springs. The Mayor is a friend.
Suicide. No. I am the guy that psychologists get to help people cope and NOT commit suicide.
I don’t have nightmares when I sleep. I lived them when I was awake.
Rene wrote back:
... I am glad you don’t have nightmares. I wish I could say the same. They are not as bad as they used to be, but I do wake up screaming on occasion. Where will you be in the Middle East?
end of emails…
The Middle East Mission is to be continued…with a whole lot of lives being saved and a lot of good being done. dfc
To USA and Canadian First Responders:
I am reminded of being asked to help a 15 year veteran ambulance driver cope with the horror of the Swiss Air Crash . His Chief was afraid that he would commit suicide. I was asked to help. He had been used to ‘pretty corpses’, not the puzzle of reconnecting and matching hundreds of heads, feet, arms and hands together into the same green garbage bag, to be thrown into the back of a 5 ton truck with the hundreds of other green garbage bags filled with people’s parts. A police officer told me ‘rescue humor’, about putting bodies back together: Don’t put 2 left ft together. Everybody has a ‘left one’ and a ‘right one’. When I remember the Swiss Air Crash I see ‘in my mind’ a sea of ‘bobbing heads’, in a soup of intestine guts….
You must understand that what actually happened at the Swiss Air Crash has never been released for the public to know. (It is unusual (hardly ever), for any government to let the public ever know what really happened.). The aluminum plane had crashed into a giant steel ocean buoy at 600 mph. It was a 1 in a billion fluke that the plane would actually hit the buoy. The plane and people were shredded into tiny pieces. All the body parts floated, along with millions of dollars enroute, from a NYC Bank, to a Swiss Bank. Everything else sank; including, hundreds of millions of dollars in diamonds (I can tell a lot of stories. I know hundreds of secrets. Did you know that most major disasters are used for military and intelligence actions against the stricken country under the guise of Humanitarian Aid?). It was a ‘soup’ from HELL.
After ½ hour talk. I told him about some of my experiences: He said: “Well if you can cope with all of that then I can cope with this”. I had made him feel that he was ‘not alone’ . After I ‘read his mind’ and told him what he was thinking, then and at other times. He ‘turned around’. He had thought that nobody, not even his wife could comprehend. After our talk he knew that ‘reality’ had changed; but he was not completely alone. He had entered a new dimension of existence.
Rene’s Book takes you into our world.
To everybody else:
Consider yourself ‘lucky’, blessed and be grateful for your life. Read a ‘silly’ book or Do you dare come into our world?
You can buy Rene’s Book, at Amazon:
Saving Jimani: Life and Death in the Haiti Earthquake. http://www.amazon.com/Saving-Jimani-Death-Haiti-Earthquake/dp/1494981971/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416156123&sr=8-1&keywords=jimani&pebp=1416156129758
Personally, I have been approached countless times, to write a book. The problem is that I could write a dozen books, about the inside stories of major disasters, corruption, wars, revolutions, secret agents fun times, espionage, life, death, horror and faith in God. Maybe, when I do. I’ll name it: ‘DO YOU DARE READ THIS BOOK’*. doug copp
‘DO YOU DARE READ THIS BOOK’ is now copyrighted. Planned to be published in 2015. Nothing will be published that will hurt or cause the death of anyone. ( We didn’t kill animals in the production/writing of this book/movie..humor.’). The book will be explosively good. Time for some action….doug copp.
To all who read this blog article, at this wonderfully blessed time of the year I wish you all a Happy, Wonderful and Joyous Holiday Season and a New Year filled with the satisfaction of ‘good’ goals accomplished, success and may your hearts be filled with nothing but ‘good things’. I hope that you are blessed and fully realize how blessed you are. We are so fortunate.
Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! (and whatever other way you celebrate this time of caring about our fellow man) and be sure to read my New Year’s post. I find it to be hilariously funny both intellectually and ‘from the ‘Theater of the Absurd’; which is our world. I am not usually a funny guy; but, this is one of my best, from my perspective, on life.
My BIG DOG Grizzley (A friendly and loving German Shepherd died ( I didn’t name him.)); so this Christmas it was just me and my buddy Dini ( Short for Houdini. (He can do impossible escape magic.)) If I had a dream, for me, I would love to be the real Santa Claus.