Tom’s expertise has also made Miss Pascal and her team better equipped to deal with machines when they fail, as they inevitably do from time to time, partly due to the inconsistency of the electrical current from the hospital’s generators.
“I am now able to do my job better. I rest assured knowing that I not only have support when something goes wrong but also that I can fix some of the problems myself,” she explains. “With Tom’s training, I’m able to use my equipment to its fullest potential, the way it was meant to be used.”
HEI/SBF’s Chief Operating Officer, Bill Gimson, remembers a time before Tom joined the team, and the hospital encountered a problem with its only X-ray machine. Bill and another employee lugged the broken machine on a day-long journey by bus to Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, where it was scheduled to be fixed.
When they finally arrived, Bill stayed in Santo Domingo for five days, waiting for the machine to be repaired. He returned to Fond des Blancs almost a week later, hauling the heavy piece of equipment behind him.
The X-ray machine stopped working again just a few days later.
“It was incredibly inconvenient. I had to take a week from work just to have one machine repaired,” Bill remembers. “And the entire excursion was in vain because it only worked for a day or two.”
Luckily, Tom came down a few weeks later and quickly diagnosed the problem. The machine was up and running within several hours. Almost a year later, Tom still has to make frequent tweaks to the machine—ones that without him, would have required long trips to Santo Domingo or Port-au-Prince, and a heavy investment in repair fees.
“He tackles every challenge we’ve thrown his way, and I can’t wait until we have a team of technicians repairing equipment with little turnover time,” says Bill.
SBH’s chief nurse, Miss Kenide Bien Aimé, can’t imagine not having Tom on-hand to help with the sensitive and complicated equipment that patients and staff depend on.
“He is a very good technician. He does a good job and is always there. He’s efficient, fast, and competent,” Miss Kenide explains. “Can Tom stay with us forever? We need him.”
Thankfully, when Tom does return to his regular job at MGH, he will leave behind a team of trained Haitian biomedical technicians who will take over this critically important role at SBH.