Thursday, November 22, 2018

A life of drastic differences

It’s the beautiful...and the ugly.
 The first newborn cry...and holding the hand of the dying elderly. 

The miracles...and the willingness to accept death and the fact that medicine can’t always prevent it. 

It’s swinging and playing games with the neighbor kids...and giving the malnourished  kid with negligent parents some life saving plummy-nut. 

It’s cuddling and weighing the adorable motherless babies who come to get milk...and doing all you can for the almost-dead innocent newborn who comes in because his parents didn’t bring him in soon enough and then wrapping him up tight, putting him in a box-and closing the lid-and handing the box back to his parents. 

It’s waving and yelling greetings to your friend across the mountains...and bouncing across those same mountains in the UTV with a patient in the back and an IV bag swinging from the frame- heading to another hospital. 

It’s holding the scared little patient tight and feeling their heartbeat pounding in their chest...and checking for a pulse in the next one, not being able to find it, double and triple checking, calling for a second opinion and finally, telling the parents that their child has no heartbeat. 

It’s talking and laughing with your friends while you drink coffee and eat bread...and doing all you can for the young patient with HIV, including providing transportation to a location where they can get the life-saving treatment, and having them refuse the help, and watching them walk out the doors toward home, knowing the patient will die. 

It’s going to market and recognizing half the people and being greeted by person after person who reminds you all that you’ve done for them...and being back at home, just getting read to sit down for supper, hearing a knock on the gate, heading to clinic, and not getting back for several hours, and then repeating that same thing at 3am. 

It’s sitting under the palm tree with your toes in the sand and feeling the ocean waves on your feet...and slowing unwrapping the rag that’s tied around your patients extremity and not knowing if you should expect a fresh laceration or a wound that’s been there for months and smells like death. 

It’s life. It’s invigorating and exhausting. Just to clarify, we don’t see all of these things every single day but these experiences, and countless others are all things we experience. I could think of a lot more things but I’ll stop before you’re bored stiff. 
Thanks once again for your prayers and support. We couldn’t do it without you. 
-Mis Emma 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Take the time

   Take the time to care, no matter who you are or how busy you are, we should never be too busy to sit and listen to a friend who may be hurting, or just longs to talk with someone who cares.
  People notice when you take time for them and I believe it makes a difference. 
  The last couple weeks and months have been quite busy with big clinic days emergency runs and quite a number of births. 
   Sometimes in the middle of the busyness of life it's easy to not take time for the little things that are so important. So what I'm saying to myself and everyone that's reading let's take the time to care and it can be what makes the difference and draws someone to the light.
   This last week has been really nice with usually a little time in the afternoons to spend with friends.
  Here are a couple radom pics.

   The guy in the wheelchair is Patrick. He works at Clinic cutting goes. He's a really good friend and seams to attract groups of people whenever he talks.
    Sometimes life can be pretty up and down around here seeing death and pain and then the beauty of new life, just a few weeks ago we had a lady come in with a head injury she had been working in her garden on the side of the mountain when a rock tumbled down and smashed her Square in the forehead breaking lots of Bones and cutting the side of her mouth open. I would post pictures but they're just way too nasty and I can't stand looking back at them. They carried her in on a cot she was pretty much unresponsive but was breathing and had normal vital signs. We weren't sure what we should do, how long can she live in this condition? Will she even make it to town? Unfortunately we couldn't fly her out on the chopper because they won't receive a patient in this bad of a condition and the sky was cloudy, so after lots of prayers and tears and calling every hospital we thought might be a possibility we loaded up on a machine and headed off to town to meet an ambulance, which would then take her to a hospital in Port.      There they spent the next week sitting in the hospital trying to buy what they needed so the Dr could operate on her. It ended up being too late, they were out of money and out of time she couldn't hang on any longer and she passed away.
   When I see this stuff, my heart fills up with pain, it's like my world stops and everything I thought was a big problem becomes so small and I just cry out to God and give him the pain, the disappointment and be thankful that I'm not the one holding this world in my hands but he is and he cares and understands.
    And then there's beautiful things like the sun setting across the ocean and all I can say is thank you God for holding the World in Your Hands and caring about each detail of Our Lives whether it's big or small you care.

     So thanks to all of you who pray for us and support us, we really appreciate it and need it! God bless ~Ben~

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Of Gods grace. 

I stepped into the loud crowd that came rushing into the waiting area. I knelt down over the cot on the ground and pulled the plastic down to expose her face. I resisted the urge to vomit and covered her face back up while I grabbed my stethoscope to see if I could hear a heartbeat. Heartbeat present. I ran to grab a blood pressure cuff and yelled for someone to call for Ben. BP was okay. I ran for IV supplies and opened up the entrances to our emergency room and instructed the family to bring the cot in. After getting an IV started and reassessing vital signs, I stood by her bed, whispered a prayer for wisdom and took another look at her head. It was hands-down the worst thing I’ve ever seen. I could see it was a middle aged woman by the gray hairs I saw on her head. Her face was flat. Nose sunken in, and a large whole in her forehead. Her check was wide open and her whole face moved with each breath. I could see into her forehead and I’m honestly not sure what all I was seeing but the scull was crushed and I could see inside the hole which exposed all manner of things and the thought crossed my mind that I could possibly be looking at her brains. Unfortunately, I couldn’t “read he mind”. She was unconscious and only made random involuntary movements with her one hand. After asking lots of questions, I discovered that she’d been working in her garden with her husband and a large rock rolled down the mountain, crushing her head. Apparently there was an animal up-mountain from her that had displaced the rock. Ben showed up, took one look at her and then at me and said “what on earth are we going to do?” I had no words and felt the responsibility and my lack of experience and ability to help her sunk in deep. I had no idea what I was gonna do. I mentally ran over all the possibilities. I was sure she would die but I didn’t know how long it would take. In the states, with immediate, up-to-date professional healthcare, it’d be a miracle if she’d survive. It’s very difficult to find a hospital here who provides quality medical care that’s affordable. Also, a lot of the hospitals won’t even look at head injuries. It was very cloudy so I pretty much knew I couldn’t get a helicopter to fly in for transport even if I could find a receiving hospital. Backing up just a ‘lil, the night before 5 staff were in an accident that caused me to be the only nurse at clinic and they’d left in our ambulance and were in Port-au-prince so we couldn’t transport any farther than Ti-Goâve (using our UTV) and there is no hospital there who would do anything for her. I felt helpless. I took another look at her and saw her breath. There was life-hence, hope. I had to try. I started making phone calls. I called hospital after hospital and got pretty much the same response. No one wanted a head wound. As  Ben and I discussed our options, she vomited and Ben said “Oh, spaghetti”. My eyes got big and I glances at the meds I had prescribed for her just last Friday when she had come to clinic for a consultation. I had treated her for parasites and it now appeared like they were coming out of her whole face (because her cheek was wide open). I’ll admit it, I cried. The fact that we’d all had a lot going on the evening before with the accident, compounded with the fact that i was the only nurse around, and the fact that I’d been up till 3:30AM delivering a baby, had me tired. The birth wasn’t one of those nice births where a women has a baby. It was one of those come-in-almost-ready-to-have-her baby-pre-eclamptic-and-4-weeks-premature births that ends in delivering a little stunned baby and requires resuscitation. I was tired. I felt terribly responsible as her children looked at me and said “can’t you do something for her?” I explained to them that I felt like the chances of survival were VERY slim but that I would try my very best, I couldn’t just let her die in my hands but I also couldn’t see any way to transfer her anywhere else. I whispered a very desperate prayer and tried again. This time I got ahold of someone who gave me a private phone number for an ER Doctor at a very reputable hospital with a working CAT scan machine. She said they’d except her. I called to check if there was any chance I could get a helicopter in to transport her. It was too cloudy, but I called an ambulance driver who was willing to meet us in Ti-Goâve and transfer her to the receiving hospital. I breathed a huge sigh of relief and we were soon on our way to Ti-Goâve.
There is more to the story but I feel like this is getting too long so I’m gonna leave it at that. By the way, the baby I delivered during the night is off of oxygen now and doing amazing all on her own and I delivered another one last night and it WAS one of those nice ones where everything goes like it’s supposed to.
As I look back at the last 3 days events, all I can say is God is good. ALL the time. In my own strength, I fail. But in my weakness, HE is strong. Very strong. God rejoices in doing the impossible and I rejoice to have been given a fresh personal reminder of that. Absolutely none of what happened was something I could’ve done without God.
Please pray for this lady, last I talked to her daughter, she is still alive. I don’t understand how she’s still alive but I do believe in miracles. And God performed a bunch of those already for her and I don’t doubt that he can do it some more.
Sorry there aren’t any photos this time. I have several but I don’t think you want to see them - even thought the photos don’t look nearly as severe as it did in real life.
Thanks SO much for your prayers. They work. -Mis Emma.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Be Still

You're in the middle of a medical emergency. Heart pounding, adrenaline pumping, and hands trembling. (If you're me🙄) Your mind runs through all the possibilities and you're doing the best you know to do. Without making any mistakes. In the middle of it all, your patient grabs your bloody hand and says, "please mis, pray with me." And you stop. The words be still come to mind. And you realize that that for a moment it won't hurt to simply be still. To not do anything.  To lay down your stethoscope, strip off your dirty gloves and hold your patient's hand. I often forget that nursing isn't just about caring for their body. But for their mind and spirit too. If it makes them feel better to clutch me around the neck till I feel like I'm choking, then I'll do it😌 Nursing is hard. And down here it's sometimes quite difficult. If it's not the language barrier, then its a cultural belief or practice.  Or simply not having been educated about medical things. I so often get frustrated at how patients deal or not deal with things. But then I'm reminded that I'm lucky. It wasn't my choice or from anything I did that I was born in America where I got a full education and went beyond to become a nurse. It's not their fault that they were born here. And it's probably difficult for them to understand a white nurse who cant even speak their language properly 🙃 I have to let it go. If I've done the best I can, then theres nothing more to do. I hAve to learn to be in peace.  Not pieces.  Life here isn't all sunshine and beach trips. But it comes pretty close to that most of the time🤗❤ I've been here 8 months now and love it more each day. Running the prenatal program has definitely become my favorite job at clinic.  I'm going to put some random photos up of different things . I don't really have any wild stories to share. We've had busier days at clinic. And quite a few births and some emergency runs. Otherwise life can be called "normal". We're grateful for those of you that read our blog and support us. Even though we're not very faithful in posting 🙈 
Till next time❤
When the oceans rise and thunders roar. I will soar with you above the storm. Father, You are the King over the flood. I will be Still and know You are God. 
❤Mis Autumn 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Every day Life

 Hey everyone it's been awhile since I've posted and a lot has happened! It seems I should have no problem thinking up something interesting to tell you all but I find it kind of hard to put things into words 🙈  So here we go it was last Saturday we where in Peiti-Goave at a wedding while back home in the mountains there were two ladies in labor the one being preeclamptic, so when we got home we made the decision to transfer her out to Peiti-Goave where she would have the option of having a c-section if necessary and where we had just come from😕 we loaded up in the ambulance and prepared to deliver a baby on the way if necessary.
     Off we went bumping out the trail smashing into each other and trying to keep the mom as "comfortable" as possible, we didn't make it much more than quarter way out the trail when Emma hollered that the head is crowning so we stop the machine and delivered a baby, almost instantly the atmosphere changed inside the ambulance and prayers of thanks to God were ring out of our mouths, after evaluateing mom and baby we decided to turn around and headed back to clinic, meanwhile the other nurses were busy delivering the second baby and everything went well so we tucked them both into bed and headed home knowing we could have a good night sleep. (Thank you God)
    Here's a pic of the two babies that were born, I believe Emma is holding the one that was born in the ambulance and Kayla the one that was born at clinic.
             Here's a very proud big sister
     This past weekend with the help of Grampa Lewi and eveone around the mission here we got two pigs butchered and processed into all kinds of good stuff!
       Here's a pic of Derek and Grandpa stuffing sausage's.
               So that's just a little bit of what's been going on around here. I want to thank everyone out there for your prayers and financial support we really appreciate it!!!
                   Until next time ~Ben~

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Angel Baby 

Well, hello!:) It’s been a long time since you’ve heard from me- back in February I do believe, but somehow that doesn’t seem that long ago!

I thought I would share a happening from the beginning of this month that I still remember very well.

On July 3rd we had a woman in labor at clinic and the baby ended up arriving before we could get down there! Of course we rushed down as fast as we could and we found a tiny baby laying on the bed. I believe one of my first thoughts was how tiny the baby was! We had thought the mother was close to full term but from how the baby looked he had come early! He was not breathing the greatest so we took him to another room where we were able to give him breaths with the oxygen bagger and continued to moniter him closely. He appeared to be stable for the moment; he weighed a little over 4 pounds!
During our clinic day I was in the emergency room when Kayla rushed over holding our little baby boy- he was blue and not breathing at all! We immediately started doing chest compressions and giving him breaths. It felt like a long time. I know we were both praying hard. Finally, he started taking some breaths on his own again. But it appeared as though he had turned a corner for the worse.  Every now and then he would have spells where he would just stop breathing. We were beginning to think that this baby’s lungs were not developed like they should be and he needed higher help than we could give him. I sat there on the emergency room bed just holding him- watching his little chest rise and fall as he struggled for each breath. His chest would sink far in and it looked so pitiful! We decided that our best option would be to drive him to the nearest hospital with a good NICU. We didn’t trust to send him on an ambulance so the only other option was to take him ourselves. Before we left a special moment was when the mother came over to where her baby was. She gently laid her hand on him and began to pray. Her mother heart was hurting and yearning for her baby to live. We had her hold the baby, too, and it felt so right. Not so long before she had birthed this baby and now things  were not going the way any of us had expected...... Eventually, we were on our way out the trail. It took us four hours to get there and we had to give the baby breaths the whole way there. By the time we finally arrived at the hospital we could see that he was just about done fighting. The poor dear. After we had the baby and mother dropped off at the hospital there was nothing more to do except leave; we felt he was in good hands and we hoped for the best. Around midnight, Kayla got the call from his mom that our little baby had died. I think it took it a while to really sink in. The past 24 hours had felt crazy and now he was gone. I was sad. I grieved for his parents and the loss they were feeling. But I also knew that he was no longer suffering on this earth; he was well!!!! He was no longer struggling for each breath and most of all, he was safe with Jesus! Yes, it was sad, but that hope gave me something to hold onto. The Lord giveth and He taketh. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Also, I thought I would give an update on a certain little girlie that I wrote about in February. She was the baby(Jiana) that was born at clinic not breathing and with no heartbeat. She came in for monthly checkups with her mom and we were  always so happy to see them! Every time we saw Jiana she was bigger and chubbier and just seemed to be doing extremely well! I can so clearly remember the day she was born and it was just a miracle to see her thriving! Not long ago some of us actually went to visit her and her parents. It was really nice to visit with them and they all seemed so happy. Jiana was of course the center of attention. She is certainly a miracle baby. I have attached a picture of her below- you don’t get much cuter!!!!

Thank you for your support and prayers! Pray for us as we strive to shine our lights brightly here in the mountains of Haiti!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Rest in the unrest 

I’m sure many of you all have seen news articles and posts on social media about the current unrest and protesting in Haiti. It’s not a joke or just a big story.  I can’t promise that everything you saw is accurately presented, but it is real stuff. Real lives and real unrest. We’re very thankful to be tucked away back in the peaceful mountains where we’re basically completely unaffected by everything. Life goes on as normal, for the most part. Recently, as I was think about the “unrest” here I was reminded of the verse in Matthew “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”. It’s a verse that probably most of us have memorized but often forget. Rest, spiritually is a beautiful thing and very tangible and yet it’s easy to live in spiritual unrest and be more worried about the physical unrest around us than the unrest inside. Today, I’m thankful for the beauty of Gods rest in the unrest and his peace in disaster. 

I was on call Sunday, and it started out very “normally”. I had one child who came in before we all went to church. When I left, i told a friend of mine close to clinic to call me if any emergencies come to clinic. Right after church, I got word that there was someone with a machete wound so I went back to find a laceration in a girls hand. She told me her father had been hitting her younger siblings and then picked up a machete and sliced her hand open. I was completely astamished, and once again reminded of how blessed I am to grow up in a peaceful home with a very loving dad! <3 I stitched her hand, and it wasn’t very long before someone else came to the gate saying that someone had gotten injured at the Mollier school fèt (party). I found a young man sitting outside of clinic with a rag wrapped around his head that was completely soaked in blood. He and his friends told me that he’d been sitting at the school fèt when a rock that was supposed to hit someone else happened to hit him. I brought him into our emergency room and did a quick assessment. His vital signs were all normal. I started him on IV fluids and proceeded to take the blood-soaked rag off. He had two lacerations (pictures below) on his forehead. Nothing too serious looking. Skull seemed normal and in-tact. He seemed a bit out-of-it and complained of a bad headache. Shocking, huh?! 

I had just finished putting in my last stitch and was again, checking to make sure his skull wasn’t fractured when I saw his eyes roll up in his head, he turned to his side, started foaming at the mouth. He seized for a minute and I had just enough time to be very thankful for the IV port and grab some meds when he started seizing again. I pushed IV meds and he seized again, I gave more meds. He seized 4 times in that next hour. His friends were convinced that he was dying and Kayla heard their cry’s from out on the street and came to see what was going on. I wanted to transport him to a hospital with higher level care and made a lot of phone calls but there were several problems, the biggest one being that because of all the political unrest, all the roads were blocked. It was dark so I couldn’t request a med-flight, and last but not least, all of the hospitals I called said their CAT scan machine was out of order and they wouldn’t accept a head-injury patient. The one hospital with a working CAT scan said their beds were all full. 

I felt stuck. Absolutely helpless and obligated to keep him and just give the best care that we knew how to give. Kayla and I spent the night with him. Taking turns monitoring him and trying to catch some sleep. By morning, he was responding and answering our questions coherently. Praise the Lord! He’s still at our clinic and we’re keeping a close eye on him but he’s doing much better. 


This is a pic I took of his lacerations yesterday when I rebandaged them. 

This is the hand that I stitched right before the head-injury patient came. 

And this is a before pic. 

Pray for peace in Haiti! 

Thanks for all your prayers. They make a difference! -Mis Emma

A life of drastic differences

It’s the beautiful...and the ugly.  The first newborn cry...and holding the hand of the dying elderly.  The miracles...and the will...