Saturday, July 27, 2013
This week has been full to overflowing at the clinic.
We've had quite a few challenging cases as well as babies born which often means some short nights!
On Monday this little fellow pictured below was brought in by his mom. The mother claimed to have been pregnant with the child for 15 months, but it appeared to me that the baby was a preemie. I really couldn't get straight information out of her about her pregnancy, previous pregnancies, and such. She said she lost 4 babies, but I couldn't understand if they were miscarriages, stillbirths, or otherwise. After trying in vain to gather information so I knew better how to help her, I moved on to the obvious. She had a tiny baby (3 lbs. 4 oz) who had a good fighting chance at survival IF the mom took care of it. The mom was concerned because it was little, but it wasn't extremely skinny. It just needs cared of like a preemie. I explained to her that she needs to make sure to keep it warm and nurse it often. She said she nurses it when it wants to nurse. I said, "No, you must nurse it frequently even waking it up if it's sleeping." She nearly laughed at me. Finally I asked her if there was someone else with her. She called in her sister, and I explained to her how to care of the baby. The sister seemed to understand. The mom seemed to love the baby dearly, but I'm not sure she's capable of caring for a baby, especially a preemie.
It was one of those cases when you try your level best and let it in God's hands.
Two-week old 3 lbs 4 oz baby
You can tell a little how small it is by comparing it to my hand.
Mama, Baby, and I
By now I don't remember which day, but this elderly gentleman was carried in on a stretcher. He was 90 y.o. and quite obviously had some heart problems. He was retaining fluid and having trouble breathing. Seeing his age and with how poorly his heart was beating, I was concerned that at any moment, he'd go into cardiac arrest. Before I started treatment, I explained to the family what condition he was in and that I didn't know what the outcome would be. I told them that I didn't see that taking him to a bigger hospital would be very advantageous, but I wanted them to know that was an option so they could decide. They said they wanted to stay here and wanted me to do what I thought was best as far as treatment.
Also I explained to them that he may not have much longer. He's older and his heart is worn out. I then challenged them and him if they were believers. As the children were giving their varied answers, he started saying, "I'm not going to change. I'm not going to change." I asked him what he was talking about. He said that he was Catholic and wasn't going to change. I told him that what mattered was that he trusted in Jesus and that Mary could do nothing for him. It really didn't feel like he was listening--that he was set in his ways.
All we can do is pray that God would speak to his heart.
After monitoring him for 2 days, I was able to send him home feeling better. He's to come back for a check up after 2 weeks.
This baby is a year old. She had such a sweet little face, but was very weak and under weight. She weighed only 9 lbs 11 oz. Her mother brought her in, but said that she had left the child in April. I told her that she needed to take care of her child. She said that she had to work. I said that if she needed to leave her child with someone, she needed to make sure she was getting good care!
We gave this Herbalife and an appointment to come back to see if she is improving.
She nearly clung to you
All dressed up in clean clothes with a candy in her hand
Yesterday we had a bunch of new bandaging patients come in. One was an abscess, one an ulcer sort of thing, and one a nasty wound in a man's foot with maggots in it!
So proceed with caution!!!!
I thought it would be good to write an update to let new subscribers know about the Nourishing the Needy and also give an update on how it has been going for us. But most of all I want to take this time to express sincere thankfulness to God who stirs people's hearts to pray and support through monetary aid this specific program so that these little infants, sometimes skin and bones when they come in, can survive. I love children and there is nothing harder than to see them come in barely able to utter the faintest sound, only big tears rolling down their cheeks. Sometimes a few more days without help would have meant death as a certainty.
Who is on the Milk Program? Babies whose mothers have died, often from eclampsia. Sometimes they had the baby in a different hospital, but they get infections etc shortly after and die. At times the babies are born right here in the clinic and the mom is sick, she doesn't have milk or very little. Sometimes the mother had a sickness that required a kind of medication that isn't good for the baby therefore the baby needs a different source of milk. Sometimes the mom runs of and leaves her new born and the rest of the family to fend for themselves, often times the dad isn't with them either, so relatives have to take care of it. These are just some of the reason that we sign the children onto the milk program.
How do we know if the people that come in are honest? I'll just mention some precautions that we take. If the mom is alive but can't nurse the child, and she is too sick to come in, she has an infection, or different ailments that are treatable, the relatives usually show up with the baby. We won't turn them away, we give them 2 days worth of milk and tell them that they need to bring the mom in, even if they have to carry her in on a stretcher from many hours away. It has worked well. Especially if the mom can be seen at the clinic and given medications to clear up the infection and is soon able to nurse the baby. Therefore we do not need to put it on the program full time. We have herbal supplements that tremendously help a lot of ailments.
If a baby is put on the milk program and the mother is alive, we require that she comes in throughout the next pregnancy for prenatal check-ups, to make sure everything is being done to prevent her from getting sick and us needing to put that child on the program as well.
Sometimes we have someone bring a child in and we suspect it isn't the mom, Shana will ask them to nurse the child, that brings forth a quick shocked look if she isn't the mom. If it isn't we won't chase them of, we will do everything we can to help the child, it always turns out well.
At times it has happened that the mom didn't come in for check-ups, or she had the baby at a different hospital but then sends relatives with the baby, and we know that is was a preventable sickness that the mom has, we will ask them to pay as much as they can each time they come. Sometimes it's 5 Haitian Dollars ($0.57USD), sometimes it's 20 ($2.30 USD) It keeps them accountable. Each situation is different, but we try them all, and have them pay whenever they can.
Currently we have 19 children on the program, there are a few that are handicapped, mentally, some with cerebral palsy and such like illnesses, and they have been and will be on their for a long time. But each child is closely monitored. They are required to bring the child in on a continual bases, each child has a file, when they come in we pull their file, check the last weight, then weigh him/her again. For the most part we see continual weight gain. If we don't we have a little chat with the caregivers, and if we don't see a change in weight within a few weeks, they get removed from the program. There are different reasons for that, sometimes they could be selling the milk for money, sometimes they don't accept the child and don't take care of it and use the milk on their own children or themselves, etc. But these situation are few and far between.
Are the babies that are on the Gospel to Haiti website, the only ones we give milk to? No, in fact we give or sell milk powder almost every day or at least on average 3 or 4 times a week. Moms come in with infants that are needy or need a quick boost for a couple weeks or even a month or two, and we will help them along a bit.
This is not always easy to do, because of the lack of funds to buy extra milk powder for that reason. But we try never to let a child leave without some kind of help. We are thankful that we have always gotten by each month. God is faithful, and trusting Him with that need, He has proved Himself mighty and very faithful.
Sponsorship or donations for the program. We currently have 7 out of the 19 children sponsored. It's a one year sponsorship, 100% of the funds donated are sent to the field. It can be a monthly, quarterly or one time donation. The sponsorship is $40.00USD/month, $120.00USD/quarter and/or $480.00USD/year. We also accept any donations, it is used to buy extra formula for babies that we help.
We buy two kinds of formula, one is called Celia, it is quite expensive but it has a huge amount of everything good in it and has worked amazingly for 0-6 months of age, then we buy Bonju Formula, that is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Calcium, that is given for the ones 7 months and up. Both formulas are rich in all manner of good stuff, therefore the cost is higher, and we feel it's good to make sure if we help them we help them in a way that builds their bodies up from the start.
Each child that gets put on the program we also put on the Nourishing the Needy blog on the gospel to Haiti website, we take pictures and keep updating the pictures on a continual basis, and we keep updating the weights. When or if a child dies for any reason we will automatically assign the sponsorship over to another child that isn't sponsored until the year is over.
Again I would like to say thank you to all of you who have supported this program, also all of you who will in the future. Each breath these children breath is a breath of thankfulness. And you are storing up treasures in heaven. If you feel lead to sponsor a child, or even send donations whenever you can, please feel free to contact Donavon for sponsorship information and signup sheets, or any other questions regarding the program.
Donovan Hostetler- Phone: 1-608-475-9504
Mailing Address: Gospel To Haiti
PO Box 3. Richland Center WI 53581
Please be sure to check out or website at: www.gospeltohaiti.net
By Jon Hofer - July 27, 2013
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