Monday, July 29, 2013

Clinic Staff

    I have gotten an number of requests from you to put on pictures of all our clinic staff, these are as up to date as they can get, and there are two missing, they weren't working today.
Mis Joseline. She is always picture shy but nice about it.

Mis Leda, a very good nurse.

Mis Whitney, our newest addition to the clinic staff.

Mdm Leger. Pharmacist.

Zita, also a pharmacy worker

Fre. Dolphe, weighs the people in and keeps the files all in order. Does an
exceptional job. He is one of the deacons in church.

Fre. Noaz. Also a deacon in church, he does the devotions
each morning, and helps when it's busiest in traffic control
in and out of the clinic!!!!!!!!!!

Fre. Direk, he signs everyone in, fills out the dossiers as
well as collects the money.

Mdm Daniel, she is one of two cleaning ladies. Here she is
cleaning the hospital room, good time to do it, because it's
finally empty.

Mis Rhoda, she is just getting ready to do a bandage

I interrupted a conversation to get take this shot.
Mis Anitia, having an early morning chat with Nores.

Mis Katie's look tells us that baby need desperate care of some kind.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

God loves them all!

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.  

Heart patient
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!!!!

Nourishing the Needy Program

   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:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Let the little children come!

 It's Tuesday afternoon in Aleg. The sun shines hot as Mis Rhoda finishes translating her bible story into kreyol and grabs her felt board. I page through the kreyol songbook...finding a few children's choruses. We open the compound gate and with many bounces and giggles and happy shouts from the children we finally make it to the clinic benches. While Mis Rhoda sets up the felt board I go back out the trail to call in all our favorite little people. Kristella comes skipping along with her beautiful smile. Fabulla has a freshly washed face and has finally brought her little brother along, who shyly looks up at me with wondering eyes. Even 2 yr. old Malia sees the action and comes tottering down the trial with outstretched arms. Finally, I close and lock the gate. Then I count heads. 18 bouncing little bodies cram in the front benches leaning and pushing for the best view. Rho and I laugh and try to be strict and in a few minutes the noise level dies down. 18 pensive little faces watch Rhoda as she starts telling the story of creation. And then we sing!! There is nothing more beautiful then a throng of filthy, smiling, children raising their voices and praising Jesus. Their black faces shine as we sing and clap through our songs. And then, like a herd of baby goats, we shoo them out of the courtyard. Rho and I look at each other and smile. Sometimes in happy thankfulness and other times in frustration. Pray for Danyson, one of the 'outcast' children, who often won't come to class and runs around the neighborhood stealing and begging. Pray that we would plant seeds of love and hope in these sad little hearts.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Saturday Night Live

   I was almost asleep around mid night Saturday when I heard this distinct noise, "wow, what could that be"? You probably are wondering right now!!!! Yes, it was the very aggressive rap rap rap on the gate post. In fact it was the very knock that makes two of the nurses to scoot out of bed. Steve was the first to make it to the gate, so the girls had been listening to him as they heard him asking what is going on. Yes indeed, it was a lady in labor.
   Needless to say I didn't hear Steve talking with them at all so after a few moments of wondering how I could get out of not having to get out of bed to walk down to the clinic with the nurses, and not hearing the radio going of asking for me, or Glenden I fell into a very peaceful sleep.(HHHmmmm, I feel a bit guilty writing this!!)
   Anyway,Steve walked down with Mis Anita and Mis Katie to the clinic, and after checking everything out, they figured the birth would happen soon, they came back and got some water boiling and went do there again. A healthy little boy was born at 2:00AM, he was 7lbs 2oz. 

Tired but happy parents.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Survival Techniques

When 4 babies decide to come in a weeks time, it keeps the nurses hopping.  And since lose of sleep is often involved, we have to find ways of surviving!  Travel mugs and coffee are great survival techniques!  

Rhoda's and my coffee cups from the birth yesterday.  

Rho and I with the newest arrival

We got called at 5 am so at least we had most of a night's sleep.  Baby was born at 9:35 am.  Rhoda delivered the baby and did an excellent job.  She'll soon be on her own!!!  By the time we were done clinic was well on it's way so we jumped right into the swing of our day.  

We know the mom and family so we got a pic of the gang.
L-R: Great Grandma, Mother, Mis Rhoda, Baby, Baby's Aunt (in front), Mis Anita, Baby's grandma, and another Aunt (Madam Celeste)  

I just wanted to add a snapshot of Mis Leda.  We lean on her a lot!  She does an excellent job at treating patients, hanging in in the thick and thin, being there when I need her.  With some of the classes we've had the last while, she's really been picking up on new concepts too.  I love to hear her witness to patients as well.  

Mis Leda

Below is a picture of the healing cut that we stitched up last week.  It won't be scare free, but it seems to be healing well.  Because of it's depth and angle, it wasn't the neatest stitch job I've ever done.  I am very grateful though that he does have movement of his little finger and ring finger.  It's not total yet, but I'm hoping it will continue to improve as it heals and he uses them.  

Healing cut with stitches out

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Staff Stuff

     I love saying Good-morning at the clinic. I like to shake all the hands and have all the cultural good-morning pecks on both cheeks from the other Haitian nurses. We have time to ask how the night was, or if we feel really grouchy, we have time to count pills or hide away in a corner and study the meds for a patient.
    And then, the day is on. We are zooming around grabbing meds, and extracting pus from wounds, and forgetting that some of us are white skinned and some aren't. I love it. Dolph is over there praying with a patient in the hospital room, while Nores scolds a lady for not taking her meds. Direk peeks over his half glasses as he prepares paperwork for the patients. Anita is calling a doctor about a hospital patient, who presents a difficult case. The cleaning ladies are burning blood and bandages outside, or mopping hallways inside.
    Katie is doing a really good job of doing check-ups on malnutrition cases. It is so exciting that we can actually see some children helped so much! This past month we didn't really have a very big stock of milk for them, and so we were thinking and praying about some other options of nutrition for them. It is scary to look into a swollen face and see the bleary, tired eyes of a child who is slowly dying in your very presence. Please pray that we would know where to go with these needs right now. I often hear Katie saying, "Can I just keep this one and nurse it back to health?"  Is there a way that we can start a more supportive program and more aggressively help or prevent death in this way? But the Lord blessed us so that we are able to buy more milk formula for the next while.
     This afternoon after a busy day at the clinic, Katie and I took a hike with Rachel Widowski up to visit the Haitian nurses in their house. It was so fun. I had to forgive them for their late arrivals to work some mornings after I realized how much energy it takes to trek up the mountain. I had to laugh when Mis Leda asked about a rash on Rachel's arms, and noticed that it was difficult for her to walk because of a previously sprained ankle. She is a good nurse, I said to myself....even watching out for health when she was washing her cooking kettles.
   So that is our update from clinic today. I just wanted to honorably mention my co-workers today. Because, when the day is all over, they are usually exactly the people I want to work with the next morning. And  if not, I can always count pills!

A big thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As I watched these two baby twins being held by their mother, I could only see the thankfulness written over their little faces, little "snoopy"!!! as his shirt says is anything but snoopy, he is full, his tummy is warmed with good nutritious milk, the little girl is wide awake, she is a bit lighter, but we're happy at the weight she gained from last time, but both are crying less and they have grown from little tiny hungry babies, whom the mother couldn't feed because of lack of milk, to sturdy little well fed, content ones.
I would like to take this time to express sincere appreciation from all of us for the blessings and support we have received from you for the milk program, it thrills me every time I hear, the two way radio go of and one of the nurses asks if they could put a baby on the program for two weeks or a few months. We couldn't do that up till now and were always short, and we had to let babies go that shouldn't have been to put others on, but because of the blessing God sent our way we can buy extra and make sure all the babies that need it can get some. Thank you so much the Lord will bless you richly for it.

Monday, July 15, 2013

What a Weekend!!!!!

A happy patient

This man was in a while back and returned last week.  He has what looks to me to be a broken collar bone.  Well, when he came in last week, he was smiling from ear to ear.  Before he had been in intense pain and no wonder since his break hadn´t been set so it could heal properly.  This time his pain was gone, and he had good range of motion.  I can´t say that the bone looked like it was back in place, but he was sure praising God and feeling a lot better!  

 Now to the weekend. . .  

First of all for some reason I didn't sleep well Friday night, but that didn't change the fact that I was on call Saturday.  The first call came in at 7:30 am or so.  It was a lady in labor so I headed down to check her out.  

She was having good labor but not progressed real far yet.  I sent off the lady and baby who Rhoda and Katie had delivered Friday, and got a bed ready for the new lady.  Then I set to work treating some  other patients, etc.  Eventually I brought my computer down to the clinic and worked on my med list while I monitored the lady.  I wrapped up my other jobs, and baby was born around 6:30 pm.  My thought was, "Great, I can go home, clean up, and get a good night of sleep."  I was pretty tired since I really was going on only a couple of hours of sleep.  

That wasn't to be.  Before I could get my shower we had two more patients come in.  The other nurses graciously stepped in and went to check out the new patients.  Neither of them were serious, but I needed to go check in on the one patient after supper.  I was still hopeful about getting a good night.  

Supper was over and. . . the next call came.  It was another lady in labor!!!  (Now the 3rd in less than 36 hours.)  So we nurses hurried for our scrub tops and down to the clinic.  This lady was a first-time mom almost ready to deliver.  My first checks raised some red flags--only 7 months along, unhealthy looking amniotic fluid, and abnormal findings upon checking her.  I was suspicious of a stillbirth, but also wanted to be prepared in case we needed to do CPR on a preemie.  

It wasn't long and she delivered a little stillborn baby boy.  The mother and father were very sad.  Many times I don't see them grieve a lot, at least not opening, over a newborn baby who dies, but this couple was very sad at the lose.  Now knowing that this mother had been carrying a dead baby for how many days, I turned my attention to her.  She wasn't more worn out than normal, and I suspected a fair amount of blood lose previous to arrival.  Till everything was finished up and we headed home, it was around 12:30.  

The young mother who delivered the stillborn baby

Below is an abscess that I opened and drained today.  The mask with a little pain cream to help cover the odor really helped!  :-)  Don't forget to take care of your teeth.  I think this started from a bad tooth!  

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Blessed are the flexible...

...for they shall never be bent out of shape! I often think of this when everything unexpected happens and nothing that WAS expected happens. :) And then at the end of the day I look back and see what wonderful 'gifts' and blessings God dropped down in the midst of a very unexpected schedule.

Like this darling lil guy who was in a great hurry to meet the world yesterday afternoon. Suddenly the mom who was in quiet labor in the next room was in dire need of the nurses. Ro grabbed gloves and suction and I came flying into the room and there HE was. Perfect color, strong cry...and the sweetest little face.

Delivery nurses Rhoda and Katie with a friend and the baby

The mom and her baby

 Our stroke patient started mumbling out a few words the day after he came. The next morning his whole face lit up when we prayed with him and when I sang to him he started mouthing the words with me. With a few days of Mis Anita's great therapy lessons he was walking and responding to our questions. His family was so happy!

Learning to walk again

Enjoying his caring family and nursing staff

 I can't help but add this pic of one of my malnutrition cases that came in this week. I could NOT get her to smile the whole time I assessed her. Her face looked just like a sad little mouse. But when I popped out of the depot and she caught sight of the Herbalife can I was bringing for her, she reached out with both her skinny arms and broke into a priceless smile. Such moments stay in the heart forever.

      - Mis Katie

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

**Viewer Discretion Advised** Post by Tom

It was about 11 PM last night when the compound gate rattled and we found a man holding a bloody rag around his right arm. We took him to the clinic and found a nasty laceration about 1 1/2" long x 3/4" wide. He could not move his small and ring fingers which indicated that a tendon was either completely or partially cut. He had also lost a lot of blood.

He told us that he had tried to calm a fight that broke out over a soccer game when one of the other parties hit him with a broken glass bottle.

This is the cut after a hour of cleaning

Steve, Simon, and Anita discussing the best treatment options for the patient.

Tom starting an IV. The patient had lost a lot of blood.
Anita cleaning and stitching

After 11 stitches, the wound looked quite nice!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A World of Contrasts

Monday after clinic some of us took a hike to visit some friends way up the mountain.  It wasn't a clinic related hike, but I still wanted to share a little about it.  For those of you who also keep up with the Haiti Life blog, I think it'll be on there too.  

The scenery was amazing.  We probably climbed between 1000-1500 feet up out of the Aleg valley.

Many little trails  
This one is actually pretty flat and straight--unlike most we hiked that day.

This is the young couple we went to visit.  They come to church here in Aleg.
It took us about 2-2 1/2 hours to get to where they live.  

I didn't know this lady lived up in that area.  She is a clinic patient, and I was excited to see her.  

People in their garden planting beans

Again, viewer discretion advised

This is the same lady that was on the Monday post, and here are some more details and pictures.  Her eye lid and the surrounding area were very infected.  The skin was totally dead, and puss was oozing out.  It stank like crazy!  She had been in about a month ago and even went to T-Goave, but then went home and waited till it was in HORRIBLE condition to return.  I had my doubts as to whether her eye could even be ok under all that infection.  I cut away the bulk of the dead and infected skin and did a general cleaning.  The deep cleaning it needed was beyond me, but I wanted to at least clean it a little.  I didn't use anesthesia at all for what I didn't because she didn't have feeling where I needed to cut.  That's how dead it was.  After cleaning away a lot of the puss and dead skin, I did take a peek at her eye.  She could actually still see out of it.   I then gave her a transfer paper to go to T-Goave hospital.  Today I called and talked to her and the doctor in T-Goave, and he said she needs to go to Port as there isn't a surgeon there in T-Goave to do what needs done.  I just HOPE she actually goes and gets further treatment.  She has high blood sugar so of course that is complicating things.  

The mask was mostly for the purpose of keeping out a little of the stench.  

This is how it looked after I was done.  There was still a lot to clean, but with it being so near her eye and brain, I really didn't feel qualified to do extensive cutting and cleaning.

All bandaged up

This lady is only 38 years old

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