Sunday, September 29, 2013

Visiting Elvie

Whitney, me, Dr Felix, Bro. Mark (background), and Elvie's daughter
Elvie on the bed

This story
This story didn't just happen, but I still wanted to tell it!
 After clinic last Fri, we gathered supplies, headed home for a quick lunch, and then loaded into the Bobcat to do a house visit.  This house call was a little different as we intended to do a paracentesis for our patient who was in the hospital a few weeks back, Elvie by name.  It was Glendon, Dr Felix, Whitney, and I who went.  We could drive as far as Brother Mark’s house.  From there it’s a little trail down the mountain about 15 min.  We had tried to send word for them to have her at Mark’s house, but that didn’t work so down the mountain we headed.  They were very happy to see us.  Before we could start to remove the fluid, we needed to start an IV.  I was able to hang the IV from the beam; it worked well!  J  Dr. Felix then set to work, and we removed 3,850 ml (a gallon) of fluid. 

It started raining while we were there so we waited out the rain for a while before deciding we better brave it even if we got wet.  The climb back up was a little slippery since the trail was now wet, but we made it.  I was glad to be able to visit her again, but I would say she seems to be getting weaker.  Do pray for her and her family.  

                                                                                                                                                                     My little friends and I (on the far left is Elvie's                                                                                                  youngest daughter)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The little Sam boy...

 I was just letting out a deep sigh of relief after a rather stressful birth on Saturday, when I was called outside to check a patient. He was laying in the arms of his mother...and I almost had to dig around in the blankets to find him. A tiny, itsy-bitsy, face peered out at me. His name was Samuel.

 After gently laying him on the exam table, I unwrapped him and just stood and stared a minute. His legs were so tiny and so wrinkled they looked like they could break as easy as a pretzel stick. Not only that, but I saw he was totally club-footed. He had no strength, and only mewed out little cries like a baby kitten. His limbs flopped flaccidly against the blanket. He weighed 3 lbs. 12 oz. His little nose was so tiny it looked like he almost forgot to grow one. :)

 Then started the hours of trying to get that tiny little mouth to suck. I dribbled milk into his mouth with a medicine dropper, until he had the strength to suck from a preemie bottle nipple. What a JOY to see him finally latch onto that bottle nipple and suck away as if his life depended on it.  "That's life and health, little Sam boy," I whispered. Overnight, his sunken cheeks started filling out, his little limbs started flailing around, and he started nosing around hungrily for milk.

 ...Our little head boy came in for rebandaging today. He looked very doubtfully at me when I removed his bandage, and a few huge tears squeezed out when I cleaned his wounds. No doubt he's still traumatized from the stitch job the other night. After his screams of, " I'm going to give you all shots and beat you ALL!" while we were stitching him, Ro and I are trying to make him believe we're his friends.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Loud, kicking, screaming, uuuuu another hit.

Sunday afternoon we got word there's a dad by the gate with his son who needs medical help.
The picture talks plenty enough. He fell and he cut his upper for head open and his chin as well. He would not be comforted whatsoever and after hours of hard work Rhoda and Katie were excited to take a breathe of fresh air. The little boy screamed and shouted and tripled the effect with his hands and feet. Finally a few of us had to hold him down and what tired arms some of them ha after hour and half of holding him!!!!
I really admire the nurses for being able to stitch something like that. It showed the skull and we were scared that he had a concussion. Doctor in Port told Anita to keep a watchful eye on him overnight and then sen him out Monday morning. The doctor said there was no concussion so they are back up here in the mountains again. We are thankful it wasn't worse.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Diagnosis of the boy with the clouded eye.

Here is the diagnoses we received from the clinic out by Titayan where we sent the little boy with the clouded eye. Also an update from this morning. He came to the clinic this morning and Anita is now working on trying to book him in with a surgeon in Port for the needed surgery. Pray that we would find the right surgeon and that it would be successful.
> And now for the details from Dr. Hager. The official diagnosis was a cloudy cornea likely as a result from a herpes eye infection. He does not currently have an active viral infection.

> His recommendation was to see an ophthalmologist in PAP for surgery to remove the cloudiness from the cornea. He said that even in the US, under the best of circumstances, the best outcome would be a lazy eye with poor vision. But, there is a chance that the surgery would not be successful at all.
> The eye was a bit infected so he gave him the besivance eye drops, 1 drop in the eye four times daily for 7 to 10 days. He also put some drops in his eye for pain.

If you wish to see a picture of the boy with the clouded eye just scroll down to one of the post from last week. Thank you all for praying and for the interest in the work here.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Patient transfer and house call.

Taking a patient to Grafu.
    On Wednesday I came home from church to find out that Glenden is taking Anita and Katie to Grafu for a house call, so I jumped with. First we picked up this gentleman above, he is I believe 87 years old and has different ailments, shigilosis for one and I'm not sure as to what the others are. But we dropped him of at the catholic school there and after finishing the house call, he was still sitting. It seemed to me he couldn't last much longer.
Thought this picture would give you an idea of how little certain colors mean
to Haitians. This is Boss Marks house, I was amazed at how thorough and
perfect everything was built. 

Anita and Katie posing for a picture with Boss Marks mom.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Where Is My Toothbrush?

      Besides telling some people it is a good idea to brush their teeth, we have been having fun giving out a few free toothbrushes, tooth paste, and bath towels recently.
     Somewhere in the fluff and stuff we found we have these nice little hygiene kits waiting for recipients. Well, giving things away is a lot of fun. So, yes, this week has been good so far.
    Monday, Katie and I took a nice little tramp up the mountain to Madam Jill's house. She is a tiny, shrunken up Grandma, with hardly anyone to care for her. Her blood pressure is dangerously high, and her feet are swollen. We had fun taking her some meds, praying with her, and handing her one of the little hygiene kits. She wanted us to tie the towel from the kit around her head to keep her warm.
     Another day, we got to give a little old Grandma we call Freckles a hygiene kit. Today we gave our little friend, Chelo, a kit.

    He was so happy to have his picture taken. Chelo lives with his mom. Sometimes he asks her why their dad doesn't help to take care of them. Sometimes he reads the Bible to his mom, now that they have one in their house.
     Please pray for us as we do the best we can with what knowledge we have. Sometimes the reality of our shortcomings is depressing. In the medical world, so little room is left for mistakes. Please pray that God would empower our minds and hands for His work in this tiny, hilly corner of Earth.

~Mis Rhoda

Monday, September 16, 2013


Whitney entering med's inventory

Rhoda and Whitney spend a good part of each Saturday
in the pharmacy restocking and doing inventory,

Last night I answered a knock at the gate before the others got home form
the orphanage, there were 36 people with him, he was said to have fallen on
the mountain and hurt his eye. Smelling of alcohol it's not that hard to believe.

It's badly swollen on the inside, so gave them a choice to stay here, or we
would pay him has way to Ti Goave to see if there could be more wrong then
we can see at this point. He does see out of that eye but not as good.

The pharmacy workers busy as bees like usual.
This old gentleman we have dubbed "tap tap" he always comes tapping
onto the mission compound, tapping his way across Steve's porch, and then
the regular "tap tap" sound on the door asking for food.  He lives up the
mountain and is almost blind. I don't have a picture of him and his wife but
they are quite the lovely couple. He walks the steep mountain trails quite a bit
each week but sometimes he falls and then ends up at the clinic needing tender
loving care. Miss Katie is in charge of him this round, and he wanted a pain shot
so he asked Shana if she could tell the nurses to give him one. He was so happy.
Here is another of those cases where we don't know which way to turn, because we know
there is help out there for him possibly but they/not we don't have funds to do anything about
it. He has been like this for 2 years now. Coming for check ups regularly but not getting
anywhere closer to finding out what's wrong with it and what if anything can be done with
it. But we decided to send him out to a mission close to the CAM base this coming Friday.
There is a team of eye specialist and surgeons coming and they are willing to do a
consultation for him and see if he can be helped. Once we find out, we will need funds to
pay for the procedure and up keep afterwards.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Balloon Day!

Possibly these happy little faces won't mean as much to everyone else as they do to us nurses.  We decided to have balloon day for the children and give a balloon to each child that came through the clinic.  It was fun to see their responses!

This little fellow has been coming with an abscess type wound on the side of his head.  Being only 17 months old, he has a hard time holding still and not screaming.  This day, we told him that if he did well, we'd give him a balloon.  He understood that.  He'd cringe when it hurt but hardly let out a peep!  

For those of you who know our gardener Celeste, this is his youngest child

This little fellow is on the malnutrition program and got a balloon this day too!  He's 2 y.o. and quite small for his age.  

Self explanatory!

Someone had taken the knot out of this balloon.  I guess that way they could have more fun with it!  

Here is another happy face but not because of a balloon.  Do you remember that lady back some months ago had a horrible infection around her eye?  The flesh and tissue surrounding her eye were totally rotting away.  I had done basic cleaning and old flesh and tissue removal.  Then we had told her she must go out for further help.  Thank God she did!  She spent about 2 months out in Port Au Prince getting treatment.  Just this past week she came back to the clinic.  I didn't even recognize her.  It is totally healed.  She has scar tissue and I'm sure all the muscles and tissue didn't grow back as her lower eye lid doesn't close normally.  It's just amazing though!  She became a Christian too.  Fre Adolph was telling her how God gave her that eye twice, and now all she can do is use it totally for Him!  It's so exciting to see people healed physically, but more exciting yet is knowing we are touching lives for eternity!  

Madelene and I

On Thurs afternoon all of us white nurses along with Dominique, Selma, and Joatase, took off hiking to visit some friends, clinic patients, and go to a cell service in Bessenget.  We wanted to visit Elvie, the lady who had all the fluid in her abdomen as well as Madelene who lives in the same area.  We set off equipped with backpacks, bottles of water, snacks, and a small emergency kit.  It's about an hour and a half hike, but when we were over half way there, it started raining!  These days you never know when it will or will not rain in the afternoon.  Putting what needed kept dry in bags, we continued our hike.  By the time we arrived at the cell group leaders house, we were totally soaked.  They told us we should take cover, but we said we were already soaked.  The road that vehicles can travel ends there, and we continued on little foot paths going down the mountain.  Of course the trails were quite treacherous by now from the rain so we slipped and slid our way down.  About 20 min further down the trail we finally arrived at Elvie's house.  She and her daughters we so happy to see us and us to see them.  

It continued to pour rain so we were glad to be under cover.  We sat there and rested starting to get cold since we were totally soaked.  Elvie seems to be doing well in the Lord, but her abdomen is all filled up with fluid again so do pray for her.  Her husband arrived there the same time we did and was very drunk.  I'm sure it's not an easy situation.  
After a while we sang with them a little and prayed before headed back out to face the rain. It still hadn't stopped, but we knew we needed to get home before dark so didn't have much option.  Basically just across the path from Elvie's house and down the mountain side is where Madelene lives.  She came out to see us as we didn't want to take time to go in.  It was very sweet of her to also give us a sack of avocados.  Back up the trail we headed.  It was actually much easier this time because the rain had washed a lot of the mud off the rocks, and it wasn't nearly as slippery.  

When we got up to the cell group leaders house, we met up with Pastor Levy, Met Claudener, Met Girard, and his wife who had come out to visit people and have a service.  The rain kind of changed the plans, and we weren't able to go visiting together.  It seemed though that everyone had a good time.  We would have needed to keep hiking because of the lateness of the hour, but Levy had called and asked for a machine to come get us since it had rained.  We were then able to stay and enjoy a meal and a little service there before we all headed back to Allegue.  

~Mis Anita

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A baby in the night... Whitney Reporting!

 Last Thursday night we girls had just finished spending a relaxing girl's evening together down at 'Nita and Rho's abode when we heard someone ring the doorbell... The gate, that is.  Someone was making a clatter at the gate, summoning for our attention.
Glenden soon answered the call and came back shortly, telling us what we were already anticipating- 'There's a lady up at the clinic that's in labor."

'Nita and I are on a team, with Rhoda and Kate making another, to take care of after hour calls, and that night it was 'Nita's and my turn.  We told each other that we'd go check the lady, she wouldn't even be in active labor, we'd come back, go to bed, and we'd sleep. Of course we said that laughing, but we really did think we'd probably be back shortly with no baby born that night.   I didn't even put on a scrub top, since they were all up at the other house anyway. I said before we left that I knew better than to go without, cause everytime I go without one, I end up needing one and wishing I'd worn one...:)
Well, Glenden escorted us to the clinic, 'Nita checked the lady, she was laboring quite actively along, and we stayed to wait it out. I thought it served me right for not grabbing a scrub top! :P

Things progressed fairly quickly, though not as quickly as the mother wished.   She kept entreating 'Nita for a shot of pitocin to make things go faster, and 'Nita patiently kept telling her that she was making very good progress and that it wouldn't be good to make it go faster. We knew she wasn't convinced about that when she started calling 'Nita 'wicked' and 'evil' in Creole! The girl's mother, who was there assisting too, found that quite amusing, as did we! :)

'Nita had some very peaceful music playing, and I thought the lyrics to one of the songs were very fitting when it said, "Now is your time of sorrow, but soon you will rejoice..."
And she did!  At about 2:30a.m, she had a charming little 7lb. 8oz. girl with at least one dimple, maybe two. :) I bathed and bundled her while 'Nita finished assisting with the mother.   As she helped her out of the delivery room, she asked her, "Am I still evil?" She responded with a nod and a smirkish grin on her face. :)
It was nearing 3:00a.m, and were almost ready to go back home, go to bed, and sleep.   It was time to radio home...
"Glenden, do you have a copy, Glenden?" *pause* *repeat*
"Yes, I have a copy."
"We're ready for you to come get us."  
Below is another baby- a boy, that  was born on another late night last week.  That time Rho and  Kate were on call, but DominQue and I were feeling too energetic to go to bed (maybe linked to the fact that we'd  had iced coffee with supper? :), so we got  permission to go down and assist too.  That was a very quiet, peaceful birth.  The baby was actually delivered into his Grandma's arms. :) The picture was taken the next morning.                                                                                                        Have a great day! :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Cholera, Hungry Baby's, Stitches and Katie's Flying Pen!!!!!!!!!!

We had another person coming in with cholera this
morning, Glenden and I took him to the clinic/hospital in
Basis. Here I'm disinfecting the machine before we come
back home.

This mom has had 5 baby's and this time she just doesn't
have enough milk for it. So we are most likely going to be
putting it on the Milk Program soon.

This guy came back for a check up and re-dressing job this morning.

Rhoda and Katie discussing what can be done with
a patient Katie was diagnosing. (Notice Katie's Pen
is going quite fast?!!!!!!!)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Thursday Thoughts and Things---- Pictures and Descriptions by Jon Hofer

   "I fell." That pretty much sums it up. And that is why when I come in with a bloody shirt, and a mangled up head, I don't really care how it happened, I just want that cut shut up.
   But unluckily, the nurses look at it different. They begin plaguing me with questions like, "When did this happen? How did you fall? How old are you? When did you eat last? And on and on....
   If my head hadn't already been hurting, I am sure it will start to now, because of these questions.
   So, sparing you all the important details, we will give you a little summary of a Thursday afternoon when Katie is on call and Rhoda stops in to visit her.

Rhoda stitching away. Your learning how to sew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good for you:)

   We were singing to the Grandma in the hospital room and having a fun time. Her little grand daughter is a joy to the soul, and we were having fun helping her sing her little heart out, when a stretcher appeared at the gate.
     Katie and I found some gloves and let our little friend to her own devices for the next five hours. Then we stared at the man with a gouged up face, and a bloody turban hat who was lying on the stretcher.
Me and Katie hard at work cleaning wounds.
     The man that came in did not seem quite normal. He hardly spoke, and seemed to have a hard time understanding us. His head was covered with a horrible crusty, yellow coating that made it extremely difficult to get anything to a satisfactory point of cleanliness. Thankfully, after awhile, our olfactory nerves stopped working so well, and we were able to get on with the poking and pricking necessary to close up the six or seven more major cuts on his face.
    Fortunately,Nate walked in to help us as we finished the stitching on that man, because meanwhile people were stopping by and wanting to get meds or have Mis Katie take a look at them.
     And then, another man seated himself outside. He had a nice long gash across the dead center of his head, and a blood soaked shirt and face. Here comes stitch job number two.The gashes were not as dirty this time, and the man did a very good job of holding his head still.
     In a couple of hours, we had the twenty-one stitches in place, and were wiping down the exam table.
     Then it was time to say good-night to the Grandma, who has been in our hospital for a week. Her stomach keeps filling up with fluid, and it is hard to see her suffering so much. She really enjoys when we sing or pray with her. Her daughters and other family do a very nice job of cleaning up after her and making the hospital a pleasant place for her to be.

This is our sweet christian lady, with her daughter and grand child! There are only 3 options for this lady, and all will end up the same way. She will die soon, it's so sad that there is really no help in all of Haiti for her, not even help to make her comfortable to the end. We need a doctor to come basically every two days to drain the fluid of her stomach and that is basically impossible to do. She is alive in Jesus and her daughter is very kind and helpful. That is the joyful part, the fact that she is ready to meet her Maker.
This little girl has been such a blessing. It's such a stark difference between a God fearing person and one who doesn't know anything but the horrible lashes of the devil.
     So,we went home, and ate mashed potatoes. After a few hours of letting them digest, we heard a knock on the gate. This time it was Anita and Whitney who breezed down to the clinic to check things out. After a few hours with that lady, they got to pose with a brand new baby girl, and welcome the week-end in with a positive note.
Whitney and Anita with the baby.
      Just a quick note before I publish this post. As we were starting supper Friday night, there was a knock on the gate, Nathan went to see what's going on, "cheers", just what we were looking forward to, another lady in labor. So Rhoda and Katie (Team B) quickly ate and went down to clinic. The baby was born around 12:30!!!!!!!          Jon

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The JOY of progress...


 She was carried in by her father...laying limp in his arms. Her face was swollen and the skin on her entire body was flaking off like the scales of a fish. Her abdomen and extremities were swollen tight with edematous fluid and her hair was brittle and discolored...another sign of her severe protein deficiency. I saw no hint of a smile in her face. 

 We gave her a box of Herbalife protein powder and another appointment. Over the next 2 months we slowly saw a miracle happen. Every appointment she cried as I inspected her flaking skin and flaccid extremities. Slowly I saw improvement. Still no smile on her sad little face. A few weeks later however, after still another box of protein powder, I stared in amazement as a little girl bounced into the clinic. Suddenly, I recognized her. Her face was shining, her skin was smooth, her limbs were strong! And best of all she wore a beautiful smile.

Before and. . . 


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Eternity awaits

Yesterday afternoon/evening was very sobering and sad for us but also very exciting!

This is just a little update about the lady that we blogged about yesterday with heart failure.  As was mentioned, when she came in, she was in bad shape.  I quickly got her on oxygen in an attempt to stabilize her.  She soon calmed down significantly, and after checking a few more things out, I went home.  Mis Joselaine was on call at the clinic so I knew she'd alert me if there were any big changes.  When Mis Joselaine headed home at 5:30 she reported that all was well with our patients.  

It wasn't long after that we got a knock at the gate saying a nurse was needed at the clinic.  I was soon going to go down anyway just to do an evening check on everyone so I soon headed off.  As I walked in my first patients seemed fine, but in the back corner, I found the lady with heart failure laying on the floor with her oxygen off.  We got her back in bed and oxygen back on.  At that point what I saw alarmed me because from 3 pm - 6 pm she had worsened noticeably.  

I then came home and discussed the situation with Steve and Shana as I realized we may need to take her out.  Michael went down with me to give a second opinion.  Our conclusion was that she was indeed in very serious condition--likely have repeated heart attacks.  We wouldn't be able to find the help she needed in Ti-Goave and likely the trip to Port-au-Prince would be too stressful for her.  Even there the chance of finding any real medical treatment for her condition was pretty grim.  

After again having a little meeting with Steve, we went down to talk to the family about it.  In that short time, we again noticed that she was going down hill fast!  We also asked Bro. Claudener to come pray with her.  Michael had tried talking to her, but she was almost in and out of consciousness.  I feel God gave her a window of alertness as Bro. Claudener was able to talk with her and lead her to the Lord.  We stood around her bed and prayed, sang, and rejoiced with the angels.  One of the songs we sang was, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus".  In Creole the ending lines are, "He is waiting for you with open arms, Jesus wants to give you life."  As we repeated that line, we had no idea if she had a few hours or a few days.  

Praying with the lady

The decision was made not to take her to town.  We'd let her in the hospital room over night and if she lived through the night, she'd probably go home to die.  After wrapping things up, we again headed home.  Now at about 9:30 pm the last few of us sat down for supper.  We were still eating when Nate, who was taking our second oxygen tank down to the clinic, called on the radio saying she was gasping for breath.  Michael headed back down.  I didn't feel like I was needed at the clinic so soon headed to my house.  Yes, sooner rather than later Jesus called her home!  

She was a young women of only 32 with 2 children--11 and 6.  Sometimes we don't understand, but it's comforting to know it's all in God's hands!  Days like that are very hard, but also rewarding when even on death's door, you get to tell someone of Jesus' love.  

Pray for her family and pray for us, especially clinic staff, as things like this aren't easy!  

Monday, September 2, 2013

Clinic Update

This little guys name is Jude, Versine. He was Born March 13, 2013. The grandma came in with the baby first, treating it very unkindly as if it were a toy that isn't worth anything. We couldn't do much because the mom had left the baby and went out to Port Au Prince.
Today the mom came in with him. Her face plainly show she isn't one bit interested in life anymore, she doesn't care if she lives or dies right now. All of it stems from her in-laws and husband who don't treat her good. That is why she left for Port for a month. She can't nurse the baby anymore because it's to sick and she hadn't nursed it for a month. Anita encouraged her to nurse but it didn't work. Anita then shared the gospel with her and told her she needs God. She then said she used to be a Christian but stopped. I guess discouragement from her family situation.
The baby is now on the Milk Program. And Shana and Anita will continue to work with the mom. Please pray lots for her that she would rise and shine, because Jesus is bigger then her problems.
If you feel led to sponsor this child or any other child on the milk program feel free to contact  Donovan Hostetler- Phone:1-608-475-9504
Mailing Address:
Gospel To Haiti
 PO Box 3. Richland Center WI 53581
Also check out our Nourishing the Needy Blog.
This is Boss Marks mother, we blogged about her last week, she has quite high sugar
levels and Anita's been giving her insulin for a week now to stabilise it. She has also been
working with the family on training what they need to do to keep her stable. Hopefully
tomorrow they'll be able to release her.

This lady came in this morning gasping for breath, in heart failure. Her O2 stat was 63%
instead of 100% which is where a normal persons is. Anita isn't quite sure what the cause is
as of yet.

This 53 year old lady came in with kidney failure last week on Friday. The doctor was here
and he aspirated around 93 ml of backed up fluid from her stomach with a needle. Doctor
Felix is on holidays from the hospital in Ti-Goave so he offered to come up here tomorrow.
He will drain fluid again. They are trying to stabilise everything and send her home. There
isn't much hope that she will live. But she shared that she used to be a christian but turned
her back on God. But yesterday she asked for prayer and rededicated her life to the Lord.
She is so happy today and is definitely ready to meet her Maker now.

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