Thursday, September 29, 2016

  Monday dawned bright and clear. A perfect day for patients to travel to the clinic after a quiet weekend. The crowd waiting to be seen on the benches was huge when we arrived and it was obvious that this was going to be a long day with its share of challenges and opportunities.
  I put on my best face for the pushy crowd of older folks waiting to be seen for the hypertension program and began to assess them and listen to their complaints one by one. It's always refreshing when I ask how one of them is doing and the response is just a happy smile and the creole equivalent of "doing great!". However there are more that seem to require quite a bit of encouragement to look on the bright side of life.
   We have all been stretched a bit thin the last two weeks due to Kayla being gone on furlough and this being one of the busiest times of year. Monday was no exception. Clinic was finally wrapping up by mid-afternoon after over 140 people had been seen when a small man showed up all sweaty and excited saying that there was a lady in labor in Gran Fond (about a mile from the clinic) and that some how the guys that had been carrying the cot were no longer there and there was no way he could bring her down by herself. I decided I'd go ahead and drive up and pick her up as the situation sounded desperate enough. Halfway there I met a large crowd carrying her on a cot. Looked like her transportation was working fairly well but I stopped and let her and several other of her friends get on the UTV. One man who had been drinking kept trying to climb up and hang on the right side of the rig. I made sure he knew that it was not safe and that he couldn't ride their. Finally he gave up and we sorted out who was riding down with the lady and started off down the trail toward the clinic. Unfortunately a little ways down the trail the people riding with me frantically yelled at me to stop because that same guy had fallen off the right side while we were moving and was laying in the road behind me. He had somehow managed to hide out of my sight crouching on the right hand running board, slipped off because he was drunk and didn't have a good grip, and now had blood running from several cuts on the back of his head. After tying on a bandage to stop the bleeding we drove the last little stretch to the clinic where I cleaned up and dressed the fellow's wounds. He seemed a bit more subdued after that and stayed around the clinic for the rest of the afternoon because he had a headache which he claimed prevented him from walking home.
   The next evening Alyssa, Rachel and I ended up bouncing out the trail with this same lady due to her having complications and being unable to deliver her baby at the clinic.
   Around noon on Wednesday another laboring mother arrived who was very hypertensive with pre-eclampsia. She also didn't measure full term but she wasn't sure of her actual due date and had received no prenatal care. After doing everything we could Alyssa managed to bring her systolic BP down to around 180 from 215 and once again out the trail we went hoping to send her to the hospital in Fond des Blancs since they have excellent maternity care and OB services. We had planned to meet an ambulance at the hospital in Ti Goâve (the Ti Goâve hospital almost never has their maternity ward properly staffed) who would take her the rest of the way to her final destination but he got stuck behind an election campaign parade on his way back from Port au Prince and arrived an hour and a half after when he said he would.
   Delays and long waits are things one learns to deal with very early on when living in Haiti. They have a way of making you feel very helpless and insignificant and can be a great excersize in faith when things are out of your own control.
   Keep us in your prayers as Haiti is gearing up for a second try at a presidential election in a little more then a week. There is a lot of potential for instability and violence depending on how things turn out.
    Pray that we will all have the patience and grace to deal with frustrating circumstances the way that Jesus would and leave the battle in his hands.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Cholera is Back

Bang, Bang, Bang, the gate sounded just as were sitting down to a relaxing supper. No, not another Cholera case BUT yes it was. When the first case came in two weeks ago, I expected it to be a single case incident. However, it has turned into a small out break. Thankfully, all the cases have been contained to one zone. It has made for lots of clinic time, late night runs, changing IV’s etc. has made for some busy days. As of today, our numbers were at 19 cases we have admitted.

Ever since Cholera came to Haiti in 2010, it has been a battled “maladi”. Due to the increase rainfall in Haiti this year, the numbers are expected to be higher. We ask for your prayers as we work long and hard to educate people so that they can go back to their communities and teach them the importance of proper sanitation. In addition, how they can avoid spreading it within their families and communities. Pray that God would give us wisdom and Cholera would STOP if not against His will!
The Cholera Shack

We have also been having clinic days averaging about 110 people or more everyday. One day last week, it was getting long and hard, when it started to rain. Have you been praying, one of the girl's asked me. We both agreed we had been praying for something. God answered our prayer. The crowd didn’t get smaller but it stopped others from coming! We are blessed to be able to provide these people with hope and bring healthcare to many who wouldn't have it without the mission. 

Thanks to all of you who support us everyday. We could never do what we do it without the support of all of you. 

A few random pics from the past week….

Patrick cutting gauze. 

Rachel with one of her many bandage patients! 

One of the many little people I see everyday. He was very dehydrated the first day he came in. I didn't know what his story would be. However, with a course of treatment he is doing much better. 

This little 4 month old baby came in today. She has a full cleft palette and hair lip. She is doing amazingly well. Her parents are very caring and have been doing a great job of making sure she can get the nutrition she needs. We are in the process of arranging surgery for her in the near future. 

~ Mis Alyssa 

Friday, September 9, 2016

"Do you ever sleep?"

  As we were leaving a birth on Sunday night/Monday morning, one of the guys that was staying with another patient asked "Do you guys ever Sleep?". 
That's exactly how I felt that night. The laboring mother wasn't progressing as fast as we would've liked, Kayla and I were both extremely tired, and the mother was been very unreasonable with anything we asked her to do. She was very fearful because her 1st and only child had died when it was only 1 month old. We asked her if we could pray with her, and she agreed. We asked God to do a miracle and bring a healthy baby safely and speedily into this world. 

  Finally at 1:05am the baby made its appearance into the world with his cord wrapped around his arm, then yet again around his neck. We thanked God for yet another miracle.  

A cot has just arrived-the patient has been having diarrhea and vomiting since this morning, and is very dehydrated. Yes, it's cholera. We've gotten a lot of them from two different areas. It continues to amaze me how fast a person snaps back to normal when you get an IV running into them. You can join us in praying that the cholera wouldn't keep spreading. It can fast become a epidemic. 

       Mis Leda was working when this young 15 year old boy arrived. His mother says that he fell into the fire when she was out in town, and nobody took care the burn till they brought him to us. The smell was awful, and the maggots were sticking their little heads out all over the place. We cleaned it three times before we transferred him out to a bigger hospital.


The young boy who had the Burns. 

One of the ladies on the prenatal program had twins boys, they are a month and a half old and doing well. I thought I was kinda neat they were born on my birthday. 

-Mis Ellamae

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

As you have done it unto the least of these

       I have been reminded a lot recent of the verse in Matthew 25 that tells us when we care for someone, visit them, clothe them etc we are doing it unto Him. The thought has been encouraging to me knowing that even when I am at the end of my day, or feel like I have no strength left every act of love I show is unto the Lord!
     No matter what happens God IS Good ALL the Time! I sit here on my bed when I should really be sleeping, it's 10:30pm! I am very tired, but inspired to write. My exhaustion is more emotional than physical though.  You can feel so drained after you've done all you can do for a sick baby and it still doesn't fix it; then you have to go talk to some patient's family members about your policy of how many people can stay at the hospital overnight and they don't  listen! "Lord please give me patience for the moment and wisdom for what to say next!" You have a very busy clinic day and on your way back to the compound children are asking favors and all you want to to is get alone to rest and think.

   We have had a very busy week, large clinic days, emergencies and a couple births! In 3 days time we had two helicopter transports. The first Saturday morning for a young man of 21 who had fallen down the mountain on his way home Friday afternoon; from what we could tell he had a fracture on the left side of his pelvis, and two possible fractures in his right arm. Then Sunday late afternoon a 55 year old woman showed up on a cot with a very swollen right thigh  telling me her leg was broken. She had been climbing in a mango tree and a branch broke, causing her to fall. Hans admonished her she should have a younger person climb the mango trees. :-) Yes, we agreed her leg was broken and praise the Lord Monday morning was beautifully clear and we were able to fly her out.

   This past Thursday  I was brought a very malnourished dehydrated 16 month old! Oh how do they get to that place?? There is hardly anything to her! It was nigh unto impossible to get and IV line started so Alyssa and I put in an IO line. (Like an IV but you put it into the bone) That worked well until evening when it became dislodged and was perfusing the fluid into her leg. We again attempted and IV but to no avail, so that left us with instructing the parents to have the baby drink. That worked pretty well, and the parents were trying. She made pretty good progress, was drinking ORS/water and pediatric shakes. I was very pleased with how she perked up, she started reaching for water herself and drank well. I kept her through the weekend, thinking Monday if she was still doing well I might send her home with careful instructions and have her return in a week. Sunday night she wasn't feeling well and throughout Monday she wasn't as perky. Tuesday morning she was very dehydrated again and seemed like she had aspirated fluid or something into her lungs. We again attempted and IV unsuccessfully and reverted to an IO, that went very well and we once again had fluids running into her. She perked up through out the day but, didn't bounce back to where she had been. Tuesday night things looked grim. I felt so at a loss as to what to do. "God please give me wisdom..." I put her on a little oxygen because her respiratory status was depressed. After that there was nothing more i could do, it seemed her little body would not absorb anything. I told Hans and Ellamae we'll just have to leave it in God's hands and wait. I went to bed and slept peacefully. Around 5:30 this morning (i am finishing writing this Wednesday evening) the father came to the gate asking for me saying the little girl was very low... I went down and found her very weak, lethargic, feverish and with junk in her lungs. I started her with more fluids for the fever, propped her up to help with respiratory status. It seemed we were near the end....I had done what I could, now if God wanted her to continue living He would perform a miracle. Well, about 7am her little heart stopped and her breath was gone... God chose to take that little bud of life home to Him. My heart aches, but i know she is in the arms of Jesus!  She is healthy and well!
This is the little girl who passed away

    So many people I care for... I have medical knowledge to do what I can, but it is all in GOD'S hand! God and the Haitians have taught me say, "Mesi Jezi" for giving this child to me. Thank you that I had a chance to love her and the privileged of caring for her and her family!
   Thank you all so much for your prayers and support! We really need them and feel them! God carries us through each day no matter what it brings!
~Mis Kayla

Here are a few more pictures...

The little girl who lost her finger last week, getting a bandage change! It is healing very well!

One of my adorable "Plumpy Nut" children

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