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

Sunday, June 17, 2018

8,000 words 

Hi Everyone! Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’m thinking I already have over 8,000 words written, right? 

Once again, I’m sorry for the delay in posts. I’ve been determined to post photos and have tried multiple times and hadn’t been able to until now. 

Clinic this last month has been very busy. This past Friday was our biggest day with a total of 133 patients. I’m so thankful for Gods strength, grace, and love in our hearts when we feel like we can’t deal with one more patient. Without Him, we’d never be able to do it. 

I’ve got quite a few random photos from the past month. I was having such a hard time uploading them, that I kinda went crazy with the photos once I was finally able to do it. :)

This boy came in one afternoon a week or so ago. His friend had sliced his foot open between his toes with a pick while they were working in their garden. 

These two pics are of a ‘lil boy that spent several days at our clinic. He was very ill. I was thrilled to see him doing so well on Friday when he came back for his appointment! 

This is a baby I delivered a couple weeks ago. She had a long-ish labor and I ended up spending a lot of time with her and build a friendship. I was really happy to see her on Friday when she came for her post-natal appointment. Mom and baby are doing great so I didn’t have a good excuse to keep them. ;)This photo isn’t necessarily clinic-related but it’s of all us nurses and Mim (our wonderful cook and cleaner and much more) and Brea, a girl who’s visiting for several weeks, yesterday when we went visiting a friend of ours. She’s an older single lady who lives all alone and seems quite lonely. We had a really fun and relaxing couple-hours at her house. A definite fun break from clinic. ;) You might recognize this foot. Check out Ben’s post, several posts back. The one with the really nasty wound photos. This is that same foot and as you can see, to our delight, the wound is almost completely closed now.Here is Kayla and Kara with a baby that Kara delivered!We have a “milk program” at clinic for babies without a mother or who’s mother doesn’t have milk for them. We provide the milk and give appointments for every 2-weeks to keep an eye on the babies’ growth to make sure they’re actually getting the milk. Kayla had been responsible for the program but I took it over this month. I’ve been enjoying all the babies. The photo is of me with a set of twins who are on the program. 

Thanks so much for your prayers and support. We feel and appreciate it greatly! -Mis Emma 


Sunday, May 13, 2018

     So it's Friday about 3 weeks ago and we have plans to head off to Jess and carols for the weekend (friends of ours) we want to leave as soon as clinic is over and what do you know a beautiful stitch job comes in just as Clinic is about to close, so I sat down and got to work trying to hurry and do a good job at the same time. So how this happened is he was out cutting grass when he slept and fell slicing his hand open with his sepet. (Which is a tool that use to cut grass)
Thankfully no tendons were cut and he had movement in all his fingers.
     His hand was very stiff so we had him come back to do some therapy

Here's a little guy who came in to Clinic weighing 10 lb 6 oz and he's already 16 months old. Kayla started him off on antiparasite medication and vitamins she plans to see him again next week, pray that he can make up for lost time and maybe grow into his diaper a little.
Here's kara doing a small Stitch job. This man received a cut down close to his foot. He lost a lot of blood so they gave him IV fluids and kept him overnight.
One afternoon about 2 weeks ago a man comes hobbling into Clinic with one leg all wrapped up, you never know what you're going to find under the bandage. Here's after a week of bandaging it.
Here's after 2 weeks he's on antibiotics via IV
This man is not a Christian but seems to have an open heart pray that through loveing and ministering to him his heart would open and that he would receive Jesus as his savior. He will most likely be staying at the hospital here for a while.

(Here's a verse that spoke to me today,)

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

What love that is he has for us!!! And what a good reminder that the strength we have does not come from our self but it comes from our father who loves and cares for us.  
Keep praying for us and everyone we come in contact with your prayers are not in vain. ~Ben~

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Time flies saver each moment.

    Wow time is flying! Have I already been here 5 months? seems like time is going way too fast! I've really been enjoying the work here! Today I took our friend with the foot wound home, it almost seemed like saying goodbye to a staff  member since he had been at clinic for so long. We are all happy to see him doing well and to get back to life as he knows it.
The other man who was staying in the hospital room with him passed away, after we did everything we could and saw he still wasn't getting better. We talk to them about transferring him to a different hospital because he was in need of cardiac surgery, they couldn't see their way through that, so they just wanted to go home. He lived for about 3 weeks and died. Some of us were able to go to the funeral, It made his madam very happy to see us!
    The past two weeks we've had a dentist team here, they were pulling teeth, (lots of teeth!!!) doing fillings and one of them was making dentures. They were a great team and got a lot of work done!
      Just lately I was blessed by something we as humans might tend to call a smaller thing. One day as going about our normal clinic duties a wrinkled face smiley old man came in to get a bandage for a wound on his leg which was very old and smelly!! Sometimes you're not quite sure how to feel about a person and if I based the way I felt about him off of his smell and the way he looked I wouldn't have wanted to be around him! but the thought hit me what if I got to do this for Jesus? I would love to do a stinky smelly bandage like this for Jesus! I thought a little, I am doing this for Jesus, how different it is seeing things through that light! I noticed his feet were very dry with deep cracks in them so I got some lotion and lathered him up. He sat on the bed with the big smile on his face and then he looked at me and said "Dr I'm very happy". It made my day. I pray that I never see people as insignificant. We see patient after patient, I want to see each one as special and unique and help them to the best of my ability. (Ben)

Monday, April 9, 2018

First of all, I apologize for the late blog post. But, in my defense, we haven’t had WiFi for several days now, making posting impossible. There, I feel better now. :-)
We had the dentist team here again for the last almost-3 weeks and they were very busy pulling and repairing people’s teeth. It was really fun watching them work together on other people’s teeth...HUGE emphasis on the word “other”. :-) I’m no dentist but by all appearances, they’re doing a fantastic job!
They left this morning and things are feeling pretty empty. A huge thank-you to them for all their hard work and the fun times we had together.
I’m posting a couple photos. The first one is of me, removing a 6cm piece of a coffee plant from a mans leg. He said it’d been there for 3 years. Seems like a mildly stretched story to me but from the way it looked, I’m awfully tempted to believe it. I love removing splinters and this was the most enjoyable one to date. So, if you ever need a splinter removed, come over and I’ll be happy to take it out. Don’t wait 3 years and I probably won’t have to use a scalpel to do it. :) The second photo is of the dentist and an assistant working. Enjoy. :)

Until next time, Mis Emma.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Be thankful 

There are so many things to be thankful for! As I think right now, I'm healthy, my body is intact, I have enough food to eat, I have clothes to wear that aren't worn out and on top of all that I have lots of friends. I look around me and see neighbors who have much less than I do and yet are very happy and grateful for what they have. It reminds me to be thankful. We have so much to be thankful for. I want to always keep this in mind and never be unthankful.                          
     For the last 3 weeks we've had a man staying in our hospital room with a big open wound on his foot. He’s a very cheerful man, despite his malady and keeps the people in the hospital room upbeat and laughing. he's healthy and it seems a ‘lil different having a healthy person staying in the hospital room, we're really enjoying having him around!
     His wound started from stepping on a large thorn that grows on trees around here. He tried getting help from another clinic but when his foot was not making any improvement, he showed up here. His foot was very infected and beginning to rot. He showed up here approximately 12 days after stepping on the thorn.    
Here’s a photo of his foot the first day after we’d already done some debriding.
     We’ve been debriding and rebandageing his foot once or twice a day and have been seeing lots of improvement! It’s been really exciting watching the foot grow back and see new life form.
    The man's name is Remy and has become a good friend to us. He would profess to be a Christian. If you think of it, pray for him, his life has had lots of changes.
     If I can get the story straight, he was planning to get married and then someone in his family died over the same time they had planned to get married and the wedding was put off. Also, his girlfriend had their first baby the day he arrived here. Two days ago, his girlfriend came to visit for the first time. He was all smiles and super proud holding his baby for the first time. We were too. 😉 He doesn’t plan on going home until his foot is healed completely. I am thankful for that! Pray that it would progress quickly and that infection would not set in. God has been so good and so faithful in giving us the patience we need and I've really been enjoying bandaging his foot. Please keep us all in your prayers. We daily need God to refill us with his love. until next time, Ben😉

Here’s a photo of all of us clinic staff with him and his girlfriend and their child along with his girlfriends sisters.

This is what his foot looks like currently.

Here he is a photo of him helping do his own bandage a week or so ago.

This is a week after he came. Every time we’re tempted to feel discouraged about progress, we look at photos like this one. :)

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Our miracle from God

   It started out as a normal gate knock- if any gate knock at 3 in the morning can be considered normal. We walked down to clinic where we found a lady who very much looked and sounded like she was ready to have a baby. After getting them inside in the clinic and checking the lady out we found the baby would not be born quite yet. Her blood pressure was alarmingly high so we gave her something for that and continued to monitor her as a new day dawned sunny and beautiful here in the mountains. We did decide to go back to the house for a bit to get more properly ready for the day and to eat a bite.
   Clinic started as usual for the day and I for sure thought we would soon have a baby! Her blood pressure was not coming down like we had hoped it would so we continued medication for that and also gave something to increase contractions. The lady was not being overly cooperative with us and so much of our time was spent coaching her and trying to get things to move along more quickly.
   We were grateful to have Dr. Shepherd there with us, a doctor who had come on a team to work at clinic for a few days. His experience was extremely helpful and we would later find out, invaluable. 
   After what felt like hours- actually it was hours- of coaching and attempting to get this baby to be born, the baby was here- but with the cord around the neck. They quickly removed the cord but instead of a crying, flailing baby there was only silence. The doctors immediately started chest compressions and mouth-to- mouth. Time seemed to stand still... they worked on the little dear for a good 15 minutes trying to get a heartbeat. The room felt tense as we waited for a breath, anything to know she was going to make it. Finally after what felt like hours,  the baby did start to take some breaths on its own and hope filled our hearts as our prayers continued to ascend to the Heavenly Father. I cannot describe the feelings that were going on in that tiny room. I only know that God looked down on our clinic, heard the prayers of our hearts to please bring life to this child and help her to live! God answered our prayers with a miracle right before our very eyes.
   But that’s not the end of the story. They had moved the baby to another area in the room to continue oxygen and monitoring. I happened to glance over at the mom only to see her having a full blown seizure. It was another very scary moment... but God once again brought her through ok!
  Once the baby was more stable, I sat and held her. I held the oxygen to her and listened to her little gaspy breaths. She still had not cried at all so every now and then we would try to get her a little upset:) We also put an IV in her to give her some fluids and she even sucked some on a bottle which amazed us all!!
We continued to monitor both mama and baby for a few days and we are so happy to say that they are both doing extremely well! She acts like a normal baby and has a wonderful set of lungs!:) God is so good! Today we watched them leave and I can’t describe the joy of seeing the happy parents with their beautiful baby girl... the Dad is so proud and the mom is the perfect picture of happy first time motherhood. And the baby...well I don’t think you could get any cuter!!:)
  The dad had asked Kayla and I to name the baby and so we chose the name, Jiana Hope. Jiana means God is gracious. 
  Friends, God does answer prayer and He certainly did for us! It also amazes me to think that God knew all along that those doctors would be at our clinic on February 20 and how much we would need them here! 

If you don’t believe in miracles, well I hope you do now, because God gave us a miracle that day right before our very eyes! 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Gods plan, the best plan. 

“We need you Mis. My dad fell of a horse and his pain is eating him”. I smiled to myself at his way of explaining his dads pain and assured him that we’d come see what was up. Ben, Autumn and I ran down to clinic to find him on a typical ‘lil make-shift cot right outside of our clinic gate along with a crowd of people. We transferred him to our emergency room and did a quick assessment. He had a large hematoma on his forehead and when Autumn moved his arm his upper arm showed an “elbow” where there isn’t supposed to be one...a very broken humerus and none of us found it humorous. :) We set and splinted it and put him in our hospital room for the night and Ben transferred him to a hospital in Grand Goâve early the next morning to get it casted.
That same afternoon, he shows back up at clinic on a moto...just like he left. No cast, just the same splint we’d put on him. I think every single one of us groaned. He had an ex-ray from the hospital but said that the hospital in Grand goâve told him that they don’t have a Dr who can set and cast bones for 2 more days and advised him to go back to the blans (whites).
Backing up a ‘lil, in the meantime we figured out that he was the father of two brothers who had robbed our mission a couple years ago. They had broken into one of our houses while everyone was gone and taken quite a few electronics and cash. Since then, different ones have been able to become friends with them.
Anyways, so when their father came back to clinic that afternoon, we had no choice but to cast his arm. None of us current nurses had ever done a cast before so it wasn’t the speediest process ever. We had had a long day and I think most of us were tempted to feel very discouraged and pretty annoyed at the lameness of the other hospital. We had invited company for supper and we would’ve all loved to be enjoying good food with them.
The dear ‘lil old man was incredibly tough and had an amazing pain tolerance. He had to have been in a ton of pain but he just sat there and grinned as I cocked his hat to the side (just cause that’s what I do to people who wear hats to clinic. For no reason, it’s just a weird Emma-thing and I’m not even embarrassed about it). His wife just sat there with a very calm and concerned look on her face the entire time and his son (the one who robbed us) was a huge help as we casted not only once, but twice. We casted the first time and it didn’t seem quite right. I had this weird gut feeling about it and Kayla and Ben seemed like they did too so we proceeded to remove it and start over. case you didn’t know, casts are super hard to remove without the proper equipment. It took probably an hour to get it completely removed before we could start over. His son was a huge help to us. He did most of the cast removal and we actually had a lot of fun. We did the 2nd cast and were MUCH more satisfied with how it turned out.
As they were leaving, and I stood there pondering the last 24 hours events, all the confusion made sense. The robber, the very un-Christian family, The broken arm, the lame hospital and the Gods love in our hearts. God gave us the opportunity to spend several hours working closely with them and serving them in that way and looking back, it was beautiful. Yep, there was quick research and quite a bit of sweat too but I think it was Gods plan and I feel honored to be a part of His kingdom.

Look past the unknown and allow God to use you. Lend your ear and offer that cup of cold water to the least of these today, friends. It’s worth it. Very worth it - I promise.
I’m posting a few photos of Ben, Kayla and I doing the cast. Enjoy. :)
-Mis Emma

Sunday, January 28, 2018


She slipped into my hands with a shower of miconium staining and amniotic fluid. Her lips were tinged blue and her chest lay still. The minutes seemed like hours as we rubbed her and blew air into her tiny mouth, willing her to breathe. With the aid of breaths and oxygen, her chest began to rise and fall all by itself. And she broke the silence with the most beautiful cry ever. Miracles happen to those that believe. And our miracle came in the form of a tiny little girl that Mis Emma named Nevaeh.
A bit of background on this baby and her parents. She is the 7th and only living child. All the other babies died between 5-7 months of gestation. Cause of death isn't exactly known. Quite possibly the mother had preeclampsia, as she did with this baby as well. It was exciting to see her get past 7 months and still have her baby. She was afraid though and we worked to keep her blood pressure at a safe level. In the end, everything turned out ok. I felt honored to have been able to deliver that little girl and help to give her breath. God gave us a miracle right before our eyes, and we're so thankful to him for giving us wisdom through the whole experience. We couldn't have done it on our own. Everytime I see a birth, I'm struck again by how amazing a new life is. There's nothing quite like holding a slippery perfect little human in your hands and listening to them cry. It's all so worth it. Every sleepless night. The days when your hair stands on end, your eyes are red rimmed and basically crossed, and your brain just gave up on trying to understand the language. Nursing can be hard and heartbreaking. But I wouldn't trade my blood splattered flipflops and sweaty days for the cleanest, coolest medical facility in the states. Haiti and its people have stolen my heart. And I'm proud to call this tiny island home.
As a side note, I'm Autumn🤗 I was down here for 2 months and worked in the pharmacy. My gallbladder decided to give up on me and I was in the states for 4 months having it removed and recovering. Now I'm back working in the prenatal program. And I honestly couldn't be happier 😊❤
Until next time.
Bondye beni ou💙
Mis Autumn💊

Saturday, January 20, 2018

“Ding ding ding” -it’s a very familiar sound around here. Its the sound that could mean basically anything. It could mean that there’s a neighbor kiddo at our gate asking for the same thing he’s been asking for all afternoon and the afternoon before, or it could be someone alerting us of an emergency at clinic. It’s often the sound that makes us mentally groan...ok yes, I’ll admit it, I have audibly groaned. 

 We’ve been staying pleasantly busy at clinic. We’ve been delivering lots of babies and none of us are sad about it. In fact, just knock on our gate and tell us there’s a laboring mother on the way and you’ll make any one of us happy. :-) While you’re at it, check your clock to make sure it’s not supper time and you’ll make us even happier. We’re not picky, it’s just a thought. :-) 

The miracle of each new birth never ceases to amaze me and being able to help brand new, slippery, and hopefully screaming babies into this world is highly exhilarating. I’ve learned to LOVE the sound of a new-borns cry-especially if I don’t hear it right away. We’ve had a couple of those in the last couple weeks (check out the last post if you haven’t already) and God’s faithfulness and strength is those times is beyond amazing. We serve an awesome miracle-working God. 

We like suturing too so if you ever need sewn up, those gate knocks are welcomed too...just make sure it’s a nice clean cut, those are funnest (I AM aware that that’s not a word). Again, not picky at all.  


Here’s a pic of the 3 other nurses besides myself with a baby they had just delivered. 

This is our ‘lil burn guy. I wish I had a pic of his burn when he first came in to show you all. Someone apparently accidentally dumped a boiling pot of soup on him and the side of his face, neck and down the side of his trunk were burned badly. He’s a brave ‘lil trooper and comes every day to get rebandages. His burn is healing up beautifully and we may or may not be getting attached to him. :-)

And this is me...and I think it’s self explanatory. 

Once again, pray for us and thanks for praying. Until next time. -Mis Emma 

Monday, January 15, 2018

It’s me again and to be perfectly honest, I haven’t the foggiest idea what to write about. Life here can hardly ever be considered “normal” but when the unusual, unexpected, and abnormal happens consistently enough it basically becomes normal and I don’t know which thing to write about. 
 We closed clinic for a ‘lil over two weeks for “vacation” and spent most of it scrubbing and getting everything re-organized and ready for 2018. I think everyone is really enjoying being back in clinic life and working in a newly cleaned and organized facility.
We’ve been having very nice-sized days here at clinic which gives us a ‘lil time on some afternoons to go visit friends or invite friends over to play ball or make food together.
I’m still loving working with my dear blood pressure patients. Mr Chocolate, from my last blog post brought me his promised chocolate and today I was promised a beautiful chicken. :-)
I’m gonna throw a few random photos on here and hope that they’ll upload for me this time. I’ll  let them speak for themselves. :) 

Thanks for praying for us! -Mis Emma

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