Thursday, November 25, 2021

The only way God can show us He's in control is to put us in situations we can't control. -Steven Furtick. 


Control. It feels good. It feels powerful. And sometimes it's hard to admit when you're not. But there's also something so beautiful, peaceful, when we hand it all over to the Father; broken and realizing how little we can do outside His will. Surrender. 


This is how we were found on Monday.  A crazy, busy day filled with new life, and almost- death.  24 hours full of continuously handing matters over to the Father. 


1 PM- It's over four hours into treating patients, and there doesn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Patient after patient is called in for consultations with a nurse, Daniella is seeing her 9th pregnancy check up, Gloria is busy balancing a malnourished baby on her knee while she works the blood pressure program, and Cody is in the midst of treating Toe Guy. Except Toe Guy is now Toe-less Guy, and it appears like he might be missing a few more soon. What had started as a fungal infection in his second toe, had progressed to the point where he had to get it surgically removed. Now with some neglect, and impure water, the once healing infection had spread, exposing his tendon in his foot. The pain has to be unbearable, but he remains stoic. 


1:42 PM. Daniella calls me in; the mom in labor needs her vital signs checked.

By the time I get back to the pharmacy, a pile of dossiers are waiting to have prescriptions filled. Reyneld brings in more patients to the waiting area. 


2:30- The last patient starts his consultation, and we all breathe a sigh of relief. Lorraine had brought up cookies for us at noon, and as delicious as they were, they couldn't quite be called lunch.  


3:10- The last patient walks out of the clinic, accompanied by a fistful of meds. Finally done. We cleaned up and head back to the mission for a little lunch. Danniella stays, monitoring her pregnant lady, so Lorraine prepared rice to send to her for a very late lunch. 


3:30- I'm soaking my foot in Epsom salt water, trying to keep infection at bay from a gash on the sole of my foot, when Daniella walks by, asking if I could grab some more baby bundles from the depo. Fre Reynolds( one of our clinic employees) wife is in labor and just came in to clinic!! 


3:40- The number of laboring ladies is now at THREE as Emma comes with the news- one of our neighbor ladies is at 5 cm!!! We prepare the birth trays and make sure extra chuck pads are available. 


4:30- Emma prepares to go check on the neighbor lady, who wanted to wait to come in till she was closer to delivering. 


5:54- I leave the clinic where we had been monitoring the first lady, who was fully dilated but not progressing. I grabbed more water for Danniela and I when the radio squawked. The baby was coming!!! 


6:01- I hurry into the delivery room, pulling on gloves- just in time to watch the baby enter the world and give a healthy hollar. A healthy baby boy, who immediately welcomes me by leaving an unpleasant brown trail down my scrubs and drip- drip onto my shoe. 


6:20- Cleanup is done after the first birth. One down, two to go. A shower would be nice. 


6:25- Austin, Cody, and Gloria hurry into clinic, grabbed the medical bag, jump on the Husky and say something about a baby before roaring off. 


8:00- The crew comes back, holding a sweet little bundle. Another perfect little boy!! Emma had just gotten to the house when momma said she needed to push. One moment later, the little guy made his appearance, much to everyone's surprise. The birth went well, and his  brothers now watch as Gloria places him on the scale. A solid 8 pounds!! 


9:00- Everyone is back at the clinic, the 2nd baby is returned to its momma, and the 3rd mom is only at 5 cm. We prep everything for the next day. Emma and Austin head back for some very cold supper. 


9:15- We locked up and were starting to leave when a crowd emerges from the dark. They're carrying a blanket wrapped bundle. 


9:20- We unlock again and take them inside, laying the bundle on the examination table. It's a little girl, about 8 years old. She lies unconscious, her head shaved, exposing a large bump with a still bleeding laceration. We start an assessment as Daniella gets the story from the waiting onlookers. This little girl who we'll nickname Jenny, lives in Port au Prince, and was visiting her grandmother near Fort Garry. She had gone to fetch water when she had been hit by a large rock tumbling down the mountainside. She immediately fell, unconscious, and hadn't responded since. Her parents were still in Port, so she was carried the hours to the clinic by her godfather. 

Jenny’s extended family waiting


9:35- We treat Jenny for shock and clean the blood from her head and nose. She responds to painful stimuli. Her pupils are a bit  sluggish, but reactive, and she doesn't have an fluid from her ears.. We start an IV, dim the lights, and monitor her closely. 


11:30- We discuss our options and call a Doctor stateside for advice. Jenny desperately needs a CT scan, and there are only a few in all of Haiti. 


12:00- I'm in mid conversation with a Doctor when our connection drops. We attempt to call him back but the call won't go through. We try several phones. No luck. 


12:15- We were able to contact the Doctor again, via whatsapp, and he directed us in administering anti- seizure meds. Jenny will now swallow on command, so we can give meds orally!! 


12:45- Jenny's heart rate is still high and much too strong, easily felt by laying a finger on her chest. She still seizes periodically. We pray hard for this little girl!! We know transporting her out will probably harm her on the bumpy trail. Emma speaks with Jennys godfather, telling him gently that we are doing our best, but it might not be enough for his little girl. 


1:30- The seizures subside as the meds take effect, and Jenny relaxes more. She still has no movement on her right side. We give pain meds as often as allowed, and continue monitoring. In the next room, Mom #3 labors on. 


5:00- Fre Reynold and his wife welcome they're second child- sweet little girl!!! 


6:00- I head back to clinic to check on Jenny and give her more meds. Her vital signs are more stable. 


7:30- We meet to discuss Jenny's best options. Her parents are requesting she be taken to Port if at all possible. We agree the trail would probably harm her. Haiti Air Ambulance might be an option now that it's daylight. 


8:00- Emma makes a quick trip to check in on Baby #2 


8:10- Jenny is more responsive, and when asks where it hurts, uses only her left hand to point to her head. Progress!!! 


8:30- Jenny's dad arrives on a motorcycle from Port. He's so glad to see her!! 


9:20- We are finally able to reach Haiti air ambulance and they agree to transport to a reputable hospital in Port. 


9:30- After several more phone conversations, it's time to move! Their chopper is lifting off soon! We prepare the transfer papers and write a report for the receiving hospital. Then, its time to package Jenny for her flight! 


10:00- We carry the backboarded Jenny out to the machine. Daniella and Gloria have the hard part- balancing the backboard and holding it to make the ride as smooth as possible to the soccer field- our landing zone- 20 minutes away across the rough, bumpy mountain trails. Cody is driving, and we tie the IV to the roof of the machine. 


Ready to head out to the helicopter


10:10- Their chopper is in the sky!!! Estimated time of arrival- 10:34. 


10:22- We make it safely up Jack Rabbit Hill, Gloria and Daniella bracing themselves to keep Jenny stable. We stop to let them adjust positions when I see I have a missed call from Dispatch. 


10:30- We go down the last hill, followed by Verlyn, Lorrayne, Emma and Austin's machine- to the soccerfield. 4 minutes to landing time. 


10:33- Don's orphanage is there, helping to clear the landing strip of debris and goats. A large crowd is already beginning to gather. The sound of a helicopters rotors gradually comes closer. 


10:35- The chopper flys close enough that we can see the familiar sign of the healing snake on the six sided star on the belly of the machine- then it flies right over us!! I speak with Dispatch, they have 2 different coordinates and missed seeing us. 

Hope in the skies


10:42- The helicopter flies over again, then straight in for landing. A nearby goat gives a terrified bleat and pulls at its tether as the Bird slowly descends onto the soccer field, blowing grass in all directions. The rotors stop, and 2 flight paramedics walk toward us. 


10:50- We've carried Jenny out to the chopper and give a report. They do a thorough assessment. The pilot, 2 American and one Haitian paramedics- are very friendly and helpful.


Final transfer


10:52- The hard decision is made to let the godfather fly with Jenny, since he had been there throughout most of her incident. Her father said goodbye, and Jenny waved a hand weakly as she was loaded and the doors closed. 


10:55- The chopper lifts off- taking Jenny to a CT scan, a neurologist, and a better chance of recovery . 


11:25- Our thankful hearts overrode our fatigue as we drove back to the mission to finish the day at Clinic. 



A few days later- the update on Jenny is good. She is regaining motor skills on her right side and on the road to recovery!! 


Thank you for following along on this exceedingly long post. Not every day is like this, but God has given us the strength to get through every one till up to now, and it seems like days like this make us lean harder on Him and make us in awe of his loving care..

Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we try to serve Him to the best of our abilities!! 


Mis Emily

Hello! I'm Marla Zimmerman from Northern IA. I've been here for 8 weeks now.  I Work in the pharmacy and help out where I can. I hav...