Every miracle often first starts with a problem. Or sometimes, approximately twenty seven and a half problems.
But God still does miracles. Millions of little miracles, and sometimes of you dare to pray the big prayers and let Him show up, you'll see big miracles. Goose-bump giving big miracles.
On Monday a little boy was brought in. He was one if those patients that you only had to walk into the room, and you didn't have to come close before you could see he was "in bad shape" The tiny, malnourished child's fontanelles were sunken, he wasn't breathing well, and he was showing signs of sepsis (a serious infection) probably brought on by an infected cord site after the homebirth. Transports and emergencies here always seem to go in slow motion, especially to my EMT brain, but their is always so much to consider and so many factors and people involved in getting a critical patient to another hospital. We made plans to transport while we bottlefed the infant and put him on oxygen. We got maybe 2 ounces into his little tummy before he became too lethargic to suck well.
The nearest NICU was 3 hours away, and as we prepared to transport, he started declining. We didnt know if this little guy had three more hours left with the limited care we could give, but he now fit criteria to be flown by chopper, so we called Haiti Air Ambulance. They said they were on the way to Port au Prince with another child, but they would call us back shortly to confirm that they can come transport our patient.
We gathered around the child as we explained to the family that it looked like it was possible to fly him to a higher level of care. We asked if we could pray for them and gathered around the little body on the table, and we prayed. We prayed two very specific prayers. One, that God would heal this child if it was His will, and Two- that God would clear the weather that the helicopter could land. (Our nearest level spot to land is at a much higher altitude that often has a cloud cover) We prayed in English and in Creole, both languages understood perfectly by our Heavenly Father.
An hour crept by as we waited for the call. Twice his heartrate dipped below sixty, so we did assisted CPR and it stabilized again. He was a feisty little fighter! FINally the call returned. They could transport and were ready for lift off! Time for action. The chopper was in the air.
Transport paper. Oxygen tank. Everything ready? Check. Check. Check.
Minutes before we were ready to leave and after 3 hours of fighting- his respiratory drive crashed. His heart was still beating well, so we assisted his breathing and continued with our precious, limited oxygen- and walked out of the clinic.
We took the bundle of blankets and cords carefully to the machine. Marla held his body steady as I worked the BVM, giving little puffs of oxygen into his lungs as James drove the machine as fast as he could on the twenty minute mountain trail to the landing zone.
Going up the infamous Jack Rabbit hill, the machine stalled in a curl of black smoke. Then again. Two family members had climbed on on the frenzy as we left clinic, and now we couldn't make it up the hill. We had to ask one to stay on the side of the trail, so the loaded machine could get up the side of the mountain.
Then a little while later, with a cry the mother yelled out "stop stop, this is the father coming! Let him see him for just a minute!!"
As we stopped the family member beside the trail tried to quickly hand over something to the mom.
"NO NO, DRIVE ON! He's trying to give evil witchcraft things for the baby!" That changed everything. God had saved this little boy up to here, and we didn't want anything to do with that! And we had a baby in critical condition that needed to get to the landing zone, and we were only halfway there.
We glanced anxiously at the skies, and the clouds that hovered overhead. Could they land?
As we popped over the last hill... we saw them. The helicopter had indeed landed, they had beat us by 5 minutes and the crew was all ready and waiting for us!
We drove up, didn't take the time to do another assessment, just grabbed the oxygen and took him out to the crew. Two flight paramedics, a doctor, the pilot. His last chance at life.
Step, step. Watch the oxygen tubing. One last puff with the BVM, and he was in the hands of the flight medic. A quick scurry as a report was given and they moved into action. Vitals, blood sugar test, ultrasound.
A quick shake of the head.
"Where's the family?"
One medic walked off with the mom to explain to her.
Her little boy was gone. He had died minutes from being on his way to the NICU.
We stepped back as life saving efforts were stopped. Phone calls were made. The little boy was covered up and brought over. Even as the little blanketed body was handed to me, I sensed it. Peace. God's will had been done. And then I saw it.
I bank of clouds hovered just beyond the soccer field, the edges nearly straight as if held by the wings of a wall of angels. Above us, the sky was blue. And just as the chopper lifted off, a wisp of cloud finally broke away and drifted toward the soccer field as if to take its place. Soon, clouds swirled towards as, and as we drove away with the grieving mom and the tiny blanket, they finally flooded across the field.
Our prayers had been answered. I believe God had a plan for the 10 short days the little boy lived. Maybe it was in the little bit of comfort we could give the family when we met them on the trail, overcome with grief as we handed them the little boy. Maybe it was in the prayers we prayed in the hospital room. Maybe they too, saw the way those prayers had been answered by the clouds that refused to enter the field until the chopper flew away. Maybe SOMETHING in those 4 hours had planted a seed in the hearts of the family who still practiced voodoo. Maybe maybe.
And He smiled down on us too, that day. He left us with His perfect peace, even in the death of the little boy, gone before his life really had the chance to start. His Presence was obvious, his Touch felt as He held back the clouds for us.
Please keep on praying for us! -Mis Emily