Monday, June 6, 2022
"What an incredible honor we have, to help their hurting bodies but even more, to speak to the thirsty souls."
We saw this in action again and again, in the work of Dr Philip and Dr Males when they spent a week with us here at our clinic in Aleag. It was a huge honor to have both of them here at the same time, representing both the American culture and the Haitian culture. Their years of experiance and wisdom was appreciated more than we could voice as they worked with us giving patient care, teaching as they went- reinforcing our skills and giving us quite a few more.
Prior to their stay, we had begun keeping an eye out for patients who might be in need of surgery. Before we knew it, we had a list of possibilities, and it kept growing. In the middle of our Friday, we emptied out the Bandage room, and started with surgical consultants. Over 23 hydroceles, cysts, and cleft palates later, we finally had to turn the last few patients away since it was getting much too late, and then as evening crept over the mountains, we scrubbed up for our first minor procedure- a wound reconstruction.
On Saturday we transformed our Operating Room from the prior night into a schoolroom. Our Haitian nurses came as well for a few hours of classes. Dr Males did an amazing job switching from English to Creole to French, expanding our knowledge on hypertension and medications.
The afternoon and early evening were dedicated to surgeries. We all got the opportunity to assist the doctors in surgery; opening, repairing or removing, closing, and post op care. Dr Philip explained his way through each step, and at the end of the day, eight overjoyed patients had gotten procedures done.
One shy little girl could walk comfortably again after having a cyst removed from her foot.
A hernia was repaired. A cyst taken from a young man's cheek.
Our most memorable patient was easily a sweet middle aged lady with a ping pong ball sized growth on her right hand. She said she had learned to work with it, but oh my it was so horribly embarrassing to raise her hands in church in praise to Bondye (God) and everyone could see the large thing protruding from her hand. Her eyes filled with tears as she repeatedly thanked Dr Philip after seeing his neat row of stitches in her hand. Then with twinkling eyes she asked if she could take the removed growth home to show her family. We carefully placed it in a little plastic bag, and she gleefully put it in her satchel. She trotted down the trail with happiness in her step, raising her now normal hand with repeated "Mesi Jezi, Mesi Bondye, Mesi Dr Philip" while the other hand carefully held on to her backpack and it's precious little cargo in its little plastic bag.
The 18th of May fell over the doctors stay- Haiti's Indepedence Day. Their was an early worship service held at our Aleag church, and all the children came waving their handheld Haitian flags. All the schools got together and marched past our clinic on up to Besace, where they held a celebration. It's a fun day for everyone, especially the little children.
We really weren't ready to see the doctors drive down the trail again, but appreciated every hour they had spent with us. They had dedicated more than a week away from their families, blessing the clinic and community in so many ways.
It's so many people like them who make this mission a success. From the doctors doing the surgeries and giving us skills to up our patient care while they arent here. The donors supplying the funds to make it all possible. And the prayer warriors, lifting us and fighting our battles with us. Together..
Together we have this incredible opportunity. To help the hurting bodies, and to minister to the thirsty souls .
Thank you for your continuous support.
Early morning Independence Day service
Patients waiting for consultations
A good Doctor knows that sometimes all a scared little boy with a machete cut needs is some time, gentle words, and of course a lollipop always helps!
Doing an ultrasound on a possible surgery patient
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