Saturday, January 26, 2008

haiti update - january 26, 2008

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

Hi! This week was a very busy week with the medical program. We finished the paperwork for Pharah Simeon and she is traveling to the United States today. Keep her in prayer as she undergoes surgery for her hydrocephalus. Her head is very large, around 83 cm but she is very active neurologically. Recently her eyes started “sun downing” (the pressure on the brain forces the eyes downward). To compensate she pulls down her eyelid with her finger to see better. This is the first time I have seen a child do this. Her mother never gave up hope and I promised her mother that I would never give up looking for help for her child. We are thankful to the Lord for the opportunity for her to travel for medical care. A doctor and his wife will be accompanying her on the plane. We are also scrambling to complete paperwork for other children who are in the same situation as Pharah. Chrisno Jeudi is a 16-month-old boy with a head circumference of 72 cm. John Wilson Charles is a baby from Bombardopolis (north-west part of Haiti) and he is staying at our home with his parents while we complete paperwork for him as well. Today we are bringing another 3 hydrocephalus children to be evaluated with the hopes of doors opening for them as well. Keep all these children and plans in prayer.
Lourdie Aldor is a teenager who had her leg amputated above the knee almost 2 years ago. She received her artificial leg on Friday and now is able to walk again. She will be coming to the house a few days a week to practice walking. Where she lives it is difficult because the roads are uneven and rocky. She will gradually keep her prosthesis on for longer periods of time. Once she is fully used to using her artificial leg she can think of going to school again. She is deaf as well.
The lady who we brought to the hospital last week had her baby but not in the hospital. After I had dropped her off at the Doctors Beyond Borders maternity hospital they sent her home, as she was not yet ready to deliver. The family brought her home and the next day she started labor again. This time the family intended to wait longer before going to the hospital but ended up waiting too long and the baby was delivered at home. Both mother and baby are doing well.
Judnel Vincent is a boy who has a mitral valve heart problem. We brought him over to see Vanessa and a visiting doctor (the same one who is traveling with Pharah). After examining Judnel he said that he would examine the mother as well as she was pregnant. It was then that Judnel’s mother said that her water had broken the prior evening. She also had high blood pressure and was starting to have swelling in her legs. The doctor told us to take her to the maternity hospital and we ended up making a night run to the hospital. At three in the morning her labor pains started and she had a baby girl at 7:00am Thursday morning. We picked up the mother and child from the hospital later in the afternoon and brought them both home. Mother and child are doing well. Haiti is full of surprises! What started out as a heart exam turned into helping a pregnant woman get to the hospital.
There were also several other people with medical problems who we brought to see a doctor.
On Sunday afternoon we went to see Paulna’s village so that her family could see her leg without the pins in it. At the same time we handed out “faith bracelets” that some visitors had given to us to hand out to children. They come with a card explaining what each color bead means. (Clear stands for God, gold = heaven, black=sin, red=sacrifice of Christ, White = purity, Blue = Holy Spirit). The children came running to us to get the bracelets and several tried to get more than one. The children here at Coram Deo enjoy visiting Paulna’s village. Her father sent back with her some fresh milk and also sugar cane for the people at the house.
The pick-up truck needs some fixing. It is starting to sound very squeaky. I found that out when the air conditioner stopped working and I started driving around with the windows open. I make sure to turn the radio on loud to drown out the squeaks. For the last few months there has been an exclamation mark trouble light on the instrument panel and I couldn’t figure out what caused it. The fluid levels were normal. This week I decided to top up the brake fluid to the maximum level and sure enough the exclamation mark on the instrument panel disappeared! In the next couple of weeks I am going to get the truck serviced. The children also want to change the name of the truck from Old Yeller to Herbie.
Haitian government representatives visited the Dominican Republic to see the control methods used for controlling the spread of bird flu (H5N2 strain). They decided to maintain import restrictions on poultry products from the Dominican Republic. In their 2-day visit they concluded that there was a weakness in the application of control procedures by the Dominican authorities.
The port is not functioning very well right now. It is taking people longer to get containers released from customs. Changes were made to the customs system in order to try and control corruption. The delays are frustrating for businesses and missions alike. By the DGI on Delmas 19 this past week one of the workers there was trying to prevent racketeers from having access. The end result for him was getting stabbed in the neck. Fortunately for him he was near the Doctors Beyond Borders Hospital and no major vein was hit. Corruption will be a long, difficult road to change in Haiti.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good evening!

Karen Bultje

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