Saturday, September 20, 2008

haiti update - september 20, 2008

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6”

Hi! Coram Deo now has a school program again! We opened on Monday and 7 children showed up. We are starting with 2 classes, one for handicapped children and 1 for children who have not had the opportunity to go to school. The majority of the children will start attending in October. The only problem we had this week with the school program was on the first day when I asked the cook to prepare an extra 10 plates of food for lunch. She refused saying that that was too much work and that I would have to pay her more money. It ended up that we now need another cook. Marie has cooking duties right now. The vision I have for the school program is to provide children with a Christian education and to show the community that handicapped children should be integrated into the regular school system. It was frustrating when I found out that a local school removed all the handicapped children saying that they needed special teachers in a special school setting. Haitian society and culture believe handicapped children are separate from regular society. Pray that we can once again work in the community and show the community how handicapped children can learn in a regular school setting with other children and that they can contribute and be respected by those around them.
This week was also a busy week with the medical program. We had to deal with a few emergencies this week. Late Sunday night I got a call from the clinic where Dieuna Philippe was staying at for a temporary basis before her family would take her home. Dr. Joey had said that she had suddenly died. I took a few of the guys with me and we drove over to the clinic, which is located in the Mais Gate region between the top of Delmas 31 and Airport Road. Because it was late at night, we kept the truck in a more open area that we could get away from easier. We had to do a little bit of walking through the neighborhood and the only people out were local drinkers at a few street-side bars. Walking through the neighborhood I had to pretend that I was carrying a sick baby. Nobody noticed and we walked to where the truck was parked. We were able to travel quickly to the downtown morgue at General Hospital because the streetlights don’t work late at night and there were only a couple of vehicles on the road. It is good to see the police providing better security at night now. At one time they used to never be outside on the streets after dark. They stopped us on the way home and asked what we were doing. I didn’t want to say that we had brought a body to the morgue and told them that I brought someone to General Hospital. He asked me where this person was and I told him that she was still there. He let us drive on after that and we made it back home. Pray for Dieuna’s family during this time of loss. God had a different plan for her than living in Cite Soleil.
On Thursday morning a man came to Coram Deo holding a cleft lip baby in his arms. His wife had given birth by caesarian section at the state Chancerelles hospital 6 hours earlier. He didn’t know what to do. The child had not yet received any liquids. We ended up going to see Dixie Bickel over at God’s Littlest Angels and she examined her. She was able to get her to suck with a cleft lip nipple and bottle. The new father was relieved to see his baby drink from a baby bottle. We will keep contact with the family and hopefully one day this baby girl will get surgery to correct this deformity. People in Haiti are superstitious about what causes cleft lips. I have heard people tell me it is caused because the mother was startled, or fell down or ate some crabs while she was pregnant. That day I heard another reason. A Haitian woman told the father that his child was this way because the mother must have eaten cows feet while she was pregnant. We returned the family to the hospital so that the father could show his wife that their baby girl could still drink. It’s good to see happy endings!
It took us 3 days this week to get help for Widmirtha Mervil, a 3-year-old hydrocephalus girl. She has been sick since July and the mother couldn’t find help for her. The child was operated on in the May hydrocephalus surgeries. She came to Coram Deo on Monday and we finally found a hospital that would admit her on Friday afternoon. She is severely malnourished and can no longer eat as well as having an infection. She is now on iv’s and will be tube fed. This little girl has suffered much. Her mother is 8 months pregnant with her second child. Pray that Widmirtha can recover from her illness and also that her mother doesn’t go into labor before her other child is released from the hospital. The mother says that she doesn’t have any family living in Port-au-Prince that can help her out.
Dieunette Lormintus who just recently returned from the United States after having surgery to remove an encepholocele growing at the back of her head has gone through a lot lately. Dieunette came back to Haiti after Tropical Storms Fay and Gustav had hit. Her mother is from a place called Nan Remy, which is in the Gonaives area. The mother was eager to leave Port-au-Prince and get back home to Nan Remy before the arrival of Tropical Storm Hannah so we dropped her off at the bus station in Port-au-Prince that would take her back to her home on that Saturday morning. She was home only a couple of days before Tropical Storm Hannah hit. This was the storm that caused a lot of damage and flooding in Gonaives. We got word later in the week that Dieunette was very sick and the mother had also contacted an orphanage telling them that she didn’t know how she was going to look after her. Because of the damage in Gonaives and the upcoming Hurricane Ike that was going to start affecting Haiti the decision was made by the orphanage to send Lisa to meet the mother and get back to Port-au-Prince as quickly as possible. Because the road was flooded at Gonaives, Lisa needed to travel partly by foot. She reached Dieunette and her mother on Friday. We were able to keep in cell phone contact with Lisa until she took a stumble in a river and dropped the phone in the water. There was also a back up plan for getting back to Port-au-Prince. If she couldn’t get through the Gonaives region there was a helicopter being used by a mission that offered to help out. They were able to make it back through the Gonaives region and into Port-au-Prince. She was treated for an ear infection and we took her for a cat scan the next day. The cat scan results show she has a slight enlargement of the ventricles in her brain, which could indicate a developing hydrocephalus. The neurosurgeon that operated on her in the United States has reviewed her cat scan and said this week that she may need to have another brain surgery. Right now she is living in the orphanage that her mother put her in. Keep Dieunette in prayer during this time and also her mother as she returned back to Nan Remy.
Chrisno Jeudi traveled to the United States on Sunday morning with Vanessa and had his surgery for hydrocephalus on Tuesday morning. He came through surgery well and is enjoying living without all that pressure in his brain. He is very active and playful. He still has a large head but over time will be able to adapt to it as his body grows. We give the Lord thanks for His healing mercies.
Continue to pray for all those still suffering from the flooding. Food aid is coming in but there are many people that need assistance.
That is all the news for today. Have a good weekend!

Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

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