Saturday, October 4, 2008

haiti update - october 4, 2008

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22

Hi! This week was a busy week of surprises. The first surprise was when Manu had to go to school and found that part of his homework had been eaten by either a rat or mouse! I took a picture of his eaten homework and then wrote a note to his teacher to explain to him that it wasn’t Manu’s fault that his homework wasn’t complete but that it was a rodent who prevented Manu from doing his homework. Manu says that the note worked and he didn’t get in any trouble. We have been hunting for mice this week.
The moment that I had dreaded happened this week. Widmirtha Mervil’s mother went into labor at the hospital on Tuesday. Our funds are very limited right now so we weren’t able to arrange care for her at the same hospital that Widmirtha is at. The other surprise we had was that the pickup truck didn’t want to start, so a nurse brought her to the Medecins San Frontieres Hospital on Delmas 18. She stayed there all day on Tuesday but no baby came out and because they don’t have any bed space available told her she needed to go to one of the state hospitals. She returned back to Bernard Mevs Hospital waiting for her labor to get more advanced. On Wednesday morning the nurse at Bernard Mevs Hospital called back and we were able to bring her to the state Chancerelle Hospital. This hospital is inexpensive but it is also like a baby factory. Her labor wasn’t moving very fast and they had to do a few things to help the baby come out and finally this happened Wednesday evening. Because this mother had no family with her, Lukner took on the role as father and husband for the day. He stayed with her through the night at Chancerelle. The mother gave birth to a healthy baby girl! Right after she gave birth the doctors told her to sit on a bench. The birthing room was a busy place. Lukner called and said that she didn’t have a bed and was sitting on a bench. He looked around and found an empty bed but it didn’t have a mattress. I told him to tell an employee there that if he found a mattress he would get a reward and within 15 minutes this mother and baby were relaxing in a bed. Hopefully the employee didn’t kick another person off the mattress so that Widmirtha’s mother could have it. The mother and her new baby are now staying here at Coram Deo for a few days while she recuperates from her difficult delivery. While all this was going on Widmirtha was laying in her hospital bed at Bernard Mevs. I asked the mother of Chrisno Jeudi (a hydrocephalus baby who recently went to the United States) if she could sit with Widmirtha and she took good care of her. Widmirtha was discharged from Bernard Mevs Hospital on Thursday morning. The doctors couldn’t do any more for her. She still has a clear fluid coming out of her navel and the doctors believe it is CSF from the brain. They recommend a neurosurgeon to look at her but the only problem is that we can’t find one to help her. I asked Tony and Linda of Holy Angels if they could help to look after her and we brought Widmirtha there on Thursday morning. Pray for their efforts and also that it can be determined if her shunt needs to be removed.
Early Thursday morning we were driving up Delmas 31 and noticed that there was a body of a young man lying in the middle of the road. He was laying flat on his back and not moving and there were people on the side of the road staring at him. From a distance it looked like he was dead. I went up to him and noticed that he was foaming from the mouth and still breathing. I told the crowd to help to put him in the back of the pickup truck to go to the hospital but that is when a Haitian superstition blocked the process. The Haitian people believe that when someone collapses someplace that you shouldn’t touch him. If you do touch them, this person will suffer some form of paralysis. The people with him wouldn’t let me help him. I explained to them that it was dangerous for him to be left lying in the middle of the road and that he might get run over by passing traffic and that maybe we could drag him to the side of the road but they repeated that to touch him would cause paralysis. An older man that was with him came up with a bucket of water and started to pour water onto this young man’s head and face. The man was lying face up with his mouth open and it looked like he might be drowned with all the water being dumped on him. It sure worked to wake him up though! He made the effort to sit up and I told the people that now they can help him and they responded no that this man could be paralyzed if we touched him. He was very unsteady and looked like he was going to pass out again and because nobody was helping to hold him up he collapsed again and went head first against the pavement again. The man with the bucket of water started pouring water on him and he woke up again and managed to get to his feet and stumble off the road. He was not very steady on his feet but nobody helped him in fear of paralyzing him. He stumbled away with the man with the bucket flinging water on his head to keep him from falling. I think that this young man must have gotten a concussion from this experience of collapsing on the street and also that he was doing his best to get away from the man with the bucket of water.
Pastor Pierre came from the Kenscoff area with a mother and 2 of her sick children from the Cabrette area, which is located in the mountains of Kenscoff. This area has no roads and the only way to get there is a long walk over mountains or by helicopter. This area was damaged by the storms but no aid is coming there. This woman’s house and crops were destroyed by the storms and she was living with neighbors. She walked out of the area with her sick children and came to Pastor Pierre’s house. Her 3-year-old son, Dieuquiseul, was suffering from a form of malnutrition called kwashiorkor (when the body swells with fluid) and an infection. He was in bad shape. Her other child is 2 years old and starting to show the effects of malnutrition. He was weak and listless. We brought the children over to Nos Petits Freres et Soeurs Hospital on Tabarre and the 3 year old was admitted. Keep Dieuquiseul in prayer as he is treated for malnutrition. The mother started her journey at 4:00am on Wednesday morning and arrived at Coram Deo on Thursday morning. She told me that she left 2 other hungry children at home. Pray for the young children of Haiti as they start showing the effects of malnutrition the quickest.
Another mother and child came to Coram Deo this week. This child too was suffering from kwashiorkor malnutrition. Lukner brought them over to the Missionaries of Charity on Delmas 31 and this child was admitted to their hospice for treatment.
Please continue to pray for funds to be raised to help support our programs here at Coram Deo.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good weekend!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

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