Saturday, November 22, 2008

haiti update - november 22, 2008

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” Psalm 68:19

Hi! This week was a busy week with the medical program. The neurosurgery team from the University of Miami left on Sunday morning. The week was busy bringing food to the hospital in the mornings and afternoons. Unfortunately a couple of the children died during this post-op process. We brought both of them to the morgue at General Hospital. Widmirta Mervil died early Tuesday morning. She had been suffering with infection and malnutrition since her first surgery in May 2007. I was hoping that after the shunt was removed last Saturday that she would be able to overcome the infection but she wasn’t able to do so. She is now with the Lord. Early Tuesday evening Shelove Brelus died. This baby was born with hydrocephalus and was delivered by caesarean section. The mother is only 17 years old. The doctors didn’t think that she would survive as her brain never developed properly in the womb but they still performed surgery to relieve pressure on her brain. When her baby died the mother didn’t know what to do. She is from the Cabaret region, which suffered flooding during the tropical storms in August, and she didn’t want to return home. She told me that people would accuse her of killing her child. We talked with her and explained to her that her baby was born with a lot of problems and that the doctor knew she would die. We told her that her child is now in heaven with the Lord and that she is suffering no more. After a while she settled down and we brought her to where she could get a tap-tap to go back to Cabaret.
Some of the children had fevers but by the end of the week all the children were discharged from the hospital. This morning we were busy driving the parents and babies to their homes or to their tap-tap stations. We have a couple of the children staying here at Coram Deo. Guerdson Delile and his mother is from Jeremie and we want to make sure the incision site is healed before they return home as Jeremie is quite a distance away. Vanessa Jules and her mother are from Fond Verrettes and they will need to make a bumpy voyage over some bad roads. We figured it would be best for her to wait another week here. Continue to pray for healing mercies for the children who are recovering from surgery.
A new hydrocephalus case came to the house this week. David Lazarre is 2 months old and he was born with hydrocephalus and was also delivered caesarean section. His head is already very large. We will register him at Healing Hands but it will be another six months before the next round of surgeries. Keep David and his mother in prayer. It is difficult for a mother to watch her baby’s head get larger and being uncomfortable with the increased pressure on the brain.
In December, Smile Train will be going out to Hopital Albert Schweitzer in Deschapelles to do training for cleft lips/palettes. Their “Operation Cleft Free Haiti” project is ready to launch and they will be pursuing their goal of providing surgeries for everybody born in Haiti with cleft lips/palettes. It is great to be a part of this project. We have several children on our list who will be able to be helped. Maybe one day the hydrocephalus program can develop in this way too. Please keep “Operation Cleft Free Haiti” in prayer.
Friday was a day of blessings! The first blessing was in the morning when Dr. Karen McCarthey came with a medical team to do a clinic here at Coram Deo. They saw 75 patients (from babies to the elderly) and were able to provide them with medications as well. A couple of evangelists shared the word of God with the patients as they were waiting to see the doctor. Francois, the gatekeeper handed out some evangelical tracts to the patients as they left.
There were a couple of difficult cases that came to the clinic. One lady has untreated diabetes and high blood pressure. She has already lost a few toes and her foot will need to be amputated. She was started on medication to treat her diabetes and high blood pressure. We are going to follow-up with her and try to help her find medical care to amputate her foot. A father carried his teen-age daughter in order to come to the clinic. In 2006 she had had a surgery at a hospital in Cite Soleil to remove a tumor in her abdomen. Since that time it has grown back quickly. We are going to ask the Bitars at Bernard Mevs Hospital what can be done to help her. Keep these 2 patients in prayer as we search for what is God’s will for them.
The second blessing was when the electrician came over with 12 batteries and an invertor. We now don’t have to rely on the electric company for our power and I don’t have to work in the middle of the night to work on the computer. It’s also nice to have lights at night too. I took the remaining 6 solar panels out of protection in my room and gave them to the electrician to put back in place. Now we can generate solar power as well. With the barbed wire on all the walls the panels should be much safer on the roof now. Thanks to those who made this possible.
The third blessing was eating supper at Fabrizio’s, which is an Italian restaurant. We had a meeting there with Angel Missions personnel. Pizza is a nice change from beans and rice!
“Nerette Syndrome” is the name being given to students who are panicking that their schools will collapse. This week there was once again another incident at a school in Port-au-Prince located on Clercine 12. Saint Paul Villa Huguens is a 5-story school with a large student enrolment. On Wednesday morning the students felt a tremble and a panic driven stampede to exit the school resulted. 1 student died and 26 were injured in the rush to escape. We were busy driving around Wednesday and when we got home Pastor Octave met us at the gate and asked if we could drive him over to Hopital La Paix on Delmas 33. He told me about one of his church members whose daughter was in hospital as a result of this stampede. We drove over to the hospital and there was a list of 16 names posted at the entrance of the hospital. This was a list of the injured that were brought in. The teen-age girl had been pushed from the 2nd story by stampeding students. Both her legs had been injured. Another girl we spoke with had been pushed from the 3rd story. 15 of the children in the hospital were girls. It was a fight for survival scramble down the stairwells and the stronger pushed the weaker out of the way. This is why there were not many males injured. The students we talked with all mentioned the tremor they felt. Later we found out that a large passing truck caused the tremor. Everybody in Port-au-Prince can see the shoddy construction of some buildings and students are nervous.
Hunger is becoming a big problem in Haiti especially in outlying areas. In a village called Baie d’Orange, which is in the southwest area of the country 26 children recently died of starvation. Another 50 are seriously malnourished and are being treated in malnutrition centers. Pastor Pierre told me of a village that he knows where people are eating once every three days. Mothers are boiling water and adding salt to it and feeding this soup to their children because there is nothing else to give them. We are planning to make a visit to this village but it will mean a 6-hour walk by foot over a mountain area in Kenscoff to get there. There are no roads to this village. We’ll have to stay overnight somewhere. Pray for the hungry living in Haiti.
November 18th was a holiday in Haiti to commemorate the Battle of Vertierres, which led to the independence of Hait in 1804. President Preval spoke and said that he hopes that the UN (MINUSTAH ) will be out of Haiti by the time his term ends in 2011.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good weekend!

Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

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