Saturday, December 12, 2009

haiti update - december 12, 2009

“Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy.”
Isaiah 62:17,18

Hi! This week was a busy one with the medical program and the school program. The students will be writing the 2nd term exams starting on Monday. They will be rewarded though on Friday December 18th with a Christmas party! A team is coming from the United States to hold a few Christmas programs at some schools in the area. The children are looking forward to it!
Recently we distributed the donations that we recently received. With the palette of black dress pants that we received from Food for the Poor we were able to give each child in the school program a couple of pairs of pants to take home to their families. The remainder we separated amongst a few pastors we know to help the families in their congregations. Even though the pants are large sizes they can be taken in and worn. Those whose feet they fit enjoyed the new sneakers. We had many more requests for shoes that we couldn’t satisfy but maybe next time! We received some shirts from Love a Child and we handed these out to the school children and are now calling them our school uniform. We give the Lord thanks for these blessings. If people ask what is our uniform I tell them whatever the Lord provides! You can see the new uniforms on my blog site. We had a visit from a couple of community health workers from International Child Care. They did a short seminar for the school children on the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is common here in Haiti and it was good that the children could hear this health lesson. Hopefully they will share with their families what they learned.
Macdonald spends his days fixing computers for people in the neighborhood. He does a good job at it. My father brought his old laptop and gave it to Macdonald to replace his computer that got fried during the power surge a few months ago. The laptop sometimes had troubles starting. Macdonald took it apart and fixed it with a small piece of rubber from a sandal and paper. There was a part inside that was loose and this adjustment made a tighter connection. The laptop has had no problems since! You won’t be learning this repair technique in any schools in Canada!
Fonise Cadeau was discharged to her family from Bernard Mevs Hospital on Monday. We give the Lord thanks for His healing mercies. Pray for strength and health for Fonise.
The Cure International orthopedic team arrived at Hopital Justinien in Cap Haitian on Monday and got right to work. Ivona Dessalines had her pins removed from her last surgery. Now she will need to start physiotherapy to improve range of motion. She lives in the orphanage at Christian Light Ministries. The doctor decided not to operate on Lovely Nelson’s back. He will follow up on her case in another year. Lovely lives in the ravine area near Sheri’s school and also attends her school so Sheri will be able to keep an eye on changes in her back. The same decision was made for Lucson Jean. Lucson’s back deformity has grown quickly due to the tuberculosis of the spine. Even though he went through the 8-month TB treatment the damage to the vertebrae continues. The damage to his back is severe. The doctor said if he would operate he would die. The mother was upset with this news. She loves her child and wants him to not get worse. We are going to try to see if a doctor in the United States or Canada may be able to help him. These 3 children and parents traveled back to Port-au-Prince on Wednesday. Islande Berlis was the only child of the 4 who traveled to Cap Haitian that was selected for surgery. Dr. Scott Nelson, the orthopedic surgeon with the team said that she needed to have the deformed finger(s) amputated and this partial hand amputation was done Wednesday morning. Amos stayed in Cap Haitian for the week organizing everything at that end. He traveled back to Port-au-Prince on Friday with Islande and her mother. Islande and her mother will spend some time here at Coram Deo while she recuperates. It was a difficult journey and she had some pain but was able to rest a bit last night. She will need regular dressing changes and we are giving her ibuprofen and acetaminophen for pain. After 3 weeks the stitches can be removed. With the 3 remaining fingers she will be able to have a better functioning hand. We will also take her over to Healing Hands too to see if some sort of prosthetic device can be designed once she is healed. Pray for her recovery and that her pain will lessen.
Dominique Bonheur, is a 75-year-old man who came to the clinic day in November seeking help for his cataracts. We brought him to the eye clinic at International Child Care and the doctor there did an exam. He does have cataracts but surgery won’t help him. At some point in time Dominique had Toxoplasmosis. This disease is carried by cats and birds and is excreted in their stool. In Haiti the people also eat cats so maybe it can be ingested this way as well. The disease caused scarring in his eyes. He only has peripheral vision. When we were leaving the clinic I told Dominique that I was sorry that nothing could be done to help him but he told me that he was happy that someone brought him to the doctor. He said that he would pray for the work that we were doing.
Recently there was an article on blindness in Haiti. In Haiti, it is estimated that only 30% of the population who have visual problems receive eye treatment. In the entire Caribbean, Haiti accounts for 50% of the cases of blindness. Cataracts are the cause of 50% of the cases of blindness here in Haiti. 25% of the cases are caused by glaucoma. Malnutrition, vitamin deficiency and diabetes are other causes. At International Child Care, a cataract surgery costs $500H ( 60US$). Even though this is cheap for American/Canadian standards it is unaffordable for the average Haitian who earns an average of 2 US$ per day. Christian Blind Missions International helps to fund the program at International Child Care. The eye doctor who examined Dominique is very good. He studied and resided in Colombia for 10 years and we are thankful that we can send eye patients to see him. Pray for the work of International Child Care here in Haiti and also of Christian Blind Missions as they work in many countries.
My nephew John recently traveled back to the Shriners Hospital in Montreal to have the pins in his foot from his last surgery removed and to put on another cast. Because it is the Christmas season he now has a red cast! They had a relaxing trip by train. John’s appetite started to lessen over the last week and on Wednesday Tanya brought him to the hospital in Tilsonburg when he was complaining of bad headaches. The hospital suspected that he had a problem with his shunt and he was transferred by ambulance to the Children’s Hospital in London. It was determined that his shunt was blocked in the stomach area and surgery was done on Thursday. It was a difficult surgery, which took 5 hours to do. John has had several surgeries and revisions (somewhere around 6-7 now) and this has caused significant scarring in his abdominal area. The neurosurgeon was able to use the abdominal area once again but told Tanya that any further surgeries would have to be done in the chest area. John’s recovery in hospital took a turn for the worse on Friday and he developed neurological problems. He was transferred to the intensive care unit Friday evening and remains there. Pray for John, that his health would improve and for my family as they sit with him at the hospital.
That is all the news for today. Have a good week!

Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

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