Before midnight, help us get on down the road

Thanks to you, we resoundingly met our challenge grant I announced on Sunday's blogpost

I am blessed by your extravagant generosity!! 

As you may know, an anonymous donor challenged us to raise $500 by the close of the day Saturday (my birthday). And if we could raise $500, they would match it with another $500.

I'm thrilled to say we met the goal in the first 24 hours! Thank you, thank you! We zoomed past the original goal of $1,000 all the way to nearly $4,000!

So, during this stretch time, I'm wondering how much further we can get down the road toward a fully-funded vehicle!

What started as a little campaign to jumpstart fundraising, has turned into exciting evidence of what God can do through you! Thank you!
 

Kelby's Kids Vehicle Drive: Jumpstart

 What kind of vehicle should Kelby Kid's drive around the bumpy roads of Port-Au-Prince? A VW Westy? 

What kind of vehicle should Kelby Kid's drive around the bumpy roads of Port-Au-Prince? A VW Westy? 

 

On yesterday's blogpost, I was excited to announce a new fundraising drive for Kelby's Kids.

And as part of the campaign, an anonymous donor has challenged us to raise $500 by the close of the day on Saturday the 21st of July (my birthday).   

This email is meant to be an encouragement to help us raise $500 in new funds so the donor will match it and turn it into $1,000 — which will give us a jumpstart in raising funds this summer to buy a vehicle for the ministry in Haiti.

Please consider a donation today! Share this with your friends, your church, your social network!

Also, if you'd like to participate in the fund-drive through your own matching funds campaign, email me and we'll schedule it and announce it to the list. There are many ways you could make a tax-deductible challenge grant; anonymously, publicly, in the name of your business, in memoriam of a loved one, and more. Thank you for your consideration!

Beneath the donation button is a repeat of the portion of yesterday's blog where the fund drive is introduced. 

—Kelby

 

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from the blog ...

My goal is to have a vehicle by my two-year anniversary. Today I'm starting a vehicle fund drive to help cover the cost. 

How big is my financial goal? I would love to give you a dollar amount, but I'm still looking into the options available. 

Everyone in Haiti has a story about the best way or place to get a vehicle. "Get it in Haiti." "Ship it from the US?"  "It needs to run on gas." "It needs to be a diesel?" "Get a new car." "Buy it used, for sure." "Manual!" "Automatic!" And on and on.

I am so blessed by the willingness of many of you to use your hard-earned money to support the work of Kelb’s Kids in Haiti. I want to be a good steward of the funds that are given, both now and in the long term. 

Gas engines are cheaper than diesel but diesel lasts longer.  Cheaper vehicles, while less expensive,  often start incurring maintenance costs soon after the purchase. Used vehicles in Haiti are  overpriced. It’s common to find a 10 to 12-year-old vehicle for $8,000.00 or more. And the conventional wisdom about wear-and-tear is that "a year in Haiti is like five years in the US." 

So, a 12-year-old vehicle has a comparable 60 years of wear-and-tear on it! If I buy a used car I need to be careful of the fact that many available vehicles were actually salvaged from being underwater in the recent hurricanes in the US. 

Decisions, decisions! There's still much left to consider, but one thing's clear — I need to start to raise funds now. 

I need to get a vehicle. And the funds available will also determine my options.  If you would like to make a donation to the Vehicle Drive please put a note in comments section on Paypal, or in the memo line of your check.  I know God is faithful and will provide what I need — even though I don't know how much I need! 

 

JUMPSTART

To give things a jumpstart, an anonymous donor has issued a challenge. If we can raise $500 between now and 11:59pm Saturday (my birthday), the donor will match it with another $500!Your gift this week can be doubled for Kelby's Kids Vehicle Drive.  

Help us raise $1,000 in one week! Make a donation today! Thank you! 

Maternity, My Health, and a Car

I wanted to start with a little cuteness because I have been told that there has been a cuteness shortage lately!  So here you go!

 Not feeling so good. But still very cute.

Not feeling so good. But still very cute.

I am back in Michigan for a little break for the summer. 

I'll be here for five weeks and have four weeks of summer camp that I am working at — providing medical care. It's nearly half the time I was in Michigan last summer. I was gone from Haiti for too long last time. 

There's just too much to do and too many people depending on me to be gone from Haiti for long stretches of time.

 

Maternal Health Clinic

Some of the people that will be missing me are my Mamma’s in the Maternal Health Clinic. 

Things have been going well and I want to give you an update on the progress of the new clinic.  I have had 34 moms enter the program since it’s official start the 7th of March 2018.  Of those 34, 25 of them are still current patients in the program. 

It’s been a rough start for the program with success stories.  Of the 9 that have left we have only seen one baby. He was a healthy boy born to a malnourished mom. Mom and baby are doing well — so that was exciting for us, given the short amount of time I had to work with them.

Unfortunately, seven of the moms have had a miscarriages.  So, it’s been a little frustrating as we start out. One of the moms stopped coming and we simply don’t know what may have happened to her. 

I'mm very excited to get back to the clinic and see what has happened while I was gone. 

I care for seven moms who will have births while I am in Michigan. And two more who are very close.  I saw 21 moms on June 20 before I left. And I stocked each one up with over 1,300 prenatal vitamins, to get them through until I see them again.  The next clinic day will be August 8th and I currently have 28 appointments. That will be a very very busy day.

 This is Daphnie.  I have been caring for her since February 5th (before the maternity clinic officially started).  She is due July 13th

This is Daphnie.  I have been caring for her since February 5th (before the maternity clinic officially started).  She is due July 13th

During their visits to the clinic, we educate moms on how to care for themselves, how to have a safer delivery with less complications, and how to care for their babies after they're born. We monitor them for gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and work with them on how to improve their anemia. 

Only one of the 34 moms we care for hasn’t been anemic. It's a very real struggle to get them to a place where they can have a delivery without risk of complications from even a normal amount of bleeding.

 

I went to the doctor  

For those of you that may have missed the posts on social media, I was involved in a motorcycle accident on June 10 while going up to a remote location in the mountains for a medical clinic. 

We hit another motorcycle head-on and my left leg was hit by the other motorcycle. 

I've had a lot of pain and it's finally almost resolved.  Many of you advised me to see a doctor.  So, I finally did. 

Based on the x-rays, we knew there wasn’t a fracture in the leg.  The final diagnosis was possible "compartment syndrome." It could have explained the cause of the intense pain. I also had some nerve damage. And the remaining pain is most likely due to the healing process and the bruising. 

But the good news is I should have little to no long-term issues!  Thank-you so much for all of your prayers, encouragement, and concerns for me.

 

Car for Kelby's Kids

I arrived in Haiti in November of 2016. I have been living and working in Haiti for 20 months now!

 These shoes are only made for walking and I need to drive!

These shoes are only made for walking and I need to drive!

During that time, I've walked many many miles and have worn out two pairs of sandals.

It's time I start putting some miles on a new car! 

Twenty months without my own transportation is a long time.  It is more than past time I get a vehicle — so I can be more effective, independent, and better able to respond to emergencies. 

It is also safer than walking when there is trouble on the streets (like there's recently been). 

My goal is to have a vehicle by my two-year anniversary. Today I'm starting a vehicle fund drive to help cover the cost. 

How big is my financial goal? I would love to give you a dollar amount, but I'm still looking into the options available. 

Everyone in Haiti has a story about the best way or place to get a vehicle. "Get it in Haiti." "Ship it from the US?"  "It needs to run on gas." "It needs to be a diesel?" "Get a new car." "Buy it used, for sure." "Manual!" "Automatic!" And on and on.

I am so blessed by the willingness of many of you to use your hard-earned money to support the work of Kelby’s Kids in Haiti. I want to be a good steward of the funds that are given, both now and in the long term. 

Gas engines are cheaper than diesel but diesel lasts longer.  Cheaper vehicles, while less expensive,  often start incurring maintenance costs soon after the purchase. Used vehicles in Haiti are  overpriced. It’s common to find a 10 to 12-year-old vehicle for $8,000.00 or more. And the conventional wisdom about wear-and-tear is that "a year in Haiti is like five years in the US." 

So, a 12-year-old vehicle has a comparable 60 years of wear-and-tear on it! If I buy a used car I need to be careful of the fact that many available vehicles were actually salvaged from being underwater in the recent hurricanes in the US. 

Decisions, decisions! There's still much left to consider, but one thing's clear — I need to start to raise funds now. 

I need to get a vehicle. And the funds available will also determine my options.  If you would like to make a donation to the Vehicle Drive please put a note in comments section on Paypal, or in the memo line of your check.  I know God is faithful and will provide what I need — even though I don't know how much I need! 

 

Jumpstart

To give things a jumpstart, an anonymous donor has issued a challenge. If we can raise $500 between now and 11:59pm Saturday (my birthday), the donor will match it with another $500! Your gift this week can be doubled for Kelby's Kids Vehicle Drive.  

Help us raise $1,000 in one week! Make a donation today! Thank you! 

 Sometimes when you're hungry, the fingers have to due!

Sometimes when you're hungry, the fingers have to due!

I'll close by giving you a little more cuteness for good measure. 

I am thankful for my time in Michigan. And I greatly enjoy summer camp. I also know how important it is to take a break.  I'm already looking forward to being back in Haiti to see what this fall has in store. 

Thank you again for being a part of the team that makes Kelby's Kids possible!  Whether it's your words of encouragement, your prayers for the ministry, my patients and myself, or for your generous financial support. Also, if you want to make you own matching-gift challenge (like the donor in this week's Jumpstart initiative), please send me an email.

You're all blessings to me!

Until No Child Dies

Kelby

What I Didn’t See in Haiti (a guest post by Daniel Montgomery)

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Sometimes it doesn’t take much for someone to influence us.

Years ago I asked a well-traveled friend about some of the countries she’d visited. For a few minutes she shared some simple heart-warming stories, anecdotes, and good memories from her worldwide travels. 

But when she said she’d visited Haiti, she didn’t have a touching memory to share. Instead, she described it using the word “despair.”

Fast-forward many years to when I met Kelby. I’d heard through a mutual friend what Kelby’s plans were for Haiti (retiring as an paramedic and moving full-time to Haiti to provide medical care to kids). I thought, “Good for him! Haiti’s got despair.”

One little word. It stuck around for years. I wouldn’t say it “defined” what I thought about Haiti, but, it was there — I was kind of seeing Haiti through the lens of possible despair.

So it’s with that lens that I got on a plane to see Kelby.

I flew from Detroit to Ft. Lauderdale. And spent the night in the airport. 

Early the next morning it was time to crawl out of the rocking chair I slept in and make my way onto the plane headed for Port-au-Prince. Haiti here I come. My first trip.

I was greeted at the airport by Kelby and his friend, Jackenson. And we were soon pulling out of the airport parking lot.

The airport’s right in town, so, within moments from the parking lot, we were driving past the city’s sights. Past broken, old buildings, tattered billboards, and dirty streets. Despair? Not yet. 

Kelby, Jackenson and I travel through town while Kelby acts as a tour guide. We turn from a paved road onto a bumpy road with cement curbs on either side, but with no paved street between them. Bumpy bumpy. And dusty dusty. It hadn’t rained in Port-au-Prince for a month.

We stop by the building where his clinic is (a walled compound marked by a hand-painted sign which reads “Coram Deo.” Kelby drives a Saturn SUV through the opening after the security guard slides the steel gate to the side). And I’m finally able to see what he’s been describing in his blogposts! 

A few things click into place for me. Kelby’s stopping by, partly, to show me around, and partly to check on some supplies that were donated to the clinic. It’s a Sunday, so the clinic isn’t open. We leave Jackenson at the compound and head by car to Kelby’s room (he rents a room from Troy and Gwynn Price's home). Despair? Not yet.  

Kelby and I spent several hours that afternoon recording some video for his website (stay tuned!). And by the end of the first evening, Kelby and I had already spent more time together that day than during all of our previous visits back in Midland combined! It was finally time to go to bed. The first clinic of the week would be open for business at 9am Monday morning. Time to take a shower and crawl under the mosquito net and get some sleep. Without despair.

Before the clinic doors opened the next morning, a short sermon is given. Kelby tells them it’s to care for their spiritual health in addition to their bodily health. The moms and kids sit and listen. Lots of kids running around. Some sick. Some not. Lots of blank faces. Many smiles, too. 

Kelby narrates the day to me as patients come and go. He occasionally comments on a superstition Haitian moms often believe. He points to a bracelet a mom is wearing and he talks about voodoo. From where I sat, it appears Kelby saves an old man’s life. Kelby embraces a one-year-old, five-pound, malnourished baby with a deformity as though the child was his own. And he goes to work to nurse him to health. 

The sick, deformed baby had been turned away by the local hospital due to his deformity. Luckily the momma had heard of Kelby’s free clinic. 

If there was despair at the clinic, it was being held back, squelched, one patient at a time. When Kelby’s stethoscope was placed on the chest of a wheezing child. With each little packet of tums given to pregnant mom to help her with indigestion. With each can of formula set aside for a malnourished baby. With every package of peanut butter handed to dad for his kid. 

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Perhaps despair wasn’t showing up because poor moms and dads were treated with dignity. 

And that’s just the first day I was there. There’s another day of the exact same thing. And then there’s *another* day of the same thing.

Even as we were walking through the trashy trashy ravine I was reminded how I can’t let innocent little things my friends say influence my opinions of things I know nothing about. In this case, Haiti. And hopelessness.

This quick report is not meant to dismiss the real and present needs in Haiti. There's brokenness and poverty and sickness and pain — and a lot of people need the real Jesus. But, what I saw through Kelby was a picture of a man putting one foot in front of the other and simply walking toward the brokenness and sickness in order to be the healing hands and feet of Jesus in Haiti. Maybe that's the kind of thing that keeps despair at bay.    

I was blessed beyond measure to spend those four days there. Not only by getting to witness Kelby’s good work, but by God showing a bigger picture of what He was up to.  

Fast forward to Thursday morning and I’m standing in line in the airport waiting to board a plane that’s 90-minutes late. And I meet a family returning to Florida. It’s as though God wanted to give me one last chance to understand it’s not hopeless in Haiti. I asked the Mom of the family what brought them to Haiti. “My parents just moved down and built a house. And we were visiting for the first time.”

Not as missionaries. Just as people deciding where in the world they wanted to retire to. Not a sign of a place full of despair.

And there’s one more thing. 

I’m on the plane sitting by the window in an exit row. At 6’ 4,” I’m always thrilled to get a seat in an exit row! Plus, this time, there wasn’t anyone sitting in the middle seat next to me! The captain was giving his announcements, the flight attendants were making sure we’re all buckled up for safety when, lo and behold, a last-minute passenger rushes onto the plane as the attendants close the door behind him. 

And it’s just like God to say, “I wanna make sure you know sumpthin’.”

The very last guy through the door makes his way back to row 13 and sits right next to me. 

No biggie. The plane starts to move backward to head toward the runway, the guy next to me gets situated. I ask him, “what brings you to Haiti?” And he says, “a business opportunity.”

The plane is ready to take off now. 

I asked another question — “how’s it looking?”

And as the plane zooms forward for takeoff he says, “Very good. Very very good. We’re going to setup shop in Haiti.”     

Leave it to God to take — even — the last possible minute in Haiti to make a point about Haiti

And that’s a little story of what I didn’t see in Haiti.

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(Side note: You should totally consider a trip to help Kelby. Check the website on the “Pray. Give. Go.” page for details. And you can make an assessment for yourself.)

Blessings and Burdens

I had a new patient come into the malnutrition clinic this week. 

His mother is sick and he needs a little help. He is almost 5 months old — and weighs only 7 pounds. 

His dad has done a great job taking care of him, but doesn’t have enough money to feed him anymore. He was reported to have been born at only 910 grams (2.0 pounds). 

It continues to amaze me how small some of these babies are when they are born — and are still able to survive here in Haiti.

 Praying we can help Christopher to grow up big and strong!!

Praying we can help Christopher to grow up big and strong!!

In my last post I told you about Samuel. Well, there have been some changes with him.  On Monday, Samuel came in to the clinic with his mom because a couple of his sisters were sick (Sam is baby #11).

 Samuel — doing well on Monday

Samuel — doing well on Monday

On Tuesday, Samuel came into malnutrition clinic for his appointment, and was very sick. It was reported that he had been having severe vomiting and diarrhea.  He was down to 2.19 kg (4.8 pounds).  It doesn’t take long for these little ones to crash from dehydration. We tried some fluids to see if mom was just not trying. But everything came back up and out. So, we decided that an IV was the only fix for him.

 Samuel needs an IV on Tuesday

Samuel needs an IV on Tuesday

Sometimes I feel like I am losing some of my EMS skills — as I don’t do a lot of American type EMS stuff here everyday. So, it was truly a blessing that God guided my hands to get an IV on this dehydrated 4-pound baby — on the first try! Especially as I really only found one place I could try. 

I got the IV with a scalp vein. He responded well to some fluid but after maxing him out with 60cc's of fluid (about 4.5 of the single serving peel-and-pour coffee creamers), he really needed to continue to get more fluid later in the day. 

We were very concerned with sending him home with this scalp IV.  If something would happen, he could bleed to death before someone caught it. So, we decided one of the inpatient malnutrition centers would be best option for him. He was sent up the mountain for further care.

 It really looks worse than it is, plus he feels better now — and is keeping fluids down!

It really looks worse than it is, plus he feels better now — and is keeping fluids down!

The next day we got a message from a friend that also has a ministry in Haiti and said "I think we both have something in common…  we both helped Samuel!" 

After a conversation, it was decided that Samuel’s mom was lying to both of us and taking advantage of our programs — and, possibly, others as well. 

A trip up the mountain was scheduled for the next day and we were going to call her out on her actions. 

When we arrived, we discovered more untruths!

We learned that the mother tried to leave the clinic (with Samuel) the night before, but was held by security and not allowed to leave. 

The look on her face told it all — when Mom walked into the office and saw people from three separate malnutrition centers standing there! 

But, as often occurs, without hardly missing a beat, she went into a story about how she hadn't lied. She said she was doing what she was supposed to do, and it’s not her responsibility to share her business with the other clinics she goes to — especially if the clinics don't specifically ask her if she's in any other programs. 

It was pretty obvious that Samuel was being used as her "business." 

She knew the day before that he was getting better (and she doesn’t want him to die). But, the sicker Samuel looks, the more money she can make off of him. She couldn't explain why he had gained more weight in the previous 50 hours as he had in the previous 5 weeks. 

Samuel was getting very little of the formula that our clinics were giving her.

She was given the chance to come clean and apologize. Instead, she asked about money. 

She was given very specific instructions as to how things were to continue with the inpatient program. She was told that Samuel would not be leaving until he's big and healthy. She was advised that if she breaks any of the rules, she would not only be kicked out of the inpatient program, but not to bother coming back to any program. 

It is such a burden to our heart to have to be like this but allowing people to take advantage of your program for financial gain. The child is no better off in the program as they don’t get the help anyway.

We had a few mothers that did not come to clinic this week. Maybe the word got out! 

We had another conversation with the parents who were at clinic…  but it will always be a struggle.

There was a great team that stayed in the guest house last week. It was such a blessing to have them. Samuel was truly a source of mixed emotions as his story played out during the week. 

I was truly blessed and humbled at the beginning of the week by one of those team members.  He said that God has placed my ministry on his heart. Through a mutual friend he became aware of a way to bless the work of Kelby’s Kids and the new Maternal Health Clinic.

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He purchased and brought down with him this new portable ultrasound machine! 

It was overwhelming! 

It will have such a HUGE impact on the level of care that I can provide — not to mention the lives that'll be saved.  I have had to send 2 mothers already for an ultrasound at $4,000.00 HTG.  Plus, I lost contact with one of them for a while after it took some time to get it done. I had 3 moms that I would loved to have given ultrasounds, but ended up just watching them.        

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The first day it was used, I was able to check 3 healthy babies, confirmed a set of twins, and, unfortunately, confirmed 2 miscarriages.  One of them had been told she needed a D&C. 

At General Hospital, because of the poor conditions, it could be deadly (not to mention, the hospital is on strike again). But with the ultrasound, we could tell that the miscarriage was complete and there was no need for a dangerous D&C. 

This ministry has truly been blessed!

There are burdens and there are blessings.  I am thankful and blessed by each person who has partnered with the work of saving lives and making a difference to the children and people of Haiti.  Some days the scales may seem to be tipping the wrong way but it is always short lived as together we continue to make a difference for so many.

 You don't see many pacifiers down here.  When you do have one you need to be sure you don't lose it.  So a little bling keeps the pacy safe!

You don't see many pacifiers down here.  When you do have one you need to be sure you don't lose it.  So a little bling keeps the pacy safe!

So, I leave you with a little cuteness but more importantly a life that has been changed because YOU cared enough to help her!

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby

Can You Really Be So Little?

I know I am behind on my updates from Haiti.  I had hope to write during my “Spring Break” but it was a very busy time. 

I was able to come back to Michigan for 2 weeks for a little break.  It was a very busy time getting some things done, meeting with people about Kelby's Kids and catchhing up with friends. I was hoping for some half-way decent weather in Michigan — but it was not meant to be. I guess when you live in the Caribbean and you go to Michigan for spring break you have to expect it. Snow arrived within hours of my arrival and remained until after I left. It even got down to zero one night.  I wasn’t happy — but it sounds like the following weekend (after I left) was even worse!.

Just before I left Haiti for break, we had a busy week in clinic. 

On Tuesday, we had two babies come into the malnutrition clinic.  They were both so very little. When I saw the weight on the slip I thought "can you really be so little?" 

The first little one weighed 1.5 kg (3.3 pounds). She was a month old. Mom reports having problems and delivering her at home around seven months into the pregnancy. She said that the baby just wouldn’t grow. 

When asked what she feeds her baby, her reply was “well, the same thing I eat!” 

Momma is feeding beans and rice, chicken, mango and bananas to a one-month-old, three-pound baby. It’s simply amazing that the baby is still alive. I assumed she was a new mom. So, it was shocking to hear that this baby was her 11th! And only one has died! 

We made arrangements for her to go outside of Port-au-Prince to an inpatient malnutrition center for around-the-clock care and education. 

Once she arrived she decided that she wasn’t going to do it ... and she left.  Sadly, we have not heard from them since.

 This little angel is only 3.3 pounds

This little angel is only 3.3 pounds

Our second little one was Samuel.  He was the big boy at 1.8 kg (3.9 pounds).  Except he was two and a half months old.

 Samuel coming to get some real food!

Samuel coming to get some real food!

He was very cute and seemed to be doing quite well, all things considered. 

His story is a little different, but not much. 

His mom had actually come to the clinic twice (before we were an official Maternal Health Clinic).  She started the program and when she came back for her second visit, And it was obvious that there had been a big change. She was very sick. 

She was obviously suffering from Preeclampsia — with very high blood pressure, very swollen feet, many complaints, and even some cardiac issues. We sent her to the Doctors Without Borders Hospital a short distance away, but she was transferred to a second hospital — because they didn't have any beds (the Doctors Without Borders Hospitals in Haiti are all closing this year and that will make it even more difficult to get help for the moms in the program having trouble). 

The second hospital would not care for her and she was sent to a third hospital.  The third hospital told her to come back later — and then she went home.  We lost touch with her and assumed that there was a good chance mom and baby had died.  Praise God that was not the case!!  She went back 2 days later and they did a C-section.  Samuel was also born around 7 months at 1.4 kg and spent 2 months in an isolate of some sort. 

During his 8 weeks in the isolate and the next couple weeks at home he has only gained 0.4 kg to his current 1.8 kg (with a diaper) weight.  When mom was asked if she was breast feeding him, she said she wasn't. She said he dried up during the 2 months he was in the hospital (hard telling what they were giving him). 

When asked what she has been giving him she said "pudding." My first thought was that’s probably even worse than the sweetened condensed milk that most people use. But then she explained that pudding was saltine crackers crushed and mixed with water.  So, he has been given virtually no nutrition for who knows how long. 

We started him on formula even before he left the clinic.  He has been doing well and is slowly gaining weight.

 A mother and child are 2 more lives saved!!

A mother and child are 2 more lives saved!!

Please remember to pray for Samuel as well as the other little one as they struggle to survive in this difficult culture.

One of my patients the other day was very cute little man and I realized that he was trying to give me a fist bump.  After he would give me a fist bump he would tap his chest with his fist.  I am sure that he has seen the bigger boys doing this.  I think this was his way of showing appreciation for what he has received through the malnutrition program. 

It’s such an encouragement to see him growing up big and strong! And because YOU make it possible for me to help him!

 Thank you my little brother!

Thank you my little brother!

You may have seen the posts on Facebook about Ruthchina, the little 10-month-old we sent to inpatient malnutrition on March 21. She was only 9 pounds at 10 months. 

She was very sick with Pneumonia and had a high fever, as well as malnourishment.  She initially did really well — but has since taken a step back. She is having problems with her lungs again.  Please remember to pray for her as she struggles to regain her health.

 Sweet little Ruthchina

Sweet little Ruthchina

I am sad to have to report that we have lost track of Guerna (the young lady with the bad burns on her chest, abdomen, and left arm). 

She has an appointment this week for reconstructive surgery. We have been trying to get in contact with her to let her know, make sure she was doing well, and get her some extra food and vitamins so she would be healthy for surgery.  But she no longer lives in the neighborhood. Nobody knows where to find her but we were told that it’s rumored that she was possible sold as a Restavik again. 

Please pray for Guerna that she would be able to get out of this child slavery and find the help she needs.

 Traumatized, deformed, and disabled. And now a child slave for the second time. 

Traumatized, deformed, and disabled. And now a child slave for the second time. 

I am pleased to report that there are already 9 moms in the Maternal Health Clinic.  I am excited to see the improved health for these moms and their babies, preventing the need for further medical care in the wake of the hospital closure, and reducing mortality for both the babies and their moms!

I continue to be blessed and humbled by your faithful prayer and financial support of this ministry.  I would not be able to do all that I am doing without you! Please consider sharing this ministry you are involved in with others.  The more we come together, the more we can accomplish!

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby  

Kelby's Kids in the News

Midland Daily News recently covered an event where I spoke!

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From the story ...

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As a critical care paramedic, Kelby Klassen was not trained to administer stitches, but it was a skill the Midland native learned as a doctor in Haiti.

"You have to learn as you go," Klassen said. "I'm the doctor for a lot of people, it's me or nobody."

Klassen grew up in Midland and attended Midland Christian School in the 1980s, and always had a desire to pursue mission work. He now lives in Haiti and works as a full time missionary administering medical care through his charity organization, Kelby's Kids. ...

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Read the rest online at the Midland Daily News website

All photos are copyright of Midland Daily News.

Why do I suffer because of my mom's choices?

In my last blog post I started with a story of a little boy who got burned with boiling water. 

I posted a picture of him after I finished his dressing change on Wednesday.  On Friday he never came to the clinic for his dressing change.  That night I was at the guest house next door talking with the team and they were telling me about a little boy that they had found down in the ravine that day.  They said that they had gotten a picture of him so I asked to see it.

 My little patient... lost to the unknown... 

My little patient... lost to the unknown... 

Now I know why he didn’t show up.  They said they found him setting in the gutter playing in the dirt eating trash with no adults around anywhere to watch him.  He didn’t have any bandages on his burns and he was very dirty.  His worst burn was on his left leg and under his arm.  But you can see the burn to his arm and a couple other spots on his leg. 

This is the reality of work here in Haiti.  Haitians have limited access to medical care but when it’s available they often still don’t follow through until things are healed. I have not seen him again.  I hope and pray he is doing OK.

At malnutrition clinic many of the Mamma’s really do care about their kids and get upset when other moms try to take advantage of the program. We love all the kids that come through our door but some of the Moms, and a few dads, are a little more difficult.

 It's never easy to say good bye...

It's never easy to say good bye...

I took just an extra couple of minutes to love on this little angel (pictured above) before I had to be the bad guy and kick her out of the malnutrition program.  We had a confidential informant that told us a mom was breastfeeding her daughter, but accepting free formula from our clinic, and selling the formula on the street. 

The informant confronted the Mom but she didn't listen, and didn't care. 

We confronted Mom about it — and she had an excuse for it all.  She had no problem with us checking to see if she had milk, and I guess assumed we wouldn’t be able to find any.  When the milk came it was like someone punched her in the stomach.  Her head dropped, her shoulders sank and she knew it was over. She made a few more excuses before giving up and leaving with her daughter. 

She was able to steal from us for 9 weeks but it eventually caught up with her.  But, like we tell them all many times at the beginning of clinic, "we do our best to be good stewards or what the Lord has given us to help the children."  It’s not a guarantee, though, that someone tricks us. Some day they will have to answer to the One to whom this formula truly belongs to!

We have had a lot of sick kids in the last couple weeks.  One of the struggles in Haiti is moms not understanding that milk isn’t always milk.  They don't want to breast feed there children for a variety of reasons, most of which are from cultural misconceptions. 

It’s common here for people to try to raise their kids on canned “milk” (Yes! The sweetened, condensed kind!).  I normally say, "so, your raising your kid on coffee creamer?" But they don’t even know what that means, so, in that instance, my translators don’t even try to explain to them what I'm saying.

 An IV is the result of poor maternal care due to lack of basic knowledge about children.

An IV is the result of poor maternal care due to lack of basic knowledge about children.

This little girl had a blood sugar over 200 and was dehydrated as they don’t get the quantity of fluid they need with the canned milk.  She was not responding well and was not looking good.  I stated an IV on her and gave her some fluid to re-hydrate her and help her body process the sugar.

About 10 minutes after she came in, another little guy came in — with the same story.  Except, this time, mom had run out of canned milk.  Since he had been getting so much sugar, his insulin production was increased and when she stopped, suddenly his body wasn't able to respond fast enough.  His blood sugar dipped to 57.  We had to get some formula in him to help bring his blood sugar back up — so he would wake up.

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I am excited to announce that the Maternal Health Clinic officially opened this week!!  I have been caring for Mamma’s since I arrived in Haiti, but now has its own clinic.  This means there is now a medical clinic, a malnutrition clinic, a wound care clinic, and the brand-new maternal health clinic.

Many lives have been saved already through Kelby’s Kidss work with expectant moms, and I look forward too many more. Our first patient is shown below!

 Excited about this mothers decision to join our maternal health clinic.

Excited about this mothers decision to join our maternal health clinic.

This is mom has Dossier # 1!  When you go the hospital, you can’t be seen until they create your Dossier which is your chart of file. 

I am extra excited that this mom was the first one here this week to take part in this clinic.  Last week she came to medical clinic with her kids. They were all sick.  After they were done she asked if she could get a pregnancy test. It came back positive. 

I was a little taken back by how quickly and openly she said well I don’t want another baby, "so I will have an abortion."

Abortions are illegal in Haiti but the guys that walk around selling medications will give you a concoction of pills that, if it doesn’t kill you, it will often cause you to lose the baby.  I talked with her for a while but her mind was made up. 

I told her I hoped that she would reconsider and that her baby was alive and if she chose to kill it she will certainly have to answer for that someday.  She left the clinic and I was left with a heavy heart. 

About 5 minutes later she walked back into the clinic and asked if I would help her with the pregnancy if she kept the baby?  I said "YES!

I made an appointment for her to come back the following week. I was cautiously excited as I knew what the week of thinking about it — and pressure from her friends and neighbors — could bring. 

It was a joy to have her walk into clinic a week later wanting what was best for her and her baby!!

 Cuteness overload!!

Cuteness overload!!

These twins are a part of the malnutrition program.  They were hanging out today and it was so cute to watch them and see how much they loved each other.  They spent about half of the time together holding each other’s hand.

I had a pleasant surprise at medical clinic this week that took me back a ways.  On June 17, 2017, I posted about Roseline.  She was 3 months old at the time and had fallen off a bed, landing on her head. 

She had a depressed skull fracture and I took her to the hospital for care. One Monday she came to clinic after 5 days of a high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and not being able to keep anything down.  We attempted to give her some Pedialyte but it came back up.  It was obvious that she would need an IV.  I remember it taking 7 tries to get an IV in her at the hospital — and that was after an acute injury.  Now she was extremely dehydrated after being sick for 5 days.  Despite being sick she was still fighting the IV and it took several people to hold her down.  Thankfully on the third attempt we got a good IV and got it secured successfully.  After some IV fluid she started to perk up and you could tell she was feeling better.  We made arrangements for her to come back the next day for more fluid.  I had a pretty good idea where she lived from the incident in June, and hoped I could find her if she didn’t return.

 Cute as a button — even with a little depression in her forehead!

Cute as a button — even with a little depression in her forehead!

She came back the next day doing and feeling better.  Through talking to her mom we discovered that she was doing better but she had given her a Tylenol overdose in the short time she was home. 

We prayed that the IV would still be good as she could use a little more fluid for her sickness but really needed some help to flush the Tylenol from her system.  The IV ran beautifully and we were able to get her well-hydrated.  Mom was very appreciative!  And I think Roseline was too, despite the Piki.

Despite the struggles that life in Haiti brings to all missionaries here, I can’t think of any other place I would rather be!  It’s a blessing to be able to be a part of, and to make a difference in the lives of these kids and other patients at the clinics.  They may not be able to say "thank you" but you can see it in their faces and feel it in their hugs and snuggles.

PIC 7.jpg

If you would like to be a part of the blessing of helping these kids there are several options on this web site.  Then, when you see the pictures of these kids and hear the stories you can know that you were a part of that story.  There will be additional operating cost for this Maternal Health Clinic but lives have been saved and many more will be saved through it.

I am always humbled by those who are already partners with this ministry and allow me to use the skills God has given me to do what I love to do, practicing medicine and loving on babies!

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby

It's not easy staying cute!

I had a little boy come to clinic this week who had been burned. 

His burns looked awful. It looked like he had probably fallen in a charcoal cooking fire. His mom said that hot water had been spilled on him. I said this "story doesn’t add up."

Steam and water burns are clean. And this boy's burn was very contaminated. She told us that she used a white powder to help heal the burn — although she didn't know what kind of white powder she was using.

So, I would assume it probably came from a Witch Doctor. 

After a little while, she admitted to us that she had also placed burnt egg shells — and cow manure — on the burn. She ALSO told us it had been five days since the burn happened! 

It looks like it will be a long road of dressing changes to try and get the burns to heal. The boy is three years old, and he didn’t want any part of us helping him. I gave him my EMS speech, the one I give to uncooperative patients, but it didn’t seem to help! HA!  

It took 6 of us to get his burns bandaged. So, it is going to be an even longer road to recovery for all of us.

 A successful dressing change

A successful dressing change

On Wednesday, I was the only one in the clinic for bandage changes and didn’t know if we would get it done or not. 

When the child arrived, he was sleeping.  I had his mom lay him carefully on the table.  I was actually able to undress, debride, and redress all his burns without him waking up!  It was such a blessing for him (and me!) that he slept soundly through the entire process.  I'm praying that he'll return regularly for his dressing changes, and that he'll heal with minimal scaring.

I realized the other day that I have never introduced you to my good friend, Jackenson.  Almost since I arrived in Haiti and started working at the clinic, Jackenson has been helping me out. He is almost 15 now and is a BIG help around the clinic.

 Jackenson helping with the babies during malnutrition clinic

Jackenson helping with the babies during malnutrition clinic

He helps us with things around the clinic.  He translates for me a lot.  He is my right-hand-man during dressing changes on Wednesday’s and Friday’s. He hands me supplies and does all the translating for me with the patients. 

There are many days I would be in trouble during dressing changes if he wasn’t there to help me.  He even goes out with me when I have to run errands incase I run into someone who only speaks Creole.  He is very smart and often times reminds me what supplies I need for a particular patient. 

The other day I was late getting done with dressing changes and is was starting to get dark and I had walked to clinic.  As I was locking up he said "hold on a minute."  He ran to the back of the building, and a few moments later, he comes back and says "I got Karen to give you a ride home." 

I told him I could walk, but he said, “NO! It's getting dark.” He said, “you take care of me, and I take care of you!”  He is very thoughtful.

Unfortunately, Jackenson is a Sickle Cell patient. So, I do often take care of him.

When he has a Sickle Cell crisis he ends up in the hospital for a week.  Some time ago we were talking about it and how expensive it is to have him in the hospital for a week for IV fluids and pain medications.  We decided that we could do all that right here just as easy.

 Jackenson getting a “Piki” during a Sickle Cell crisis but still wanting to be in the clinic.  He didn't see the humor in my artwork on his IV bag.

Jackenson getting a “Piki” during a Sickle Cell crisis but still wanting to be in the clinic.  He didn't see the humor in my artwork on his IV bag.

So, at the first sign of a crisis he gets a “Piki” (Creole for "shot," so we always say piki just before we poke someone with a needle). We start pain medications and we can get him through his crisis much sooner than when he waits till he is really sick. 

The other day we were talking about how many "shots" he's had over the months.  We decided we were at almost 13 gallons of IV fluid.  He has been doing better lately as we have been working on ways to prevent him from having a crisis. 

Please pray for Jackenson that he will remain healthy! 

He has been fortunate thus far to never have a crisis effect an organ — and we want to keep it that way!

I got called for a house call the other day.  It was about a little guy named Kiko, from a special needs orphanage, who is an asthmatic. He was having an asthma attack because of a respiratory infection.

 Trying to explain to Kiko how to do a breathing treatment through a translator.

Trying to explain to Kiko how to do a breathing treatment through a translator.

I got him a breathing treatment and set him up on some antibiotics.  I hope he is doing well now and back to having fun with his friends!

The orphanage has asked me if I would be their emergency care provider.  They said when they take kids to the hospital they often die.  So, they want me to be on call for their emergencies with their seizures kids, asthmatics, and other serious emergencies.

 It's not easy staying cute when 1 out of 5 kids wont see a 5th birthday.

It's not easy staying cute when 1 out of 5 kids wont see a 5th birthday.

This is one of the many little cuties that makes clinic such a blessing!  It so rewarding and makes all the struggles worth while when you can give these little ones hope through good health.  It’s always a little plus when you pick them up and they tuck their head into your shoulder and hold on to you as if to give you a hug and say thank-you for keeping me alive!!

If you haven’t become a part of the mission of Kelby’s Kids in Haiti, now is a good time to start.  Keeping kids healthy and happy comes with a price.  My clinic expenses for the first 45 days of the year were almost $2,800.00

A new and fun way you can support Kelby’s Kids is to shop!  Kelby’s kids is now a part of Amazon Smile. When you shop on Amazon they will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Kelby's Kids!!  Just click on the following link to get started.

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/81-1167821

For those of you who have partnered with the ministry of Kelby’s Kids, I think this little man says it best…

 Mèsi anpil (Thank-you very much)!!

Mèsi anpil (Thank-you very much)!!

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby

 

Sick... Sick... Sick...

Well, I have to apologize for the long delay since my last post! I think I caught the flu on the plane ride to Haiti after Christmas. 

I started to get sick on January 2nd and as of the 22nd I am still trying to get rid of the remains of it! It’s been annoying and counterproductive to the work of Kelby’s Kids, to say the least. 

Please pray that I don’t relapse or have any further problems as I continue to work alone to keep things going in Haiti.

The Prices are still on Furlough in the states so it’s left a lot of extra work for me to keep up with things on my own. Please be in prayer for Prices. Troy’s Dad passed away on January 13th.  This will greatly change the remainder of Troy’s time in the US.

Some of our patients were sick as well while I was gone.

 One of the sets of twins that are in the Malnutrition program.Yvoson, mom, and Yvosia.

One of the sets of twins that are in the Malnutrition program.Yvoson, mom, and Yvosia.

When I arrived back in Haiti I found out that on December 27th Yvoson had died unexpectedly. 

His Mom said that he got sick with a fever.  She said that she took him to the hospital, and when they got there, the hospital told her he was dead. I asked her if the hospital had an idea how Yvoson dies, and the hospital had told her it was the fever. 

We gave Yvosia a good evaluation at clinic and she seems to be doing fine. Please pray for Yvosia and her mom as they deal with the loss of Yvoson.

I am sure you all remember our little miracle Davernile?  I have talked about her in several posts but the first was in the post: “The Lost Have Been Found” back on May 29th 2017.

 Davernile after a big weight gain.

Davernile after a big weight gain.

We found out that on January 6th Davernile died.  She had been through so much.  She had beaten the odds several times even despite a mother that didn’t want her and a culture that thought she was evil because of her disabilities.  She was still able to hold on through so much.  It may have been a seizure that took her, they don’t know.  What we do know is that she now is enjoying love like she has never experienced, a body free from pain, and can climb into the arms of her Heavenly Father.

Thank-You to everyone that was a part of giving Davernile a better life during the short time she was here!

Last Tuesday at clinic a guy brought in a little baby Wedson, that didn’t look very good.  He was very dehydrated, his skin was in bad shape, and he wasn’t responding very well.  He said that the mom had gone crazy and had taken off when the baby was 3 days old (this has become the story for every child in the clinic as “dead moms” mean they have to bring us a death certificate, so "crazy mom" is much less work).  He said that he gives him sugar water when he cries. 

 Wedson, not even being held very well by his dad.

Wedson, not even being held very well by his dad.

As I was assessing Wedson I could smell alcohol.  I had my translator ask him if he had been drinking.  He said yes.  I proceeded to start to chew him out over that fact that he could buy alcohol for himself and then come begging to me to feed his baby.  He then clarified that he wasn’t drinking. He had given Wedson some alcohol so he wouldn’t cry.  So, I continued to chew him out for that.  You don’t have to feed them very often if they sleep all the time. 

They do this regularly so they can leave their babies at home while they go to work all day.  I told him he better look a lot better next week and he assured me he would.  But he didn’t seem to be paying attention to my instructions.  I'm praying that Wedson will come back this Tuesday and will be healthier.

Do you remember this little guy from my last post?  Another set of twins to the program.

PIC 4.jpg

I am happy to report that they have gained weight and are doing much better! 

If you remember they came to the clinic and said mom was dead and we sent them to inpatient malnutrition.  Once there, they called them out and told them they were liars and the mom admitted she was actually the mom.

They came back to clinic last week.  They sat down in front of me and started lying with their sob story.  I told them I didn’t believe them and that they could leave.  My translator said that he knew they were lying too.  They didn’t want to leave.  I told them they were liars and they were leaving.  This made them mad despite the fact that everyone know Haitians love to lie and will lie even when it’s easier to tell the truth.  They want to tell you what they think you want to hear. 

This is why it’s hard to assess people because they are making up their symptoms to try to make you happy!  As they were heading to the gate one came back and said they used to be a part of Rhyan’s inpatient program and I had to help them. Then it clicked how I knew them.  I told them I would check and they could come back next week and get in if it was true.  I have a conversation with Rhyan. They are currently still in her program and had just received formula three days before they came to me. 

We are curious where they will return this week but if they come back to my clinic there story will be a little object lesson for the rest of the mammas since a good number of them are all friends.

Last week at medical clinic we had a little patient come in with an infection in his arm. 

We were full but he was let in as it looked serious. When Kervens came in he cried when I touched his arm.  His mom stated that another little boy pushed him down three days ago and he had cut his arm and it got some dirt in it, and it got infected. Upon evaluation of his arm it was determined that he had a displaced humerus fracture.  I was worried about bone infection if the cut was made from the bone and dirt got on the bone as well.  We sent him to a good hospital for further care.

 Kervens was much happier with a cast to hold it still and some goodies to eat and drink!!

Kervens was much happier with a cast to hold it still and some goodies to eat and drink!!

While in the ER the mom confessed to the nurses that some time ago he broke his arm. No story was given but was probably not from playing. Then, to help reduce the swelling caused by the break, a steaming corn cob and held it on his arm while they tried to reduce it at home. So, his infection was actually a burn. It was a pretty inexpensive trip to the ER all things considered but still at $3,215 HTG is out of reach for most.  

Thanks for helping Kelby's Kids Take care of this need! I'm hoping to see Kervens again, but may not — since his mother knows we know the truth.

I’m not going to lie, I am sick and tired of being lied to and taken advantage by people lately.

I apologize that this post is not very uplifting.  But it’s not been a very uplifting couple of weeks here in Haiti. I am hoping my flu goes away and that this next week is a great week in the clinics with healthy kids! And I'm praying for truthful moms and dads to come through the doors!

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby

Year-end Giving: A letter from Barb Frahm

We want to sincerely thank all who have made contributions in support of Kelby's Kids during 2017 — we will be sending year-end contribution summary statements to you soon.

On behalf of Kelby and Kelby’s Kids, I also want to encourage you to consider a 2017 year-end contribution which simply needs to be postmarked or date-and-timestamped no later than the end of the day, 12/31/17.

Kelby has faithfully served the babies, children and families in Haiti for more than one year and has reached thousands of people:

  • 1,000 served at malnutrition Clinic from Jan 31-October 10, 2017
  • 325 patients in 5 days while holding a clinic in Bohoc, Haiti
  • More than 150 patients weekly in medical clinics and feeding centers

A single day at the malnutrition clinic will cost $500 to provide formula and Medika Mumba (medical peanut butter for malnourished kids ages 6months-6years). With four or five malnutrition clinics per month that $2,000 price tag is more than our current monthly income at this point.

We believe that God will provide in 2018 for Kelby to begin receiving a salary (he has been a faithful VOLUNTEER for the past 15 months, Oct 2016-Dec 2017).

Please join us in praying for Kelby and this ministry and seeking God for the provision for Kelby to continue to minister in Haiti, until no child dies from a preventable issue.
 

Give securely online!

Barb Frahm, Secretary/Treasurer
Kelbys Kids Inc

 

Broken for the Broken

It’s been a busy several weeks.  Clinics have kept me very busy. 

The other day I received a call from HERO while I was at clinic.  They needed help with a Medivac.   I assumed a transport to the airport to meet a plane for transport to the U.S.  But actually, this was for the transport to the U.S.  An American had come to Haiti for a weeks and while he was here they were involved in a car accident. 

He wasn’t injured in the accident but with his history of high blood pressure he had a hypertensive crisis which resulted in a stroke.  He did not have insurance and thus no hospital would accept him.  Without an accepting hospital no Medivac will leave the U.S. to come to Haiti.  The best option the family found was if they could secure $300,000.00 USD in cash the hospital would accept him.  So, after 5 days with some creativity we finally figured out a solution.  For 4 of those days the patient was on a ventilator so it’s not like he wasn’t in critical condition. 

We went to the ICU and picked the patient up in the ambulance, transported him to the airport and placed him in a private jet for a flight to Miami.

 If only that had the Kelby's Kids logo on the side! 

If only that had the Kelby's Kids logo on the side! 

We had a fair amount of equipment, but it was a little different to know that no matter what happened we were on our own out in the middle of the ocean for a while.  Things went very smoothly and the patient did well during transport. 

Upon arrival to Miami we turned the patient over to the local EMS for a transport to an ER that had agreed to see him to work him into the system.  He was eligible for Medicare insurance and once he was on the ground in the U.S. but he could not be signed up while outside the U.S.

 The crew was very interested in our work in Haiti with HERO Ambulance

The crew was very interested in our work in Haiti with HERO Ambulance

The patient’s daughter emailed us a few days later and said that he had surgery the next day and was expected to make a full recovery!  He would have died if he would have remained in Haiti.

I am so thankful that as of December 15th I now have medical insurance which covers me in Haiti and the U.S. as well as medivac coverage.  His plane ride on a “non-medical” aircraft was still $13,000.00 which will be out of pocket for him.

It was also nice to get to spend the night in a nice hotel room.  We turned the A/C way down and crawled under the blankets and didn’t need a mosquito net!  I slept like a rock that night.  The next morning, we flew commercial back to Haiti.

While finishing up some details from the trip that evening I was asked if I wanted to go on another medivac the next morning.  I asked if it was the same thing and was told no this was just a short hop across the island for a psychiatric patient.  I said sure it sounds like a fun trip.  A small plane is the best way to see the beauty of Haiti.

 Skimming across the tops of the mountains was a lot of fun in the little six-passenger plane.

Skimming across the tops of the mountains was a lot of fun in the little six-passenger plane.

We didn’t know a lot about the transport just that we needed to take the patient on an MAF flight back to Port-au-Prince.  It was a 15 minute flight over a few mountains to get to the north side of the island to Jeremy.  This would have been a 6 hour drive at best in a ambulance, one way.  Shortly after we arrived a truck pulled up and a woman got out and introduced herself.  She asked if we had a female with us.  We said no, just the 3 guys on the crew and the pilot. 

She proceeded to tell us that the patient, we’ll call her Hope, was rescued out of years of sex trafficking.  She said that Hope was very upset and confused about what was going on and that going with men was going to be difficult for her.  She said that she had had several breakdowns and became violent while in the rescue center.  That is why she was being transferred to an inpatient psychiatric facility.  When Hope got out of the truck she started crying. 

The closer she got the more upset she became.  Before we left Port-au-Prince we were prepared to restrain the patient and sedate her for the flight for the safety of the pilot, ourselves, the patient and the aircraft during flight.  We quickly decided that we would have to sedate her.  We had to hold her down on the tarmac to giver her the injection before we could even get her to the plane.  This was a little more difficult and risky as we knew that Hope had contracted HIV from her years of abuse in sex trafficking.  It didn’t take long before my heart started to break for Hope. 

At 17 years old she had already been through more than one should experience in a life time.  I realized that though upset, she actually never tried to hurt us, most likely because of the repercussions that would normally have brought.  It was pretty obvious that was a lesson in submission that was a long time coming before she had finally been broken.  Her body was covered in scars.  Everywhere except her face because that’s where the money was.  She was a beautiful girl but was so broken.  I can’t even fathom the years of abuse that Hope had endured.  It was not easy to tie her down in the plane.  She did not know why she was being restrained and I felt like I was repeating the night mare that she has lived for so long.  I know that she probably thought the rescue mission had tricked her and she was going right back to the life she thought she had escaped from. 

Although sedated, she was still awake.  She talked to me, I am sure begging me not to hurt her, and I talked to her trying to tell her she was safe, although neither of us really understanding the other.  The flight back to Port-au-Prince went well and before long we were back safely on the ground. 

We transferred her to the ambulance she was a little uncooperative as she was probably hoping to escape what she thought would be coming.  So again, we had to restrain Hope to the cot. 

As we were leaving the airport she was looking around and I think she understood she was in an ambulance.  She wanted to see where she was and was trying to look out the back windows.  The back of the cot was not working so it would not set up. 

I loosened the restraints some and she leaned up to see.  She became much more calm while being able to look out the back windows.  I put my arm under her back to help hold her up so she could see.  When we arrived at the facility we had to go to there was a change of plans as we had to take her to the doctor before she could be admitted.  So, we set for a while trying to figure everything out. 

While we were waiting I untied her hands, so she was more comfortable.  My arm and my back were getting tired from holding her up.  But I could tell that she didn’t want me to let her go.  After a few more minutes waiting she put her head on my arm.  Just before she fell asleep I put my hand on hers and she held it tightly. 

It almost brought me to tears as I held this young girl.  I didn’t even want to think of all she had been through.  Her hands and arms and legs and feet were covered in so many scars.  I wanted to take a picture of her hand to share with you as a symbol of her broken and difficult life. 

But even more I wanted her to feel safe and didn’t want to let her go.  One of the other guys took a picture of us while we waited.  When it was sent to me I didn’t think I could share it.  But then I decided that Hope needed a voice.

Child and sex trafficking are very real and happen every day. 

I also believe that this picture is a symbol of the privilege I have to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the people I care for. 

When I met Hope I am sure that she thought she was going to be sexually assaulted once again.  But within about 30 minutes she had a complete change in her and felt comfortable and safe.  I believe that came through the love of Jesus.  It is my prayer that there is a hope for a brighter future and a life saved from the evil in this broken world for Hope.

 Broken for the broken

Broken for the broken

The other day at malnutrition clinic a mother brought in her child for the program.  He was 3 years old and only 18 pounds.  He is disabled and very underweight. 

While assessing him we noticed that his feet were wrapped up.  Mom down played the problem when we asked why she had them wrapped, most likely out of embarrassment.  She said he had sores on his feet.  After we admitted him to the program we took him back to look at his feet.  He had more than a sore on his feet.  Mom finally confessed that they are very poor and live up in the mountains and that sometimes at night the rats try to eat his toes. 

The little toe on his left foot is almost gone and the rest of his toes have bite marks in them.  We cleaned them and put dressings on them.  At least now his feet will be protected.  I just hope they don’t move to his hands.

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Please pray for him and his Mamma.  He hasn’t come back for bandage changes and didn’t come to the malnutrition clinic this week.  I am worried about him.

Last week at medical clinic we had a girl show up that had been in a fight.  She had 2 deep avulsions to her left arm from being cut with a broken bottle. 

She had gone to 2 hospitals and neither would help her.  So, she came to our clinic.  A little while later a second girl showed up and the second of the 3 girls that were fighting.  She had a deep puncture wound to her leg from a bottle.  She also had been to 2 different hospitals without help.  They had packed her wound with cotton so it tool a long time to pick all the cotton out of the wound.

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This is the end result of my work with the 16-year-old with the arm injury.  I won’t show you the before picture because I don’t want to lose readers.  Suturing is really out of my scope of practice.  But, it was help them in my clinic or let them go home and try to let it heal on its own.  This would have made a tremendous scare as it was very wide but would have most likely also gotten a really bad infection.  I think it looks pretty good for having no formal training in suturing!

I missed a delivery that the mom wanted me to help with last week.  She waited to long to call and by the time I got there everything was over.  So just a couple days later I got a call and was asked to help another momma.  This time I arrived about 3 hours early.  But on Saturday the 16th at 9:03 am this little angel came into the world.  I helped mom as she delivered laying on the concrete floor of her little house.  Baby and mom are both doing fine!!

 I earned my second pink stork pin in Haiti!!

I earned my second pink stork pin in Haiti!!

This little guy is one of a pair of twins.  He was 3 weeks old and only weighed 1.87 kg (4.11 lbs).  He was so little and so frail.  He looked like a little old man.

 He just needs somebody to care!

He just needs somebody to care!

Mom had died during child birth.  We didn’t think the Aunt could handle caring for them properly by herself as it would take constant care keep both of them alive.  We transported them to an inpatient malnutrition center where they would have the best chance.  A few hours later we got a phone call from the inpatient center and they told us that they told the "Aunt" she was a liar and she finally confessed that she was the mom and didn’t want to breast feed her kids.  She was the 3rd mamma to lie to us that week. 

There have been some major changes in the malnutrition program to prevent some of the dishonesty and scamming that has begun taking place. 

I want to be a good steward with the money that you provide so that this ministry can continue while still giving these children every opportunity to survived and succeed in life despite some of their parents.

 Hanging out with the kids!!

Hanging out with the kids!!

I am sad to report that I am no longer at the school. 

Shortly after moving things started to become very difficult.  I knew based on history that it would not be healthy for me to continue working at the school every day. 

I have packed up my equipment and supplies at the school and will no longer be serving there.  The children and others in the community I worked with will still be able to come up the road to the other clinic location to have their needs for care met. 

If you have any questions about this situation feel free to contact me at Kelby@Kelbyskids.org

On the other side is this will make it easier to have enough time to start my maternal health clinic!!  I hope to get things up and running in January when I return from a short break with friends and family in Michigan over Christmas!

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your faithful support of Kelby’s Kids in 2017.  You have truly saved lives, brought hope, and made a difference in the lives of a lot of kids and there families.  The maternal health clinic will add additional expenses to the budget but if you look back through the stories from this blog you will see where lives were saved already with some of the mothers that I have worked with. It's a very serious need in Haiti.

I am excited to see where 2018 takes us and hope that you will be a part of it.

Praying you have a very Merry CHRISTmas and a blessed New Year!!

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby

Making a Real Difference

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If you've followed along with Kelby's updates from Haiti this year, it doesn't take too long to see the kind of difference Kelby's Kids is making in the lives of women and children and families in Haiti.

Through his medical clinic, hundreds and hundreds of wounds and coughs and breaks have been healed. And through his malnutrition clinic, hundreds of kids and moms have received formula and food and education.

And he's just getting started!

On behalf of the Board of Kelby's Kids, I'd like to encourage you to get in on the world-wide movement of #GivingTuesday. Today's a great day to give a first-time gift or an increased gift to help make a real difference in Kelby's ministry! 

You can experience the joy of empowering Kelby to continue to do what he's doing — and to help him plan for the future! Every single dollar is a great encouragement! Because Kelby's Kids is only at 35% of its funding goals for the year, a $100 gift or $500 gift, or a recurring monthly gift would make an enormous impact on the health of the Kelby's Kids outreach!

Please consider giving today. Thank you!

Sincerely,
Daniel Montgomery
Kelby's Kids board member 

Updates On Kelby's Kids

I want to update you on some of the kids and happenings with Kelby’s Kids!

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I passed my 1-year anniversary in Haiti on November 9th!!  It’s exciting to be able to say that I have lived in Haiti for over a year now! 

Please continue to pray for me and the ministry of Kelby’s kids.  An unsettling number of missionaries that move to Haiti full time, go home within 18 months or less and never return.  Haiti can be a very difficult, frustrating, heartbreaking, and overwhelming place.  I really want to beat that statistic of 18 months with, maybe, 18 years! 

There is a lot of good, heartwarming, life changing work that does happen and the focus needs to remain on that.

I didn’t tell you in my last post that when I went to Bohoc I was able to see 325 patients in 5 days!

 An outdoor clinic in Bohoc

An outdoor clinic in Bohoc

It was also one of the most restful and relaxing weeks I have had in Haiti in a long time.  It made me realize how stressful and constant things really are at the school.  Self-care is an important part of serving in a third world country.  Many studies have revealed that the stress level for missionaries in these countries is often equivalent to people that live in war zones.  So it’s important to take care of yourself as well as your patients.  You can’t pour anything out of an empty cup!

So, I have moved from the school. 

I am only about 300 yards — away but it’s a whole different world.  Although I'm busy getting settled in, it’s been a nice first week in my new room.  Troy and Gwyn Price, the missionaries on the next street that I do a lot of work with, have allowed me to move into one of their intern rooms.  When I told Sherrie that I was leaving the school she said “I’m actually surprised you made it this long, this is a very difficult place to live and most don't make it a year.”  Imagine if 450 people visited your house every day!

Some of the students were upset I was leaving until I explained to them that I am just sleeping in a different place.  I will still be at the school working in the clinic nearly every day.

Ischia, originally posted as Auze (Haitians go by several names often times), has been accepted by the Haiti Cardiac Alliance as a patient!  Please continue to pray for her.  She has been placed on several medications (Lasix, Vasotec, & Digoxin) to try to help her heart and condition.  She has such a bad Ventricular Septal Defect (the wall between the 2 bottom parts of your heart) that there is barely a Septum visible.  Because of this she has significant Pulmonary Hypertension and if it doesn’t improve she will not be a surgical candidate.  This will cost her her life within the next couple years or sooner if she gets sick.

 Ischia has so much to consider at such a young age.

Ischia has so much to consider at such a young age.

Davernile is doing great!  They were unable to convince her family to continue to care for her even with assistance.  She has graduated from the inpatient malnutrition program and has been placed in a special needs children’s home where she will be loved and cared for as she deserves!

 Davernile looks like she almost doubled her weight since that day we thought she might die.

Davernile looks like she almost doubled her weight since that day we thought she might die.

Guerna, I am very sad to report, did not get her surgery. 

She had a fever on the day of surgery so they had to postpone it.  She has been rescheduled for their next trip in march. We will work closer with her to do everything we can to be sure she is healthy for her surgery in March. As she grows and the scars on her chest from her burns get tighter and she is getting more uncomfortable and having more trouble breathing. 

A couple days after she was sent home as I was walking down the road she ran up to me and gave me a big hug and just held onto me.  I think she desperately wants the surgery. I hope she understood when I told her "I won’t give up" and will see that she gets surgery.  It broke my heart.

Please remember to pray for Guerna that her March surgery will be a success.

 Guerna has such a sweet spirit despite all the suffering she has been though in her life.

Guerna has such a sweet spirit despite all the suffering she has been though in her life.

Faeka, the baby I delivered on February 15th, is happy and healthy!!  It’s nice to see her every couple days as I walk from my new home to the school and back.

 Faeka is a curious little girl.  She always looks like she has much to say when I talk to her.  

Faeka is a curious little girl.  She always looks like she has much to say when I talk to her.  

On Friday we were able to go to The Apparent Project for lunch. 

It’s a place a lot of Missionaries hang out.  It also provides a lot of Haitians with jobs working there and making items for their large gift shop.  While we were there Aaron Boyd came in to set up for a concert that they were doing with World Orphans that night.  Aaron Boyd is from Belfast Ireland and the leader of the band Blue Tree, he is also the Author of the powerful song “God Of This City.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXh_tgjnYJw They also had a team from the American Ninja TV show that was doing work with Kids that week. 

It was a great experience to be able to talk with Aaron and the team that was with them. 

Many of them, including Aaron, are good friends with my good friend Mike who has been working with World Orphans for over 8 years. It was an encouraging time of community with God’s people.

 Aaron Boyd and myself in a selfie!

Aaron Boyd and myself in a selfie!

My friends gave me a hard time for taking a selfie with him but he took this one first and it was posted on the Blue Tree Facebook page!

My last post about Bohoc was a little long to include all this so I broke it up into a second post.  Thanks for your continued interest in the work of Kelby's Kids in Haiti!

Until No Child Dies

Kelby

Adventures In Bohoc - a week in pictures

On October 27th I was picked up by my friend Hein and we were off on a great adventure!

Hein is the founder of Matthew 28 in Bohoc, Haiti. He and his teams often stay at the school, when they arrive or are heading home, so I have known him for a while.  On his last trip he asked me if I would be willing to go with him on his next trip because he had no medical people on this team and he runs clinics at his feeding centers with each team.  I agreed with some apprehension as to what I was getting into but was excited about some new opportunities and experiences. We went to the airport to pick up the other 4 people of the team.  When we got them loaded at the airport we left for the 4-hour trip to Bohoc.

Bohoc is in the Central plateau north of Port-au-Prince (PAP), Haiti.  I have never been to this area of Haiti before.  It was a long, dusty, and bumpy drive.  It was interesting to go across a bridge and be told there were no more paved roads for the rest of the trip.  They are working on a big road improvement project from where the pavement stops the rest of the way to Cap Haitian.  They are putting the bridges in where the road crosses the bigger rivers but they are not finished yet.  So, you just go around the construction, through the river!

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When we arrived, it was dark so I didn’t get a good look at the compound we were staying at until the next morning.  It was very simple but very beautiful. The dormitory we stayed in had no running water. The bathrooms were pit toilets that were about 75 yards from the dormitory.  The showers were in a little 4’ X 4’ concrete building with no roof (it’s kinda different to shower under the stars!).  But it was for sure an oasis far away from the PAP.

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It was so different than PAP.  There was almost no dust to speak of in comparison.  The flies were almost nonexistent.  But the best thing was that at night there were no trucks, no horns, rarely dogs barking or roosters crowing, and NO gun shots.  You would lay in bed at night and all you would here was the bugs.

My job was to provide medical care for all the children at the feeding centers that we visited.  There are 19 feeding centers and so each child gets medical care 2-3 times a year depending on how many teams there are.  We visited 4 feeding centers. We were supposed to go to 5 but there were demonstrations on the only road to a remote town and so we did not make it.  It was reported that the power had been shut off to the town and they were protesting to have it turned on.  The power was shut off because so many people were stealing it. It’s reported that 68% of all the electricity produced in Haiti gets stolen.

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This was the location of our first clinic.  It was out in the middle or nowhere.  I have no idea how Hein found these locations but there was defiantly a need in these remote locations.  Many of the children had very orange or even blonde looking Hair.  This is the result of malnutrition.  But as this is a new feeding center the roots of their hair is now black like it should be with good nutrition.

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One of our patients was a little boy that was severely disabled.  His grandfather brought him with a hope that he could be helped.  He has a sever muscle deficiency which doesn't allow for contractions of his joints.  Matthew 28 is looking into the possibilities of care, which would have to be in America, but the reality looks rather bleak for this little guy.

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Almost every day the trip was a challenge.  There were a couple times that we had to get out of the truck because either the weight was too much to get up a hill or so we weren’t in the truck if it rolled over.  This road was washed out by the last 2 hurricanes this summer.  We got out in case the edge gave way as he inched around this big wash out.

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Sometimes we would just have to drive through a river, hoping it didn’t rain before we got back.  It gave new meaning to the phrase "If the Lord willing and the creek don't rise."  One day our driver came and said we need to leave cause it looks like rain. Fortunately we were just finishing so we seen all the kids.

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It was obvious that we were probably the only medical care and medical education that some of the kids see or get.  Some of them were scared but some were very happy to have someone care for their needs.

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One of our clinics was held outside because the center didn’t even have a building to use.

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It was nice that Kelby’s kids was able to partner with Matthew 28 to provide medical care for these children.

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Besides the feeding programs they have an orphanage and a school.  I checked on the kids in the orphanage and a few people from the community.

One of the ladies from the neighborhood came to be seen and I was privileged to inform my third Mamma now that she is expecting twins!!

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One for the kids at the orphanage was named Kerby.  They don’t pronounce the “R” well so I was always hearing my name the way that they often pronounce mine as Keby!

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We got to hang out with the Kindergarteners one morning.  It’s always good to see healthy smiling kids!!

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One of the most special parts of this trip for me was to meet Jezula.  She is a about 12 years old and lives at the orphanage.  She was taken away from her mother for abuse and neglect.  She has Cerebral palsy as well as some learning disabilities from malnutrition.  Her mother would set her out by the road every day to beg for money.  She kept her as miserable and as sick looking as possible so she could make more money for her family.  Despite all she has to be unhappy about, she is very happy and her heart shines through her beautiful smile.

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Jezula, which means God is here, was such a blessing to spend time with.  She can’t keep up with the other kids so I would carry her to some place close so she could watch the others play.  She was so happy just to have you set with her.  I hope I was able to bless her half as much as she was a blessing to me.  I look forward to the day I can return to see Jezula again!

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Things in Bohoc are truly a different way of life from that in PAP.  It was a good to be able to see how much of Haiti lives outside of PAP.

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It is also is a good reminder of the real beauty of Haiti.  We returned to PAP on November 4th. 

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I am thankful for the privilege I have to live in Haiti. 

On November 9th I reached the one-year anniversary of moving to Haiti.  It really is hard to believe that I have been here a year already.  It's not always easy and sometimes it's very frustrating and overwhelming.  But it has been worth every trial to see the lives of so many the kids changed.  

I would not be able to do this without you!  I am humbled that you believe in me and this work enough to support it with your finances. Please share my story with others who may be interested in supporting our work here.

It is my prayer that this has been the first year of many here in Haiti serving kids in need. But it's extremely important to raise awareness and additional financial support in order to continue to minister in this capacity. (Please spread the word by clicking the share icon below.) 

This is already a lengthy post so I will wait a little bit before sharing other updates with you.

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby

Time Flies When You're Saving Lives!

I knew it was about time to do a blog but just realized it’s been over a month since the last post!  

I will try to catch you up on what’s been going on here.  Sometimes it all runs together and it’s hard to remember what happens from day to day.  (But I'll take it! I'm praying everyday becomes "just another day" of saving kids’ lives, and making them happy and health — maybe for the first time in their lives!) 

 This little one looks a little worried... maybe he knew we were his last hope to survive.

This little one looks a little worried... maybe he knew we were his last hope to survive.

Over the last several weeks we have had several kids come to the medical or malnutrition clinics that weighed less than five pounds!  Most of their mothers had died during child birth (or shortly thereafter) from complications.  I saw a statistic recently that only one out of every 1,000 births in Haiti has an attendant present who has any kind of medical training. 1 in 1,000.

 This little one is cared for by an overwhelmed grandma who's daughter died during delivery 

This little one is cared for by an overwhelmed grandma who's daughter died during delivery 

People do the best they can, which often isn’t enough.  Things are difficult and there is no government assistance for anyone.  Simple education is so important to give these little ones a chance in the face of so many adversities.

This little one lost his mom after delivery and was being cared for by an aunt.  The aunt had been feeding the baby a diet solely consisting of sweet tea. It was amazing the baby was still alive.

 "My first taste of real food!"

"My first taste of real food!"

Our formula program has exploded in the last several weeks. 

So many little babies who were simply starving to death now have a chance to live — just by providing them formula. 

We do our very best to keep babies nursing but our formula program gave out 36 cans of formula last week. This is becoming a big expense alone plus the other costs of the malnutrition clinic for the kids on the medical peanut butter. (Please pray and give so my formula ministry can continue.)

Last week I was called down stairs for a patient one evening. 

I found two pregnant ladies waiting for me. Mamma #1 is Clernelie (pictured below, left) and Mamma #2 is Nerlaude (right). Clernelie (#1) was having some issues with her pregnancy and wanted to be evaluated. 

Nerlaude (#2) was just along for moral support — and a free checkup if possible. #1 is 8 months and was doing OK, but is anemic. I gave her some prenatal vitamins and did some education with her.

 

Do twins run in the family?

#2 is 5 months and after evaluating her I asked if twins ran in the family or if she was starting something new?! #1 immediately busted up laughing while #2 just sat there staring at me. The picture below picture was taken about 15 minutes after #2 found out she was having twins! You can see #1 still thinks it was funny and #2 still looks like she is in shock.

Clernelie wouldn't let up with the jokes and Nerlaude kept saying "I'm not ready for two more!" 

Please remember both of these ladies and their babies in prayer for health and safety and normal full-term deliveries.

 Clerenelie and Nerlaude in my clinic after some exciting news!

Clerenelie and Nerlaude in my clinic after some exciting news!

I am seriously considering a Maternity clinic to go along with the Medical, Malnutrition, and wound care clinics I already do. 

There is such a difference that some simple education and care can make for these Mamma’s and their babies.  As you have seen in many past posts, some simple things have saved many lives!

 Naisha with her Mamma Rachel

Naisha with her Mamma Rachel

Their lives were saved by a simple blood pressure check back in May.  She was 4 pounds 8 oz. when she was delivered by emergency C-section (because her Mom had preeclampsia and was at risk of dying. She had no idea she was sick and they both would have been dead in about 24 hours.  They stopped by the clinic this week for a checkup.  It was so good to see them, it makes my heart happy to be a part of there lives!

 

I hit a big mile stone this last week!  

We started the malnutrition clinic on January 31. And on October 10 we hit 1,000 total visitors!

Many children have come through our doors and, through your partnership, I've have been able to save lives and make some healthy kids who, now, won’t have learning disabilities and medical problems because of severe malnutrition. THANK YOU!

 Regina couldn't figure out what all the excitement was about. She is number 1,000!

Regina couldn't figure out what all the excitement was about. She is number 1,000!

Do you remember Rosedena?  She was the one that her mother was only feeding her cookies and dirty water back in January.  At first glance she looked fine until you looked closer and saw it wasn’t baby fat but was actually edema from Kwashiorkor (swelling caused from late stage protein deficiency). She almost died. 

Now ... she's about to graduate out of the malnutrition program!

 Rosedena looking happy and very healthy!

Rosedena looking happy and very healthy!

 One of two graduates from the malnutrition clinic last week!

One of two graduates from the malnutrition clinic last week!

Karen Bultje from Coram Deo (the place where we hold the clinics up the road) does so much for the people of Haiti. She allows many people from the countryside to live at her compound while they are getting medical care in Port-au-Prince. 

This little guy has been waiting some time for surgery to have a shunt placed to relieve his Hydrocephalus. When they call he has to be healthy to have surgery. 

He has recurring respiratory infections as it’s very difficult to set him up properly while feeding him because of the weight of his head. So, he often chokes and gets food into his lungs. 

I'm doing all I can for him! And praying he will be healthy when they call.

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Most kids have very little in Haiti as far as toys.  When you only have enough to eat once a day, you don’t spend money on toys. But, kids can be very creative and can make their own toys!  I saw a little guy (below) on the street the other day pulling his truck down the road.  

One man's junk is another kid's toy!

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I was hanging-out at the Rev Home with my little friend, Christina, the other night. And it wasn't until after she left, when I was going through my photographs, that I noticed her Spider-Man crocs! Too cute! 

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Do you remember little Davernile?  Her 19-year-old mother tried her best to let her die before finally abandoning her with an Aunt.  She was 18-months-old and wasn’t quite 9 pounds when she was brought to us in May.  She was almost dead the second time her mom brought her back to the clinic.

 Left: Back in May when she was so sick. Right: After a couple months of inpatient care 

Left: Back in May when she was so sick. Right: After a couple months of inpatient care 

I am happy to report that she is going well and is about to be moved to a special needs home. 

After much work, they were unable to get her family to agree to care for her.  With her disabilities she will need a lot of extra attention and medical care that the family is not willing to take on.

On October 28 I will be heading about 4 hours north of Port-au-Prince to the northern plateau of Haiti.  A ministry I have gotten to know needs a medical member to go with there team.  I will be going to 5 feeding centers and looking over the kids and taking care of there medical needs.  I will be seeing about 50 kids each day.  I am excited to get out of Port-au-Prince for a while and see some of the country side.  Please remember me in prayer from the 28th to November 4th, as I am traveling and working in a new area.  

I will update you on my adventures when I get home.  

I know that many of you have said that you enjoy reading my blog posts. I do hope that they are more than just of interest to you. 

 

As I continue to see more patients, my costs are steadily going up. 

I am quickly approaching the point where a single day at the malnutrition clinic will cost $500. with Formula, Medika Mumba (medical peanut butter given to kids 6 months to 6 years for malnutrition), medications, supplies, and clinic costs. 

I run 4 or 5 malnutrition clinics a month $2,000 or more a month (depending how many Tuesdays there are that month). $2,000 is more than my total monthly income right now. I hope that you would seriously consider being part of this life saving and life changing work, by increasing your pledge to the ministry, sharing the news of my ministry with others, and asking your friends and family to consider supporting my work in Haiti. 

Maybe you even know of someone who could be our first business or corporate supporter!

It is such a blessing to serve the children of Haiti on your behalf.  Together we are making a real, tangible, practical, difference! 

Until No Child Dies

Kelby

What Happened To Snow Days?

When I was a kid, school got cancelled for only one reason — snow. In Haiti, though, school kids have a break for things like "manifestation" day (because there are riots and demonstrations) and hurricane days. 

People are protesting a new tax law with a lot of unfair and excessive taxes in it. They said the goal was to bring the country to a standstill today. There was a leaflet circulating that basically says, "if you are going to go out on Monday be considerate of your family and put a toe tag on before leaving the house because you probably won’t survive the trip."

They will also have a transportation strike (which almost always closes school) on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday — when no public transportation (Tap Tap's & Motto's) running.  We also have Hurricane Maria coming on, hopefully, the same path as Irma, or further north.  So, it could be a very short week of school.

We closed clinic today in light of the situation. 

It’s hard knowing people need help but from a long term view it’s the right thing to do. 

I'm thankful Tuesday is the only normal day of the week. So we'll have our regular malnutrition clinic and get some food to babies in the program. I am sure it will be a extremely long day — in addition to malnutrition clinic, we've moved Monday's wound to Tuesday, too. 

There has been so much going on since I returned it’s hard to keep track of it all. 

We have had some new babies born since the last post!

 This is Tanicha.

This is Tanicha.

Tanicha was born the day before Irma hit to a Mamma I have been working with.  She is healthy and doing fine.  Such a blessing to be able to be a part of this life, since before she was even born!

 This is Ester, the newest, smallest, and most recent Life saved through Kelby’s Kids!!

This is Ester, the newest, smallest, and most recent Life saved through Kelby’s Kids!!

Ester is the daughter of one of the school staff.  She came to me on Monday morning (September 11) and said she wasn’t feeling well.  She was in preeclampsia and I sent her to the hospital. She was born by emergency C-section. She was about 4 weeks early and only weighted 5 pounds. She is doing well but is having a little trouble nursing. 

I'm working hard to keep another child off of formula in Haiti.  I'm thankful for more lives saved through you and the ministry of Kelby’s Kids.

I have had several people come to the gate in the evening since returning.  The ER is so out of reach for many people in the ravine, so they rely on Kelby’s Kids for their care.

 She loves all the color options for her bandages!

She loves all the color options for her bandages!

Sue Ellen stepped on a broken bottle just before Irma and had a pretty bad laceration to the bottom of her foot.  There is no way it wouldn’t have gotten very infected without proper care.  She comes in every other day for a bandage change.  When I unwrap the old one the dust and dirt just flies off! 

So, it has to be well-protected from the dirt and germs of the street.  She gives me a kiss on the cheek every time I finish and she says "merci!"

 Boys will be boys!

Boys will be boys!

This little man came home from playing and was bleeding. He has no idea what happened.  So obviously he was doing something he shouldn’t have been. 

Suturing was a failed option as he just would not hold still despite the Lidocaine.  When he knew I was touching him he would not hold still.  So, we had to go to plan B and glued it with Derma Bond. It looks pretty good and I hope it’s doing well.  (Unfortunately, he didn’t return for a re-check on Saturday!)

We have a guy in our wound care program right now that stepped on a sea urchin about a month ago.  I don’t want to lose readers so I will not post a picture of his foot, so I'll just say "there was some tissue damage."  I think we are making progress and he is going to keep his foot though!

We have had some great success stories lately!!

 Samuel when he came to the clinic

Samuel when he came to the clinic

When Samuel came to the clinic he was very sick and could barely eat.  He had to be fed with a syringe. He was too sick for outpatient care and was subsequently sent to an inpatient clinic.

 Samuel now

Samuel now

Samuel's Mamma came to clinic last week to show off her “new” little boy after being discharged recently.  He is twice the child he used to be and she was so happy and proud!

 Malnutrition is devastation to mind and body. Her orange hair is due to chronic malnutrition

Malnutrition is devastation to mind and body. Her orange hair is due to chronic malnutrition

Last week we had a graduation!

 Wilgina when admitted to the malnutrition program

Wilgina when admitted to the malnutrition program

When Wilgina came to the clinic she was very under weight. Only 9 short weeks later she has graduated the program.  She gained a little over 7 pounds in 9 weeks.  That’s a 59% increase in body weight!  Medika Mumba is an amazing product.

 Wilgina at graduation with Meredith and I

Wilgina at graduation with Meredith and I

It takes $1,000.00 a month just to provide the formula and Medika Mumba (medical peanut butter) we use for the malnutrition program.  This does not include the medications and other expenses that go along with this clinic — in addition to the medical clinic, school clinic, and wound care program. 
If you’re not already involved I hope you would consider joining in the work that Kelby’s Kids is doing in Haiti.  And if you are already involved, on behalf of the Mamma’s and the children, "Merci Anpil (Thank-You very much)!"

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby

 

p.s.

I would like to wish my neighbors, friends, and partners in ministry to Haiti — Troy and Gwyn Price — a happy 29th anniversary!!  It’s truly a blessing to serve with you and your family!

 Troy, Gwen, Meredith, & Makayla Price

Troy, Gwen, Meredith, & Makayla Price

A Week Of Firsts

It has been so good to be back home in Haiti!!  Although, it was nice to be back in Michigan. 

The weather in Michigan was great, camp was a lot of fun, and it was good to catch up with friends and family. 

But it was time to come back to the kids!

It has been a busy start back but thankfully not as crazy as some of my other returns.  I saw 12 patients my first day back — including this little angel. 

 Little Cenelson

Little Cenelson

Cenelson was a week old and had a hematoma (goose egg) on his head from hopefully a traumatic birth and not from being dropped. They assured me that he had not been.

He seemed to be doing very well, but I'll follow up with him soon to be sure it’s going away, and to check for other problems.

Within a couple days upon my return I was actually able to get everything unpacked get my room reorganized and put away all the things in the school clinic I'd brought. It was nice to get everything in order before really jumping in — unlike my return after Christmas where I didn’t even get my suitcases emptied for eight days.

I was ready to get to the medical clinic Monday morning.  There were a lot of patients when I arrived. 

A few of them had been waiting for my return. Including Adriana. She had been seen at the clinic the week before. She has some birth defects and also appeared to have possible had a stroke.

 Assessing Adriana

Assessing Adriana

I don’t think she has had a stroke but she has significant defect to her ears.  It appears that she has openings to the inner ear but still may have an ear drums and be able to hear some.

We are looking into her birth defect to see what other issues she may have. She was very cute and very happy though. 

I'm hoping for a good life for this child, but she will probably always keep her ears covered to prevent the stigmatism of her "disability." In Haiti, it's often believed that a birth defect is from evil in the parents before the child is born.

Toward the end of my day at the clinic I got a call from HERO. They said there was a 40-hour-old a neonate patient — and the baby was crashing. 

They needed help stabilizing the child until a medivac to the U.S. could be arranged.  HERO picked me up from the clinic and we both responded to a small maternity hospital. 

Just before our arrival a doctor and respiratory therapist from the hospital arrived and we all worked together to get the child stabilized.

 Sometimes it takes a team effort

Sometimes it takes a team effort

We transported the baby to a NICU to be cared for as the details were worked out.  Then he was transport to the airport for a flight to Miami. 

Fortunately, the child's family had access to some healthcare. The baby had some birth defects, was born at home, and he would have died if we'd waited just an hour longer to care for him.  Unfortunately this is the exception and not the norm in Haiti.

Tuesday morning was malnutrition clinic. 

The day before, I joked with the others that it seemed Meredith was seeing more kids than me.  Well we made up for that!  On Tuesday we saw 52 babies/kids! 

We had several kids who were very sick. 

We had to work with many moms and encourage them to nurse their babies instead of trying to get them on formula. 

One of the little girls in the program is doing very well!  She knows that she is doing better, is feeling better, and is much happier than when she started! 

She walked around the clinic giving all the staff a fist bump then she would put her hand over her heart.  

It was very cute and probably taught to her by a teenager, but I think was also very genuine that she appreciated what we were able to do for her. 

It was such an encouragement to see good results from our work!  They say that a truly malnourished child will not smile, and it's true.

 Full of spunk without malnutrition!

Full of spunk without malnutrition!

One of the kids that we saw Tuesday in clinic was little Tabitha. 

She is 11 months old and was very dehydrated and sick.  It’s hard to get mommas to understand how important water is. 

Tabitha seems to have special needs and we were only able to get a little bit of Pedilyte into her.  She was so dehydrated that I was unable to get an IV started. 

She cried and cried but was unable to make any tears. 

We finally decided that she needed to go to the hospital for further care.

 Tabitha at the hospital doing better after a couple days

Tabitha at the hospital doing better after a couple days

Please pray that her momma will now understand the importance of giving her enough to drink. 

On a good note, Davernile was at the same hospital so I also got to see her. She was doing much better and was going to be discharged that day to go back to the malnutrition center to be cared for!

On a trip to the ravine with the baby feeders I ran into my little friend Naisha and her momma.  It was good to see them and know that she was still doing well.  They are the ones we saved there lives when she was found with Preeclampsia back in May.

PP 6.jpg

This could be a week with a few firsts for me! 

Just as I was setting down to start this post, something ran into my room. 

It only took a second to know what hit the building and the hair on the back of my neck stood up as I went outside and waited for more. 

At 4:14 Saturday we had a 4.3 magnitude earthquake just North East of Port-au-Prince. 

It was not what I expected my first earthquake to be like, but now I have experienced one. As of yet I have not heard any reports of damage or injuries. But, we may not be as fortunate with Hurricane Irma. I have never been in a Hurricane either. It is still a ways out but some of the track predictions bring a pretty powerful Irma right across Haiti. Haiti really doesn’t need any more problems right now.

Please Pray for the kids I have shared about in this post. And for all the children I have and will continue to come in contact with.  

Please also pray for Haiti that this hurricane would not make a direct hit and that there will be no lives lost.

I continued to be humbled by your support and encouragement for the ministry of Kelby’s Kids! 

It’s a blessing to be the one who can touch these kids with the loving kindness of your faithful financial sacrifice. I hope you know that together we are making a difference, saving lives, and providing a brighter tomorrow to many kids.

Until no child dies,

Kelby  

Ready To Be Back In Haiti

I am setting at camp almost though my last week for the summer.  I am eagerly awaiting my return home to Haiti.  I am also hoping I haven’t lost all of my conditioning to the temperatures in Haiti.  It’s 77 degrees right now and I am cold so I think I will be OK when I get back!

It’s been a busy summer here in Michigan.  I was here from June 22nd to August 24th. 

During that time, I have spent over 900 hours volunteering at kid’s camps as the medical staff.  It’s been a good summer caring for the kids whether they needed an ambulance or just a band-aid for a little boo boo.  Whether in Michigan or Haiti, kids just want to know someone cares about them. 

Sometimes it's more about the caring than the band-aid.  I always say I should count the band-aids I use over the summer but never do.  But with a doubt, it's several hundred by the number of boxes I go though.  That's several hundred opportunities to let the kids know someone cares about them.

My mind has never been far from Haiti while I have been here.  Whether worried about one of my kids or answering messages from Haiti about medical issues on Facebook.  Seeing updates from the medical and malnutrition clinic have been both good and difficult. 

I am ready to return to Haiti and continue helping our kids!

One of those kids that has weighed heavy on my heart is Davernile.  If you remember her story from (The Lost Have Been Found ~ May 29th 2017).  She was brought to the clinic by her mother then didn’t return to be admitted to an inpatient malnutrition center for a couple weeks.  Once we finally got her in, she left a few days later with her.  A couple weeks after that she returned to our clinic and she was unresponsive.

 Trying to Keep Davrenile alive

Trying to Keep Davrenile alive

After some IV fluid she woke up and we started to feed her with a syringe.  Her mother assured us she would bring her back the next day but again she didn’t show up.  After several weeks, we assumed she was dead.  I felt guilty that she may have used the IV I left in place for the malnutrition center the next day to help kill her.  I was so happy the other day I got a picture from the clinic of our little Davernile.  I couldn't believe she was still alive!

 20 months and only 10 pounds

20 months and only 10 pounds

Her mom had abandoned her and she was being cared for by an Aunt that brought her back to the clinic.  She was still very sick and underweight and covered in scabies.  Arrangements were made again to get her to a different inpatient malnutrition center for disabled children.  Her Aunt brought her back and she was taken to be admitted.  She signed off rights to her as she can barely care for her own children.  She will be placed in an orphanage once she graduates from the malnutrition center.

 Doing better with proper care!

Doing better with proper care!

She was reported to be doing very well and eating well in a place where she was loved and cared for.  But, I received a message that she has taken a turn for the worse and has been admitted to the hospital.  She has an infection and is getting septic.  After being shuffled from hospital to hospital we are hoping she is in a place to get good care.  Please pray for Davernile and the people caring for her.  She has had a very difficult life already in her short 21 months of life.

I just received word of an American friend that is sick and in the process of getting a Medivac from Haiti to the U.S.A.  This only increases my guilt of being gone so long and my desire to return home.  It also confirms my need for medical insurance as well as medivac insurance — sooner rather than later.  I will be returning to Haiti on August 24th.  Please pray that this will be a smooth transition as I prepare to go to Haiti for the rest of the year. Also that I can get all the supplies I have obtained down to Haiti with me both on the plane as well as shipping some of them.

Thank-You!  It is truly a blessing to be able to serve the children of Haiti as well as here in Michigan on your behalf.  If you are not currently a part of caring for and loving on these precious children now is the time to join the team.  Together we are saving lives and making a difference in this broken world.

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby

Half Way There

I am about half way through my time in Michigan. 

It’s been good to be back and see many friends and family.  It’s also been a lot of fun to be back at summer camps. I enjoy camp and it’s a needed break from the frustration and heartache that often goes with medical care in Haiti. But, at the same time, I really miss Haiti — and it’s getting more difficult to be away as the weeks go on.

I arrived in Michigan late on June 21st. I started off on the run getting to Reed City with less than 68 hours to get ready to be at my first camp. 

In total, I'll be in Michigan for about 8 weeks. And during that time, I'm on medical staff at 7 camps.  It’s been a good summer but a busy one.  I have already made three calls for the ambulance and have had the fire department out for a fire.

 I really wanted to get on the end of a hose and spray a little water like the old days!  But I had to settle for looking at there nice new brush truck!

I really wanted to get on the end of a hose and spray a little water like the old days!  But I had to settle for looking at there nice new brush truck!

 

Unfortunately, being that I'm back in the U.S. I can’t really tell stories like I do in Haiti due to privacy laws. 

I have averaged about one ambulance a summer in the past so they have been keeping me busy this year with calling 3 already.  But there are also lots of smaller injuries and illnesses that need attention as well.  It’s often fairly easy to tell the kids that come from broken homes and just want someone to care about them. 

Whether in Haiti or Michigan people just want someone to care about them!

I miss Haiti and my kids that I work with.  I have continued to help Haiti kids while I am in Michigan though.  Every couple days I am in contact with people in Haiti looking for help or advice for different situations. It’s nice to still be involved a little even though I am not currently there.

 Nothing better than a little baby snuggling time!

Nothing better than a little baby snuggling time!

 

I have had many good conversations with people along the way and have had several generous donations.  I am hoping for several monthly supporters to come along side as we continue to build Kelby’s Kids.  I am currently at about 25% of my goal of $5,000 a month in monthly support to make Kelby’s Kids as effective as possible in caring for Kids!  The teens at Covenant Hills Camp raised almost $500.00 for Kelby’s Kids during family camp!  It was exciting to see them get involved and care about kids they will never meet.

I have just learned that one of my kids from Haiti died last night. 

 Godson wasn't so sure about the breathing treatment I was trying to give him.

Godson wasn't so sure about the breathing treatment I was trying to give him.

 

I had taken him to the ER a couple months ago and have treated him a couple times for respiratory problems. He started having trouble breathing again the other day and was taken to the hospital. 

I can only imagine the care that he received that took a respiratory infection (which just needed another round of antibiotics and some prednisone I am sure) to the point where he started to have seizures and slipped into a coma.  It was reported that one of the nurses basically said I give up and covered him up with a sheet while he was still breathing. 

Life in Haiti can be so very difficult.

 Hanging out in the ER together (Pretending not to break the rules about taking pictures). Godson was my little buddy, I will miss him.

Hanging out in the ER together (Pretending not to break the rules about taking pictures). Godson was my little buddy, I will miss him.

 

Although it breaks my heart, he is with Jesus now and will never have to worry about having trouble breathing again.

Thank you for being a part of Godson’s care and making the few months he had here a little better! And please help us spread the word of our work for kids in Haiti and Michigan. 

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby