Home Is Where The Heart Is

I think I just might be almost settled in now and it is starting to feel like home!!  This is my little 9’ X 15’ house.  Since tinny houses are the in thing now, I am keeping up with the times!!!  I guess I could technically brag that I am living in a 36 room, 12 bath, multi wing, 3 story house in the Caribbean but since it’s really a school first and only home to a few people, I wont do that!

 Everything I have goes into the 4' X 8' box on the left.  It has a shower curtain on the front to try to keep the dust out.  

Everything I have goes into the 4' X 8' box on the left.  It has a shower curtain on the front to try to keep the dust out.  

I think I am ready to get started cleaning and organizing the clinic tomorrow morning if time allows!  It has been a very busy start to my time here so let me try to catch you up!!

When I first got here time was flying by...  I brought a little electronic alarm clock, with the red numbers, so I wouldn’t have to keep a flash light in bed with me to look at the clock I had (it has to be on the inside of the mosquito net!).  When I plugged it in it was flashing very rapidly.  I set the time and it didn’t take long to realize that there was a problem.  It was chugging along and added a minute to the time every 12 seconds.  So now I still get to sleep with a flash light.  BUT, that seems to be the only casualty of my trip!!  Nothing else was broken missing, or damaged (except of course the suitcases which only survive about 3 - 4 trips) under the gentle care of the airline and TSA people!  So very thankful, again, to walk quickly though the airport in Haiti without issue!!

When I arrived on Wednesday to Christian Light School it was dinner time.  I was able to catch up with Sherrie on what had been going on since I had left.  After dinner, I got all my things to my room and was a little overwhelmed at all the stuff I have already in my tiny house.  It looked like a big job and when I turned the light on in my room and the bulb burned out so I decided it wouldn’t be tonight.  I just found what I would need to get to bed as it had been a long day.  It would end up being a 3-day task to get it all sorted and arranged and get my medical things stored until I get the clinic ready to move them down.

As I started the unpacking progress on Thursday morning.  But at about 10:45 I got a text from Stacy, with HERO Ambulance (Haitian Emergency Response Organization ~ I have been harassed about wearing a T-Shirt that says HERO on it at home!).  Her text said “Welcome back!  Babies need you here!”  That made my heart happy!  It was followed by a picture of a little 2 day old that had a very large tumor of some kind on his left arm.  It went from his hand to his elbow.  He was in a small mission run clinic in Grand Goave and needed to get to Bernard Mevs hospital NICU in Port-Au-Prince.  I of course say YES come and get me and I will go.  Stacy was on another detail so I would be working with Steve.  He was on his way to meet find me.  After a little work with several people helping and a warm walk to a major intersection we met up and started the 1:40 response up to Grand Goave running code (Lights & Sirens).  It was a very interesting trip.  I tried to take a video for all my public safety friends who run code in the U.S. because you wouldn’t have believed it, but my phone isn’t allowing me to shot video right now for some reason.  Upon arrival, we went off the main road worked our way back into a little compound quite a ways off the main road.  No wonder our directions were go to Grand Goave and ask a Moto Taxi to lead you to the mission, because we never would have found it on our own.  When we arrived, we created quite a buzz around the compound.  This kind of thing doesn’t happen there every day!  We found the baby who wasn’t even 48 hours old. 

 At the mission compound getting a report from the clinic staff.

At the mission compound getting a report from the clinic staff.

 So early in life to have such issues to face.

So early in life to have such issues to face.

As you can see he has a life altering/threatening problem which needs attention as well as a work up to see what other issues he may have going on inside his little body.  He was difficult to get to wake up and respond well and because of this he had not been eating well.  So, he was getting a little dehydrated.  We worked during much of the 2 hour transport back to Port-Au-Prince to get him to nurse but even with the ride in the ambulance on Haiti’s roads and lots of trying to irritate him to wake up there was not a lot of success.  But thankfully his vitals and condition remained stable during transport.  The only thing that took a turn for the worse during transport was the passenger side mirror on the ambulance when a Tap Tap (Taxi) cut us off.  Thankfully the Tap Tap had room for 1 more people on it, because if it had been full, the mirror would have hit the back passenger in the head instead of the edge of the truck!  So we were very blessed it wasn't worse.  But we arrived at Bernard Mevs and delivered out patient to the Peds ER.  A person that heard the story has stepped up and is providing the expenses for the surgery!  He will probably lose his arm but it will save his life!  A surgery which his mother could never have paid for.

 Getting loaded into the ambulance for the 2 hours trip back.

Getting loaded into the ambulance for the 2 hours trip back.

When I returned to the school after the ambulance transport I was told about a little 3-year-old girl that was sick.  They had her mother bring her to the school.  I assumed that she had a little cough or a fever or something.  When they arrived, I was met by a mother with a stack of medical paperwork who asked me to please not let her only child die!  We looked over the paperwork and quickly realized that she had some serious medical issues.  We made copies of her paperwork and told her we would look into this and get back to her.  We sent the paperwork to a doctor who has worked in Haiti and can read French to understand the paperwork better than we could.  She determined that she has a kidney stone as well as a systemic Strep infection that they don’t feel they can treat in Haiti.  She has had an extensive medical history already at 3 years of age.  So, we decided to get more tests to try to better understand her condition and how to best address the issues.  On Friday, we went to her doctor who stated that she is out of options and needs help.  I shared with her the tests that the doctor in the US wanted and she stated that she agreed with all of them.  She wrote us orders for the 18 lab tests and an Echo Cardiogram.  After the lab test we went down stairs for the Echo.  During the Test her mother came out and got me in the waiting room so I squeezed into the little exam room with them.  They were doing an ultrasound of her kidneys.  I asked what about the Echo and they stated that they don’t do those here.  I kind of felt like we were taken advantage of because a “Blah” (white person) was with them and they always have deep pockets.  I thought since were already doing it lets just confirm her last Ultrasound.  They were very convinced that her stones are gone!  Praise God!!! she is hopefully free from the stones which would explain why she hasn't had pain in the last 16 hours.  Some of the tests were inconclusive so we are looking at more tests for tomorrow.  We need to find out why a 3-year-old has Kidney Stones? If she still has a strep infection, and is it getting worse or better from the treatment she had?  And consider the possibility of other issues as she has had many medical problems since she required resuscitation after being born.  So, this is going to be a complicated road to try to figure out but we hope we can make a difference in Laura’s life.

A medical team is coming in on Tuesday.  0n Wednesday I will be traveling out to the southern peninsula with them to do medical clinics in the area’s effected by Hurricane Matthew.  Yesterday I was able to go to 4C’s (Caribbean Canadian Chemical Company) and get the medications we will need for these clinics.  They didn’t have everything I needed but we were lucky to find almost everything.  It still takes a while to get used to the Haitian money system.  I was a little shocked when they got me one basket of stuff and told me it was $27,390.00  But, that is in Haitian Goud's so it was only $415.00 U.S.  I am looking forward to going out with this team and being able to help as many people as possible.  You still hear stories of people with injuries, broken bones, and illnesses that are just getting to help a month after the Hurricane.

Yesterday afternoon I was able to finish the unpacking, sorting, organizing in my room.  I then put a couple little jump bags together so I can grab it and go for minor and major emergencies.  You can’t do that before you leave because you have to separate the liquids from the sharp things from the expensive things that you don’t want to turn over to the airlines to try and break.

Today is a pretty good day.  The real feel temperature is only 100 so it’s cooling off from when I was here in September.  I went to Quisqueya Chapel this morning for church.  Now I am just relaxing a little and writing this blog for you before a very busy week starts.  Monday and Tuesday, we will try to get Laura in for her additional tests.  I need to prepare some things for the medical team coming in on Tuesday and pack some of my things to make the trip.  Then at 5 am on Wednesday we will head out!

Please be praying for the 2-day old baby (had not been named yet) as he is cared for and that he will not have any complications once he returns home and will not become an outcast because it his issues.  Please also pray for Laura as we try to do everything we can for her to get her well again.  Please pray for safety and health as we go out to the southern peninsula to do medical relief work and that we will be able to be effective and make some life changing differences while were there.

I want to thank you all again for your support of this work in Haiti with children.  Your encouragement, prayers, and financial support are very encouraging to me and means that together we can make a difference in the lives of kids everyday!  I am still needing additional support to be able to provide effective medical care while I am here.  If you want to get involved please go to the Give Pray Go page on this web site or contact me at Kelby@KelbysKids.org for additional ways to give.

I seen this on Facebook today and thought it was fitting as my Creole is not very good yet, but I can still love on these kids.

"Live every moment, Laugh everyday, & LOVE BEYOND WORDS"

Until no child dies

Kelby