The Lost Have Been Found

In a couple recent blogposts I've told you about four of my sad cases.  (Lost #1: Finding the “normal” life in Haiti on January 29th.   Lost #2, 3, & 4: Don’t you understand?? 

I would like to give you an update on them.

LOST #1: I told you a while ago that while I was walking home from church I past a little girl who I realized was had some large scars on her chest.  I couldn’t tell how bad but I knew she would need some help and she burdened my heart. 

I finished that story with “Please pray that I will be able to find her and give her a hope for a better and longer life.” I am pleased to tell you those prayers have been answered!! 

I finally found out where she lived! 

I got a translator and went to her house. And I talked with her brother. Both of her parents died and she became a Restavec (child slave).  When the brother was old enough, he rescued her and is raising her. 

Her name is Guerna and she is 10 years old. When she was 3, she was walking through her house when her dress caught on fire from a flame on a candle.  She had a skin graph and has had 2 reconstructive surgeries including a left sided mastectomy.  But with poor medical care and poor management she has had debilitating scarring.  Her last surgery ended up fusing her arm to her chest — and now she cannot raise her hand above her waist. 

 Guerna, who's dress caught fire when she was 3 years old.

Guerna, who's dress caught fire when she was 3 years old.

I got her information and took some pictures as well as a video to share with an American medical teams who may be able to help her. 

Her chest wall is now so thin over her heart that you can see her heart beating as the skin between the ribs bulges out with each beat. 

A short time after we got everything set and a medical team seen her to do the much needed surgery.  She says her chest often hurts because the scars are getting very tight and she has trouble breathing if she plays too much. 

Due to a reported luggage embargo, the American medical team had to leave 14 suitcases in the U.S. So, unfortunately, for this trip, the team did not have the equipment they needed for the surgery. 

But, they will be returning in November to do the surgery. Plus, between now and then, they will be building a custom brace for Guerna — to keep her arm from fusing back to her chest.

Please continue to pray for Guerna. Pray that everything will come together and she will be able to have surgery in November.

 

LOST #2:  I shared about Auze, a 9 year old that had a serious heart defect.  

After discovering the problem she never showed up for a follow up appointment and hadn't answered our calls in weeks. 

On Monday, we had a large medical team come to use our clinic.  One of the team members was a cardiologist. 

We again tried to get a hold of Auze’s Mom, but still no answer.  Shortly after the clinic started Auze and her mom walked in the gate! 

I ran to tell them they must stay at the clinic until we could see them. 

When they came through I told the cardiologist that I believed that she had a significant ventricular septal defect which was resulting in a left ventricular failure.  I also told him that I also believe that mom has a valve going bad.  He looked at me and said, “Really, I didn’t think lightning struck twice in the same place?” 

The doc evaluated both of them, looked at me and said, “You’re a lot smarter than I thought.” (Paramedics are often referred to as an ambulance drivers.) 

“You're 100% correct on both of them!” 

It actually gave me chills, and almost made me a little misty eyed. 

It was such a blessing to be have been able to recognize these problems and get them help.  Not because I am really good at what I do (I've never had any formal training in heart tones or sounds), but because God has given me the skills I need to serve Him here in Haiti!

 Auze, hopefully will get her heart repaired soon!

Auze, hopefully will get her heart repaired soon!

Please pray for Auze that we will be able to get her to the U.S. for care and that she will be more diligent at making follow up appointments as we go through this process.  Her life expectancy will be greatly reduced if she does not receive some care outside of Haiti.

 

LOST #3:  A little boy who is almost seven years old and weighed 18 pounds. 

We had made arrangements for him to go to an inpatient malnutrition center in a hospital, as he was a special needs child, to get care.  They never showed up. 

Just this Tuesday his Mom brought him to the malnutrition clinic again.  We got after her for not making her appointment. 

She explained to us that when she brought him to the clinic the first time she had to leave her infant daughter home alone (this is actually common in Haiti, there is no day care and no money to pay babysitters).  And when she returned home someone had stolen her infant daughter. 

She said she has spent the last two weeks trying to find her daughter. 

But now that her daughter's been found (her father took her) she is ready to help her son. 

We are making arrangements for her to take him again.  I told her that it would be a huge mistake to miss a second appointment for help.

 

LOST #4:  The same day the little boy came in, a little 18-month-old girl who wasn’t quite 9 pounds also came in (the blog stated it was a boy.  The creole language has such a limited vocabulary that they often have trouble translating He and She). 

She didn’t return for her first follow up but eventually came back. 

We got her into the inpatient program at the Sisters of Charity up the road.  But, she too came back to the malnutrition clinic on Tuesday.  Her little girl was about to die. 

We asked her why she left the Sisters. She said that she had decided that she needed to go to the hospital.  She took her daughter out of the Sisters and took her to the best hospital in Port-au-Prince. 

We asked her what the hospital did for her?  She said she didn’t have any money so she wasn’t seen.  We scolded her for acting foolishly and endangering the life of her daughter. 

I took the baby from her. The child was nearly unresponsive. 

Her heat rate was irregular (because she was severely dehydrated) and she didn’t have a good startle reflex. 

We poked her toe to check her blood sugar and she didn’t even flinch. 

I started an IV on her and she didn’t even cry the first time.  It was very difficult to get an IV on her because she was so dehydrated and hardly any blood was running through our needle. 

Once I got the IV in, it almost wouldn’t run. But over time, the more fluid she got in her, the faster the blood ran. 

After the first fluid bolus and the second one was started, it was finally running at a normal speed.  And shortly after the second fluid bolus, she started to wake up.  We then started to give her formula with a little syringe for more fluid and nutrition.

 This little Angel is fighting the difficulties in Haiti plus a mother who doesn't care about her.

This little Angel is fighting the difficulties in Haiti plus a mother who doesn't care about her.

After a couple hours, she was doing better.  We gave her some more formula to take home for the night and the morning.  And we made the arrangements to get her back to the Sisters in the morning. 

We lectured the mother about taking care of her baby and bringing her back.  Some of our clinic staff were very upset about how this mother was treating her child.  We decided to leave her IV in as she was so difficult to get one on and hopefully would help prompt Mom to bring her back. 

The next morning, she never showed up and we haven’t heard from her.

She is only about 17 and I am sure she is just waiting for her baby to die so she can get on with her life and have fun with her friends again.

If she ever comes back to the clinic I don’t think she will get a very warm welcome.  If she doesn’t have her baby she will be in for a rude awaking.  If she brings her baby in, I can tell you that she won’t be leaving with her again.

Please be praying for this little angle that she will somehow get out from under the neglect and abuse of her mother. 

Also, please pray for us (Americans) and our staff (Haitians) as we deal with the utter disregard for life. Witness such neglect is stressful and takes an emotional toll on everyone.

THE LOST HAVE BEEN FOUND… if but for a moment

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby

“You have not lived today

until you have done something for someone

who can never repay you”

Happy National EMS Week to all my brothers and sisters working healthcare in the streets!!!