A Calm During The Storm

Things have been extremely busy here in Haiti the last several weeks. 

When it seems that I will have a little bit of free time, something always comes up.  For the last several months some Haitians have been planning a very large demonstration for October 17.  So, despite the unrest it has brought, it has also brought a little down time for me.  

Maternity clinic was cancelled for Wednesday the 17th. We stayed off the streets and it afforded me time to get some administrative work done. Thankfully, the demonstrations were much more peaceful than the ones in July.

Kelby’s Kids continues to see and care for many in Haiti. No two weeks have been the same. And I am thankful for the verity of work I get to do.

 Just too cute!!

Just too cute!!

This little one was waiting her turn to be seen in the malnutrition clinic. It is such a blessing to see these children go from sad and underweight to happy and healthy!  Thank you for the part you play in this!

On Saturday October 6th at 8:11 pm Haiti experienced a significant 5.9 magnitude earthquake in Port-de-Paix. 

It was actually the 3rd in less than 2 hours for the region. 

By 10 pm, reports were coming in of significant damage, injuries, and loss of life.  We didn’t have an extensive amount of information but we knew that help was needed. So I volunteered to respond with HERO Ambulance to the area. 

They picked me up at 5:30 the next morning and we went to the airport to meet MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship). It was only a 40-minute flight from Port-au-Prince in their Cessna Caravan (it would have been a 6-7 hour drive). 

 One Team One Mission!   This is HERO’s motto

One Team One Mission! This is HERO’s motto

We responded with a 4-man team and would meet up with another HERO member in Port-de-Paix. We’d evaluate the over-all situation and get the necessary resources to respond.  There were several Haitian agencies, including the Ministry of Health, as well as the World Health Organization that were asking us to get them information on the overall situation.

When we arrived at the hospital in Port-de-Paix it was empty. 

After the earthquake, the staff all fled. There was no one was there to care for the injured. 

We responded to another hospital 30 minutes up in La Pointe (a regional hospital that people come to from all over). There was, surprisingly, very little damage seen on the drive. 

When we arrived, the hospital was full. It seems the damage was further away from the epicenter. There were many patients with injuries from falling cinder blocks, walls and houses. 

They treated and released a lot of patients already. But they still had a lot of patients with orthopedic injuries left waiting for surgery. Things were under control and every patient had a bed. 

They had opened their cholera center for overflow. One of our jobs was to find patients that needed to be transferred to Port-au-Prince for specialized care that couldn’t be provided in La Pointe. 

In the evening we had a 5.2 magnitude aftershock. I am thankful I was outside at the time as the entire hospital emptied in about 7 seconds. 

It was alarming to see people with severe injuries bolting for the door. And we saw kids left behind. We saw people dragging IV’s behind them. 

It was evident that the emotional trauma was as bad or worse than the physical injuries — and more wide spread. About five minutes later the patients started rolling into the ER. 

Several patients were just hyperventilated from the anxiety. One patient came in with an open fracture of his leg from jumping out of a window. And another with two broken hands and facial trauma caused from diving out a second-story window.

 Caring for patients carried into the ER and left on the floor.

Caring for patients carried into the ER and left on the floor.

They brought several patients in and just laid them on the floor in the ER. This patient was only 13 years old and had nobody with her for a while.  We got her up off the floor and into a corner until a bed was open. She was going to get run over with all the people moving around the ER. 

Her mom eventually showed up but. But she kept hyperventilating on and off for about two hours after the aftershock. It’s hard to know what she’d seen from the initial earthquake. Or if she had been a part of the 2010 earthquake. My heart went out to her and I didn’t want to leave her behind that night.

One of the patients that we had found needing transport to Port-au-Prince for additional care was a very cute little 4-year-old girl who had been hit in the face with a cinder block. 

She had a displaced jaw fracture. She was doing pretty well considering her injuries and only receiving Tylenol.  MShe was very scared after the aftershock as well. Holdng her and comforting her was time well spent!  I wish I could share a picture of her but she was a HERO patient and policy doesn’t allow that.

By the next morning it was determined that no further care was needed outside of the local resources. So, we loaded our three patients, three family members, and four-man team in the plane and headed back to Port-au-Prince. 

Thank you to everyone that’d seen my posts on Facebook and were praying for me and for Haiti during that time!

 Blowing some milk bubbles because were happy and healthy!!!

Blowing some milk bubbles because were happy and healthy!!!

Who doesn’t love cute kids!!  I am so blessed to be able to work with these sweet little ones!

Some of the best moments here are when we have graduations!!  When kids graduate from the Malnutrition clinic it’s a good day!

 A recent Maternity Graduate showing off her graduation present!

A recent Maternity Graduate showing off her graduation present!

We are also starting to get quite a few graduations from the Maternity clinic! This is Marylove and she came in for her final visit with her brand-new baby.  They always laugh when I tell them they have finished the program and then as I hand them back their baby I tell them this is their graduation present!!

Cilvi is 13 months old and weighs 9.4 pounds.  Her mom brought her to the clinic, desperate for help. She told us that she had just been released from the hospital. She said she was in the children’s hospital for a month. Of which, 18 of those days were in the ER before she got a bed. She said that she has something wrong with her heart and she was not getting better.       

 Cilvi… So frail, so week, so fragile.

Cilvi… So frail, so week, so fragile.

Cilvi is very sick. She did not have any paperwork but I believe from her heart sound that she probably had a condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which is actually four heart defects together. 

We made arrangements to get her to an inpatient malnutrition/medical center to try to get her to gain some weight and then try to get her medical care, knowing that she could never have a surgery at her current weight. 

I got to spend a little time holding her and loving on her before she left for the inpatient center. I hoped she knew that she was loved and people cared about her. 

It wasn’t much of a surprise that only about 12 hours later she found healing — in the arms of Jesus. 

Her heart is perfect now and she is no longer sick or malnourished. While it is for sure a sad day for her mother and family, you can’t wish her back to this broken world.     

Some graduations are different and seem more bitter than sweet until we really think about it.

There are so many more stories that I wish I could share with you in this blog. Some sad but many happy stories. Please know that lives are being changed through you and your faithful support of the ministry of Kelby’s Kids here in Haiti, both for this life and eternity!

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby