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.

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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