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