I arrived back in Haiti on July 28th and it has been eventful ever since!
It always seems to go this way. And I have just begun to just expect it!
At my first Maternity clinic after returning, I had a full waiting area with 30 moms. 30!
About half-way through the patients, Karen came in with a sick baby that had come to the gate.
Loveson was 41 days old and not doing very well. His family had brought him because he was sick and his 18 year old mom was at home dying from an unknown condition. He was not responding very well, was very dehydrated, had a fever of 103.3, a heart rate of 226 bpm, and he only weighted 5.2 pounds.
He took some formula but he was going to need a lot more care. I contacted HERO Ambulance who arraigned transport to God’s Littlest Angels (GLA) so he could be cared for around the clock, and would have the best chance at survival.
While waiting for the ambulance I decided I needed to try to get an IV started on him.
Sometimes I wonder if I am losing some of my EMS skills as time goes by. I was very thankful to get an IV the first try on little Loveson. After some fluid his heart rate and his temperature came down some and he was more alert.
The ambulance arrived and care was turned over to them for transport up to GLA. I later got word that he continued to stabilize and was doing better as they worked to find the cause of his condition as well as that of his mom, to see if it was related.
After getting everything squared away, I grabbed a coke and it was time to get back to the maternity patients.
Openers are hard to find and so I hooked the edge of the cap on a bench and hit my hand holding the bottle to pop the top off. I have done this more times than I remember. And the top normally flops off. On this day it did not go well. The cap shot off and hit me directly in my left eye.
Instantly there was an explosion of white. I held my hand over my eye for a while until it was almost tolerable. I tried to get back to work but was unable to see out of it. As much as I didn’t want to, I had to leave the clinic and go to an eye doctor.
He said I had not only cut my eye but the impact was enough that it probably almost detached the retina because there were little flecks of the iris (blue part) floating around in my eye.
So, after several medications, 6 days of having my eye dilated to prevent scaring, dark glasses and a real problem with depth perception I am happy to report, and thank God, that there is no permanent damage!
On Monday, 5 days later, I was at medical clinic and a guy from a motor cycle accident came in. He said that he has been to 3 different hospitals and nobody would sew him up. I told him that I would have to do it with one eye (as the other was still dilated and causes problems focusing on things up close with both). He said that would be fine because nobody else was going to help him. I was thankful it only needed 3 stitches.
One of the moms in the “maternal health clinic” was having trouble with some preeclampsia. I had been working with her a lot and she was the Aunt of a friend of mine.
Although it’s not what I do, (I don’t deliver the babies for several cultural/safety reasons) she talked me into helping her because she lived close.
She called and said that she had been in labor for a couple hours and was ready to deliver and I need to come. I said that was awful fast to go from no signs of labor to ready in 3 hours. She assured, me she was.
They came and picked me up since it was after dark. I arrived and, sure enough, she was in labor. But I thought it was probably still going to be a little bit yet.
With the second contraction after I arrived, she delivered the head. Her niece was tearing things open for me as I hadn’t even had time to open my stuff yet. A couple seconds later the baby was delivered. As I was working on the baby it was quickly obvious that the baby wasn’t doing well.
When the placenta delivered less that 20 seconds after the baby, I knew we were in real trouble. This means that the placenta had detached at some point during labor, before the baby was born, and the baby was not getting oxygen from mom any more.
It couldn’t have been too long or the baby would have already been dead.
The baby was alive, yet would not breath and his heart rate was about 20. And slowing down even further.
I had discussed with mom earlier the fact that I can make no guarantees as I couldn’t possibly bring all the equipment I would like to have with me to their house in the middle of the night. She told me it was alright, that it was in God’s hands, and she would accept His will.
I said a quick prayer of “God Help” knowing He knew the thousand things going through my mind as I started CPR on this baby.
As I knelt on the bare concrete floor with the baby laying on a big piece of cardboard they had gotten for the delivery, it got very quiet as I started compressions. All of a sudden, I felt very alone.
I was wishing for a partner, rescue personal — someone to help with this cardiac arrest. As I continued, focused as if the baby and I were the only ones in the room, I started to hear the people in the house praying.
After about 2 to 3 minutes (which seemed like much longer), baby breathed, and coughed. After a few more breaths his heart was beating again at a decent rate. And he stated to breath on his own. After a minute or so he was breathing well, had a good heart rate, and pinked up!! It was unbelievable!!
After many times of doing CPR on babies back at work, with help and a lot of equipment, this was the first time that it had been successful.
Babies often times don’t do well after they get to that point.
I advised the family that he needed to go to the hospital now. They asked, “what would the hospital do?” It’s late and the doctors are probably not even there.
They said they would take him the next day if baby took a turn for the worse. That went against everything within me.
But, as I thought about it, it really was true. The hospital couldn’t really do too much, they would charge a lot, and may do something that would make him die. And that’s even if Mom could get into a hospital.
By the time I left, baby was nursing and sucking his thumb. And really seemed to be a doing well. I checked on him every day for several days and he is gaining weight and doing very well.
Please join me in praise God for Doodley’s life and that he would have no long-term issues from the oxygen deprivation he had (people who are “different” are treated very poorly in Haiti).
Maternity clinic has been an adventure since I returned.
On Wednesday a new mom came into the program. She was about 36 weeks and very obviously suffering from Preeclampsia. She needed immediate help.
I paid for her to go to the hospital to have a C-Section. The hospital said they didn’t have what they needed to do the C-Section, so they gave her some medicine and they sent her home. I had her come back to the clinic the next morning to try again.
I hadn’t realized it was a Holiday (probably why the first hospital didn’t want to do it).
It was determined that there wasn’t a hospital within 3+ hours that had doctors in and would do the C-Section today. I had to send her back home again to wait until Friday. By then, her blood pressure was 226/152 and her swelling went from her feet up to her arm pits.
When she got to the hospital on Friday they gave her so much medicine that they bottomed out her blood pressure and had to wait for it to come back to normal before they could do the surgery!
On last report mom and baby are doing well and I look forward to seeing them when they can return to the clinic.
As you can see life is often a struggle here for sometimes any kind of medical care. THANK-YOU for partnering with Kelby’s Kids to not only provide hope thought that medical care but also a hope for eternity. It is only because of your prayer support and your financial support that this ministry can do this.
The approximately $18,000.00 HTG for the C-Section to save this mom and baby were totally out of her reach, even though it’s just under $200.00 USD, that could be almost a year’s wages for her.
This single post represents four lives saved because of your faithfulness to the ministry of Kelby’s Kids!!
Until No Child Dies,