Adventures In Bohoc - a week in pictures

On October 27th I was picked up by my friend Hein and we were off on a great adventure!

Hein is the founder of Matthew 28 in Bohoc, Haiti. He and his teams often stay at the school, when they arrive or are heading home, so I have known him for a while.  On his last trip he asked me if I would be willing to go with him on his next trip because he had no medical people on this team and he runs clinics at his feeding centers with each team.  I agreed with some apprehension as to what I was getting into but was excited about some new opportunities and experiences. We went to the airport to pick up the other 4 people of the team.  When we got them loaded at the airport we left for the 4-hour trip to Bohoc.

Bohoc is in the Central plateau north of Port-au-Prince (PAP), Haiti.  I have never been to this area of Haiti before.  It was a long, dusty, and bumpy drive.  It was interesting to go across a bridge and be told there were no more paved roads for the rest of the trip.  They are working on a big road improvement project from where the pavement stops the rest of the way to Cap Haitian.  They are putting the bridges in where the road crosses the bigger rivers but they are not finished yet.  So, you just go around the construction, through the river!

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When we arrived, it was dark so I didn’t get a good look at the compound we were staying at until the next morning.  It was very simple but very beautiful. The dormitory we stayed in had no running water. The bathrooms were pit toilets that were about 75 yards from the dormitory.  The showers were in a little 4’ X 4’ concrete building with no roof (it’s kinda different to shower under the stars!).  But it was for sure an oasis far away from the PAP.

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It was so different than PAP.  There was almost no dust to speak of in comparison.  The flies were almost nonexistent.  But the best thing was that at night there were no trucks, no horns, rarely dogs barking or roosters crowing, and NO gun shots.  You would lay in bed at night and all you would here was the bugs.

My job was to provide medical care for all the children at the feeding centers that we visited.  There are 19 feeding centers and so each child gets medical care 2-3 times a year depending on how many teams there are.  We visited 4 feeding centers. We were supposed to go to 5 but there were demonstrations on the only road to a remote town and so we did not make it.  It was reported that the power had been shut off to the town and they were protesting to have it turned on.  The power was shut off because so many people were stealing it. It’s reported that 68% of all the electricity produced in Haiti gets stolen.

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This was the location of our first clinic.  It was out in the middle or nowhere.  I have no idea how Hein found these locations but there was defiantly a need in these remote locations.  Many of the children had very orange or even blonde looking Hair.  This is the result of malnutrition.  But as this is a new feeding center the roots of their hair is now black like it should be with good nutrition.

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One of our patients was a little boy that was severely disabled.  His grandfather brought him with a hope that he could be helped.  He has a sever muscle deficiency which doesn't allow for contractions of his joints.  Matthew 28 is looking into the possibilities of care, which would have to be in America, but the reality looks rather bleak for this little guy.

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Almost every day the trip was a challenge.  There were a couple times that we had to get out of the truck because either the weight was too much to get up a hill or so we weren’t in the truck if it rolled over.  This road was washed out by the last 2 hurricanes this summer.  We got out in case the edge gave way as he inched around this big wash out.

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Sometimes we would just have to drive through a river, hoping it didn’t rain before we got back.  It gave new meaning to the phrase "If the Lord willing and the creek don't rise."  One day our driver came and said we need to leave cause it looks like rain. Fortunately we were just finishing so we seen all the kids.

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It was obvious that we were probably the only medical care and medical education that some of the kids see or get.  Some of them were scared but some were very happy to have someone care for their needs.

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One of our clinics was held outside because the center didn’t even have a building to use.

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It was nice that Kelby’s kids was able to partner with Matthew 28 to provide medical care for these children.

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Besides the feeding programs they have an orphanage and a school.  I checked on the kids in the orphanage and a few people from the community.

One of the ladies from the neighborhood came to be seen and I was privileged to inform my third Mamma now that she is expecting twins!!

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One for the kids at the orphanage was named Kerby.  They don’t pronounce the “R” well so I was always hearing my name the way that they often pronounce mine as Keby!

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We got to hang out with the Kindergarteners one morning.  It’s always good to see healthy smiling kids!!

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One of the most special parts of this trip for me was to meet Jezula.  She is a about 12 years old and lives at the orphanage.  She was taken away from her mother for abuse and neglect.  She has Cerebral palsy as well as some learning disabilities from malnutrition.  Her mother would set her out by the road every day to beg for money.  She kept her as miserable and as sick looking as possible so she could make more money for her family.  Despite all she has to be unhappy about, she is very happy and her heart shines through her beautiful smile.

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Jezula, which means God is here, was such a blessing to spend time with.  She can’t keep up with the other kids so I would carry her to some place close so she could watch the others play.  She was so happy just to have you set with her.  I hope I was able to bless her half as much as she was a blessing to me.  I look forward to the day I can return to see Jezula again!

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Things in Bohoc are truly a different way of life from that in PAP.  It was a good to be able to see how much of Haiti lives outside of PAP.

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It is also is a good reminder of the real beauty of Haiti.  We returned to PAP on November 4th. 

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I am thankful for the privilege I have to live in Haiti. 

On November 9th I reached the one-year anniversary of moving to Haiti.  It really is hard to believe that I have been here a year already.  It's not always easy and sometimes it's very frustrating and overwhelming.  But it has been worth every trial to see the lives of so many the kids changed.  

I would not be able to do this without you!  I am humbled that you believe in me and this work enough to support it with your finances. Please share my story with others who may be interested in supporting our work here.

It is my prayer that this has been the first year of many here in Haiti serving kids in need. But it's extremely important to raise awareness and additional financial support in order to continue to minister in this capacity. (Please spread the word by clicking the share icon below.) 

This is already a lengthy post so I will wait a little bit before sharing other updates with you.

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby

Time Flies When You're Saving Lives!

I knew it was about time to do a blog but just realized it’s been over a month since the last post!  

I will try to catch you up on what’s been going on here.  Sometimes it all runs together and it’s hard to remember what happens from day to day.  (But I'll take it! I'm praying everyday becomes "just another day" of saving kids’ lives, and making them happy and health — maybe for the first time in their lives!) 

 This little one looks a little worried... maybe he knew we were his last hope to survive.

This little one looks a little worried... maybe he knew we were his last hope to survive.

Over the last several weeks we have had several kids come to the medical or malnutrition clinics that weighed less than five pounds!  Most of their mothers had died during child birth (or shortly thereafter) from complications.  I saw a statistic recently that only one out of every 1,000 births in Haiti has an attendant present who has any kind of medical training. 1 in 1,000.

 This little one is cared for by an overwhelmed grandma who's daughter died during delivery 

This little one is cared for by an overwhelmed grandma who's daughter died during delivery 

People do the best they can, which often isn’t enough.  Things are difficult and there is no government assistance for anyone.  Simple education is so important to give these little ones a chance in the face of so many adversities.

This little one lost his mom after delivery and was being cared for by an aunt.  The aunt had been feeding the baby a diet solely consisting of sweet tea. It was amazing the baby was still alive.

 "My first taste of real food!"

"My first taste of real food!"

Our formula program has exploded in the last several weeks. 

So many little babies who were simply starving to death now have a chance to live — just by providing them formula. 

We do our very best to keep babies nursing but our formula program gave out 36 cans of formula last week. This is becoming a big expense alone plus the other costs of the malnutrition clinic for the kids on the medical peanut butter. (Please pray and give so my formula ministry can continue.)

Last week I was called down stairs for a patient one evening. 

I found two pregnant ladies waiting for me. Mamma #1 is Clernelie (pictured below, left) and Mamma #2 is Nerlaude (right). Clernelie (#1) was having some issues with her pregnancy and wanted to be evaluated. 

Nerlaude (#2) was just along for moral support — and a free checkup if possible. #1 is 8 months and was doing OK, but is anemic. I gave her some prenatal vitamins and did some education with her.

 

Do twins run in the family?

#2 is 5 months and after evaluating her I asked if twins ran in the family or if she was starting something new?! #1 immediately busted up laughing while #2 just sat there staring at me. The picture below picture was taken about 15 minutes after #2 found out she was having twins! You can see #1 still thinks it was funny and #2 still looks like she is in shock.

Clernelie wouldn't let up with the jokes and Nerlaude kept saying "I'm not ready for two more!" 

Please remember both of these ladies and their babies in prayer for health and safety and normal full-term deliveries.

 Clerenelie and Nerlaude in my clinic after some exciting news!

Clerenelie and Nerlaude in my clinic after some exciting news!

I am seriously considering a Maternity clinic to go along with the Medical, Malnutrition, and wound care clinics I already do. 

There is such a difference that some simple education and care can make for these Mamma’s and their babies.  As you have seen in many past posts, some simple things have saved many lives!

 Naisha with her Mamma Rachel

Naisha with her Mamma Rachel

Their lives were saved by a simple blood pressure check back in May.  She was 4 pounds 8 oz. when she was delivered by emergency C-section (because her Mom had preeclampsia and was at risk of dying. She had no idea she was sick and they both would have been dead in about 24 hours.  They stopped by the clinic this week for a checkup.  It was so good to see them, it makes my heart happy to be a part of there lives!

 

I hit a big mile stone this last week!  

We started the malnutrition clinic on January 31. And on October 10 we hit 1,000 total visitors!

Many children have come through our doors and, through your partnership, I've have been able to save lives and make some healthy kids who, now, won’t have learning disabilities and medical problems because of severe malnutrition. THANK YOU!

 Regina couldn't figure out what all the excitement was about. She is number 1,000!

Regina couldn't figure out what all the excitement was about. She is number 1,000!

Do you remember Rosedena?  She was the one that her mother was only feeding her cookies and dirty water back in January.  At first glance she looked fine until you looked closer and saw it wasn’t baby fat but was actually edema from Kwashiorkor (swelling caused from late stage protein deficiency). She almost died. 

Now ... she's about to graduate out of the malnutrition program!

 Rosedena looking happy and very healthy!

Rosedena looking happy and very healthy!

 One of two graduates from the malnutrition clinic last week!

One of two graduates from the malnutrition clinic last week!

Karen Bultje from Coram Deo (the place where we hold the clinics up the road) does so much for the people of Haiti. She allows many people from the countryside to live at her compound while they are getting medical care in Port-au-Prince. 

This little guy has been waiting some time for surgery to have a shunt placed to relieve his Hydrocephalus. When they call he has to be healthy to have surgery. 

He has recurring respiratory infections as it’s very difficult to set him up properly while feeding him because of the weight of his head. So, he often chokes and gets food into his lungs. 

I'm doing all I can for him! And praying he will be healthy when they call.

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Most kids have very little in Haiti as far as toys.  When you only have enough to eat once a day, you don’t spend money on toys. But, kids can be very creative and can make their own toys!  I saw a little guy (below) on the street the other day pulling his truck down the road.  

One man's junk is another kid's toy!

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I was hanging-out at the Rev Home with my little friend, Christina, the other night. And it wasn't until after she left, when I was going through my photographs, that I noticed her Spider-Man crocs! Too cute! 

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Do you remember little Davernile?  Her 19-year-old mother tried her best to let her die before finally abandoning her with an Aunt.  She was 18-months-old and wasn’t quite 9 pounds when she was brought to us in May.  She was almost dead the second time her mom brought her back to the clinic.

 Left: Back in May when she was so sick. Right: After a couple months of inpatient care 

Left: Back in May when she was so sick. Right: After a couple months of inpatient care 

I am happy to report that she is going well and is about to be moved to a special needs home. 

After much work, they were unable to get her family to agree to care for her.  With her disabilities she will need a lot of extra attention and medical care that the family is not willing to take on.

On October 28 I will be heading about 4 hours north of Port-au-Prince to the northern plateau of Haiti.  A ministry I have gotten to know needs a medical member to go with there team.  I will be going to 5 feeding centers and looking over the kids and taking care of there medical needs.  I will be seeing about 50 kids each day.  I am excited to get out of Port-au-Prince for a while and see some of the country side.  Please remember me in prayer from the 28th to November 4th, as I am traveling and working in a new area.  

I will update you on my adventures when I get home.  

I know that many of you have said that you enjoy reading my blog posts. I do hope that they are more than just of interest to you. 

 

As I continue to see more patients, my costs are steadily going up. 

I am quickly approaching the point where a single day at the malnutrition clinic will cost $500. with Formula, Medika Mumba (medical peanut butter given to kids 6 months to 6 years for malnutrition), medications, supplies, and clinic costs. 

I run 4 or 5 malnutrition clinics a month $2,000 or more a month (depending how many Tuesdays there are that month). $2,000 is more than my total monthly income right now. I hope that you would seriously consider being part of this life saving and life changing work, by increasing your pledge to the ministry, sharing the news of my ministry with others, and asking your friends and family to consider supporting my work in Haiti. 

Maybe you even know of someone who could be our first business or corporate supporter!

It is such a blessing to serve the children of Haiti on your behalf.  Together we are making a real, tangible, practical, difference! 

Until No Child Dies

Kelby

What Happened To Snow Days?

When I was a kid, school got cancelled for only one reason — snow. In Haiti, though, school kids have a break for things like "manifestation" day (because there are riots and demonstrations) and hurricane days. 

People are protesting a new tax law with a lot of unfair and excessive taxes in it. They said the goal was to bring the country to a standstill today. There was a leaflet circulating that basically says, "if you are going to go out on Monday be considerate of your family and put a toe tag on before leaving the house because you probably won’t survive the trip."

They will also have a transportation strike (which almost always closes school) on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday — when no public transportation (Tap Tap's & Motto's) running.  We also have Hurricane Maria coming on, hopefully, the same path as Irma, or further north.  So, it could be a very short week of school.

We closed clinic today in light of the situation. 

It’s hard knowing people need help but from a long term view it’s the right thing to do. 

I'm thankful Tuesday is the only normal day of the week. So we'll have our regular malnutrition clinic and get some food to babies in the program. I am sure it will be a extremely long day — in addition to malnutrition clinic, we've moved Monday's wound to Tuesday, too. 

There has been so much going on since I returned it’s hard to keep track of it all. 

We have had some new babies born since the last post!

 This is Tanicha.

This is Tanicha.

Tanicha was born the day before Irma hit to a Mamma I have been working with.  She is healthy and doing fine.  Such a blessing to be able to be a part of this life, since before she was even born!

 This is Ester, the newest, smallest, and most recent Life saved through Kelby’s Kids!!

This is Ester, the newest, smallest, and most recent Life saved through Kelby’s Kids!!

Ester is the daughter of one of the school staff.  She came to me on Monday morning (September 11) and said she wasn’t feeling well.  She was in preeclampsia and I sent her to the hospital. She was born by emergency C-section. She was about 4 weeks early and only weighted 5 pounds. She is doing well but is having a little trouble nursing. 

I'm working hard to keep another child off of formula in Haiti.  I'm thankful for more lives saved through you and the ministry of Kelby’s Kids.

I have had several people come to the gate in the evening since returning.  The ER is so out of reach for many people in the ravine, so they rely on Kelby’s Kids for their care.

 She loves all the color options for her bandages!

She loves all the color options for her bandages!

Sue Ellen stepped on a broken bottle just before Irma and had a pretty bad laceration to the bottom of her foot.  There is no way it wouldn’t have gotten very infected without proper care.  She comes in every other day for a bandage change.  When I unwrap the old one the dust and dirt just flies off! 

So, it has to be well-protected from the dirt and germs of the street.  She gives me a kiss on the cheek every time I finish and she says "merci!"

 Boys will be boys!

Boys will be boys!

This little man came home from playing and was bleeding. He has no idea what happened.  So obviously he was doing something he shouldn’t have been. 

Suturing was a failed option as he just would not hold still despite the Lidocaine.  When he knew I was touching him he would not hold still.  So, we had to go to plan B and glued it with Derma Bond. It looks pretty good and I hope it’s doing well.  (Unfortunately, he didn’t return for a re-check on Saturday!)

We have a guy in our wound care program right now that stepped on a sea urchin about a month ago.  I don’t want to lose readers so I will not post a picture of his foot, so I'll just say "there was some tissue damage."  I think we are making progress and he is going to keep his foot though!

We have had some great success stories lately!!

 Samuel when he came to the clinic

Samuel when he came to the clinic

When Samuel came to the clinic he was very sick and could barely eat.  He had to be fed with a syringe. He was too sick for outpatient care and was subsequently sent to an inpatient clinic.

 Samuel now

Samuel now

Samuel's Mamma came to clinic last week to show off her “new” little boy after being discharged recently.  He is twice the child he used to be and she was so happy and proud!

 Malnutrition is devastation to mind and body. Her orange hair is due to chronic malnutrition

Malnutrition is devastation to mind and body. Her orange hair is due to chronic malnutrition

Last week we had a graduation!

 Wilgina when admitted to the malnutrition program

Wilgina when admitted to the malnutrition program

When Wilgina came to the clinic she was very under weight. Only 9 short weeks later she has graduated the program.  She gained a little over 7 pounds in 9 weeks.  That’s a 59% increase in body weight!  Medika Mumba is an amazing product.

 Wilgina at graduation with Meredith and I

Wilgina at graduation with Meredith and I

It takes $1,000.00 a month just to provide the formula and Medika Mumba (medical peanut butter) we use for the malnutrition program.  This does not include the medications and other expenses that go along with this clinic — in addition to the medical clinic, school clinic, and wound care program. 
If you’re not already involved I hope you would consider joining in the work that Kelby’s Kids is doing in Haiti.  And if you are already involved, on behalf of the Mamma’s and the children, "Merci Anpil (Thank-You very much)!"

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby

 

p.s.

I would like to wish my neighbors, friends, and partners in ministry to Haiti — Troy and Gwyn Price — a happy 29th anniversary!!  It’s truly a blessing to serve with you and your family!

 Troy, Gwen, Meredith, & Makayla Price

Troy, Gwen, Meredith, & Makayla Price

A Week Of Firsts

It has been so good to be back home in Haiti!!  Although, it was nice to be back in Michigan. 

The weather in Michigan was great, camp was a lot of fun, and it was good to catch up with friends and family. 

But it was time to come back to the kids!

It has been a busy start back but thankfully not as crazy as some of my other returns.  I saw 12 patients my first day back — including this little angel. 

 Little Cenelson

Little Cenelson

Cenelson was a week old and had a hematoma (goose egg) on his head from hopefully a traumatic birth and not from being dropped. They assured me that he had not been.

He seemed to be doing very well, but I'll follow up with him soon to be sure it’s going away, and to check for other problems.

Within a couple days upon my return I was actually able to get everything unpacked get my room reorganized and put away all the things in the school clinic I'd brought. It was nice to get everything in order before really jumping in — unlike my return after Christmas where I didn’t even get my suitcases emptied for eight days.

I was ready to get to the medical clinic Monday morning.  There were a lot of patients when I arrived. 

A few of them had been waiting for my return. Including Adriana. She had been seen at the clinic the week before. She has some birth defects and also appeared to have possible had a stroke.

 Assessing Adriana

Assessing Adriana

I don’t think she has had a stroke but she has significant defect to her ears.  It appears that she has openings to the inner ear but still may have an ear drums and be able to hear some.

We are looking into her birth defect to see what other issues she may have. She was very cute and very happy though. 

I'm hoping for a good life for this child, but she will probably always keep her ears covered to prevent the stigmatism of her "disability." In Haiti, it's often believed that a birth defect is from evil in the parents before the child is born.

Toward the end of my day at the clinic I got a call from HERO. They said there was a 40-hour-old a neonate patient — and the baby was crashing. 

They needed help stabilizing the child until a medivac to the U.S. could be arranged.  HERO picked me up from the clinic and we both responded to a small maternity hospital. 

Just before our arrival a doctor and respiratory therapist from the hospital arrived and we all worked together to get the child stabilized.

 Sometimes it takes a team effort

Sometimes it takes a team effort

We transported the baby to a NICU to be cared for as the details were worked out.  Then he was transport to the airport for a flight to Miami. 

Fortunately, the child's family had access to some healthcare. The baby had some birth defects, was born at home, and he would have died if we'd waited just an hour longer to care for him.  Unfortunately this is the exception and not the norm in Haiti.

Tuesday morning was malnutrition clinic. 

The day before, I joked with the others that it seemed Meredith was seeing more kids than me.  Well we made up for that!  On Tuesday we saw 52 babies/kids! 

We had several kids who were very sick. 

We had to work with many moms and encourage them to nurse their babies instead of trying to get them on formula. 

One of the little girls in the program is doing very well!  She knows that she is doing better, is feeling better, and is much happier than when she started! 

She walked around the clinic giving all the staff a fist bump then she would put her hand over her heart.  

It was very cute and probably taught to her by a teenager, but I think was also very genuine that she appreciated what we were able to do for her. 

It was such an encouragement to see good results from our work!  They say that a truly malnourished child will not smile, and it's true.

 Full of spunk without malnutrition!

Full of spunk without malnutrition!

One of the kids that we saw Tuesday in clinic was little Tabitha. 

She is 11 months old and was very dehydrated and sick.  It’s hard to get mommas to understand how important water is. 

Tabitha seems to have special needs and we were only able to get a little bit of Pedilyte into her.  She was so dehydrated that I was unable to get an IV started. 

She cried and cried but was unable to make any tears. 

We finally decided that she needed to go to the hospital for further care.

 Tabitha at the hospital doing better after a couple days

Tabitha at the hospital doing better after a couple days

Please pray that her momma will now understand the importance of giving her enough to drink. 

On a good note, Davernile was at the same hospital so I also got to see her. She was doing much better and was going to be discharged that day to go back to the malnutrition center to be cared for!

On a trip to the ravine with the baby feeders I ran into my little friend Naisha and her momma.  It was good to see them and know that she was still doing well.  They are the ones we saved there lives when she was found with Preeclampsia back in May.

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This could be a week with a few firsts for me! 

Just as I was setting down to start this post, something ran into my room. 

It only took a second to know what hit the building and the hair on the back of my neck stood up as I went outside and waited for more. 

At 4:14 Saturday we had a 4.3 magnitude earthquake just North East of Port-au-Prince. 

It was not what I expected my first earthquake to be like, but now I have experienced one. As of yet I have not heard any reports of damage or injuries. But, we may not be as fortunate with Hurricane Irma. I have never been in a Hurricane either. It is still a ways out but some of the track predictions bring a pretty powerful Irma right across Haiti. Haiti really doesn’t need any more problems right now.

Please Pray for the kids I have shared about in this post. And for all the children I have and will continue to come in contact with.  

Please also pray for Haiti that this hurricane would not make a direct hit and that there will be no lives lost.

I continued to be humbled by your support and encouragement for the ministry of Kelby’s Kids! 

It’s a blessing to be the one who can touch these kids with the loving kindness of your faithful financial sacrifice. I hope you know that together we are making a difference, saving lives, and providing a brighter tomorrow to many kids.

Until no child dies,

Kelby  

Ready To Be Back In Haiti

I am setting at camp almost though my last week for the summer.  I am eagerly awaiting my return home to Haiti.  I am also hoping I haven’t lost all of my conditioning to the temperatures in Haiti.  It’s 77 degrees right now and I am cold so I think I will be OK when I get back!

It’s been a busy summer here in Michigan.  I was here from June 22nd to August 24th. 

During that time, I have spent over 900 hours volunteering at kid’s camps as the medical staff.  It’s been a good summer caring for the kids whether they needed an ambulance or just a band-aid for a little boo boo.  Whether in Michigan or Haiti, kids just want to know someone cares about them. 

Sometimes it's more about the caring than the band-aid.  I always say I should count the band-aids I use over the summer but never do.  But with a doubt, it's several hundred by the number of boxes I go though.  That's several hundred opportunities to let the kids know someone cares about them.

My mind has never been far from Haiti while I have been here.  Whether worried about one of my kids or answering messages from Haiti about medical issues on Facebook.  Seeing updates from the medical and malnutrition clinic have been both good and difficult. 

I am ready to return to Haiti and continue helping our kids!

One of those kids that has weighed heavy on my heart is Davernile.  If you remember her story from (The Lost Have Been Found ~ May 29th 2017).  She was brought to the clinic by her mother then didn’t return to be admitted to an inpatient malnutrition center for a couple weeks.  Once we finally got her in, she left a few days later with her.  A couple weeks after that she returned to our clinic and she was unresponsive.

 Trying to Keep Davrenile alive

Trying to Keep Davrenile alive

After some IV fluid she woke up and we started to feed her with a syringe.  Her mother assured us she would bring her back the next day but again she didn’t show up.  After several weeks, we assumed she was dead.  I felt guilty that she may have used the IV I left in place for the malnutrition center the next day to help kill her.  I was so happy the other day I got a picture from the clinic of our little Davernile.  I couldn't believe she was still alive!

 20 months and only 10 pounds

20 months and only 10 pounds

Her mom had abandoned her and she was being cared for by an Aunt that brought her back to the clinic.  She was still very sick and underweight and covered in scabies.  Arrangements were made again to get her to a different inpatient malnutrition center for disabled children.  Her Aunt brought her back and she was taken to be admitted.  She signed off rights to her as she can barely care for her own children.  She will be placed in an orphanage once she graduates from the malnutrition center.

 Doing better with proper care!

Doing better with proper care!

She was reported to be doing very well and eating well in a place where she was loved and cared for.  But, I received a message that she has taken a turn for the worse and has been admitted to the hospital.  She has an infection and is getting septic.  After being shuffled from hospital to hospital we are hoping she is in a place to get good care.  Please pray for Davernile and the people caring for her.  She has had a very difficult life already in her short 21 months of life.

I just received word of an American friend that is sick and in the process of getting a Medivac from Haiti to the U.S.A.  This only increases my guilt of being gone so long and my desire to return home.  It also confirms my need for medical insurance as well as medivac insurance — sooner rather than later.  I will be returning to Haiti on August 24th.  Please pray that this will be a smooth transition as I prepare to go to Haiti for the rest of the year. Also that I can get all the supplies I have obtained down to Haiti with me both on the plane as well as shipping some of them.

Thank-You!  It is truly a blessing to be able to serve the children of Haiti as well as here in Michigan on your behalf.  If you are not currently a part of caring for and loving on these precious children now is the time to join the team.  Together we are saving lives and making a difference in this broken world.

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby

Half Way There

I am about half way through my time in Michigan. 

It’s been good to be back and see many friends and family.  It’s also been a lot of fun to be back at summer camps. I enjoy camp and it’s a needed break from the frustration and heartache that often goes with medical care in Haiti. But, at the same time, I really miss Haiti — and it’s getting more difficult to be away as the weeks go on.

I arrived in Michigan late on June 21st. I started off on the run getting to Reed City with less than 68 hours to get ready to be at my first camp. 

In total, I'll be in Michigan for about 8 weeks. And during that time, I'm on medical staff at 7 camps.  It’s been a good summer but a busy one.  I have already made three calls for the ambulance and have had the fire department out for a fire.

 I really wanted to get on the end of a hose and spray a little water like the old days!  But I had to settle for looking at there nice new brush truck!

I really wanted to get on the end of a hose and spray a little water like the old days!  But I had to settle for looking at there nice new brush truck!

 

Unfortunately, being that I'm back in the U.S. I can’t really tell stories like I do in Haiti due to privacy laws. 

I have averaged about one ambulance a summer in the past so they have been keeping me busy this year with calling 3 already.  But there are also lots of smaller injuries and illnesses that need attention as well.  It’s often fairly easy to tell the kids that come from broken homes and just want someone to care about them. 

Whether in Haiti or Michigan people just want someone to care about them!

I miss Haiti and my kids that I work with.  I have continued to help Haiti kids while I am in Michigan though.  Every couple days I am in contact with people in Haiti looking for help or advice for different situations. It’s nice to still be involved a little even though I am not currently there.

 Nothing better than a little baby snuggling time!

Nothing better than a little baby snuggling time!

 

I have had many good conversations with people along the way and have had several generous donations.  I am hoping for several monthly supporters to come along side as we continue to build Kelby’s Kids.  I am currently at about 25% of my goal of $5,000 a month in monthly support to make Kelby’s Kids as effective as possible in caring for Kids!  The teens at Covenant Hills Camp raised almost $500.00 for Kelby’s Kids during family camp!  It was exciting to see them get involved and care about kids they will never meet.

I have just learned that one of my kids from Haiti died last night. 

 Godson wasn't so sure about the breathing treatment I was trying to give him.

Godson wasn't so sure about the breathing treatment I was trying to give him.

 

I had taken him to the ER a couple months ago and have treated him a couple times for respiratory problems. He started having trouble breathing again the other day and was taken to the hospital. 

I can only imagine the care that he received that took a respiratory infection (which just needed another round of antibiotics and some prednisone I am sure) to the point where he started to have seizures and slipped into a coma.  It was reported that one of the nurses basically said I give up and covered him up with a sheet while he was still breathing. 

Life in Haiti can be so very difficult.

 Hanging out in the ER together (Pretending not to break the rules about taking pictures). Godson was my little buddy, I will miss him.

Hanging out in the ER together (Pretending not to break the rules about taking pictures). Godson was my little buddy, I will miss him.

 

Although it breaks my heart, he is with Jesus now and will never have to worry about having trouble breathing again.

Thank you for being a part of Godson’s care and making the few months he had here a little better! And please help us spread the word of our work for kids in Haiti and Michigan. 

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby

Happy Birthday!!

Kelby’s Kids is 1! 

Kelby’s Kids was incorporated and received it’s 501 (C) 3 status by the IRS on June 3, 2016!

I want to take a moment to cover some of the highlights of the last couple weeks and let you know what’s coming up.

Last week we had a few visitors to the clinic.  It was encouraging to be reminded of a few good things that have taken place!

The first one was this mother and her new baby.  In November I was down in the ravine with David and he pointed her out. He asked me to take care of her after finding out she was pregnant. He said that she has had 5 miscarriages. 

He asked if I could look after her and try to help her have her first child.  So, I have been giving her prenatal vitamins and checking her vitals and trying to be sure she was taking care of herself.  I told her to send for me if she needed any help. 

She had her baby last Sunday at home! 

She asked why I didn’t come to help her as she had sent for me.  As it turned out that was graduation Sunday and there was no one at the school. But thankfully there were no complications and she now has a healthy little girl!!

 The reward for 8 months of work....  A little baby-snuggling time!!!

The reward for 8 months of work....  A little baby-snuggling time!!!

The second was a mother that you are familiar with. 

Rachel was the one that we found in the Ravine with severe preeclampsia.  She had an emergency C-section and had Naisha at just 1 Kilogram. 

I'm happy to say Naisha's weight has improved to over 3.7 Kilograms — and is a healthy little girl!!

 Naisha is gaining so much weight!! Rachel is a good Mamma!

Naisha is gaining so much weight!! Rachel is a good Mamma!

Tuesday night I was called downstairs and told that there was a baby that had been brought into the yard. As I was walking up I could tell right away that there was a problem. 

It was reported that Roseline had rolled out of bed and fell on the floor. It was obvious that she had a significant head injury and a trip to the hospital was very necessary. The family had no means for transportation and certainly no money for a hospital.

She was only responding to painful stimulus and had the possibility that a brain bleed was occurring. So, Kelby's Kids committed to Roseline’s care.

After a quick trip to the hospital the frustration with the Haitian medical system would begin. 

In the U.S. (in most emergency rooms) it would only take a few minutes to be seen by a doctor if you brought in a 3-month-old with a depressed skull fracture.  But not in Haiti. 

They did a few things and told me I could go home and the doctors and neurologist would decide what should be done when they arrived the next day. I was very frustrated, but I went home. 

Thankfully while we were in the ER, Roseline awoke and started responding! And she  seemed to not even have much pain! 

The next day, 15 hours into the injury, it was decided that a CT scan should be done.

 A standard CT scan on the left and a 3D view of the skull on the right.  Both showing the obvious fracture or indention to the skull.

A standard CT scan on the left and a 3D view of the skull on the right.  Both showing the obvious fracture or indention to the skull.

There was a very small spot on her brain which indicated an injury but it was decided that any corrective action would be more detrimental than helpful. We will just watch her and hope she doesn’t have any long term issues from this injury.

 Roseline is such a happy little girl.

Roseline is such a happy little girl.

She continued to be a very happy little girl and seemed to be doing very well when we dropped her off at her little shack in the Ravine. She will bring her to the school on Monday so I can check on her if there are not any complications before then. 

The cost for Roseline’s care was just over $24,000 HTG. That's 15 weeks of work at minimum wage in Haiti. 

While that is only about $400.00 USD it is almost 30% of my current monthly budget.  If you’re not already a part of the work of Kelby’s Kids would you consider being a part of Roseline's care with a special one-time gift?

We had the privilege of having Brad Pitt visit our clinic this last week.  He really is a handsome little man!!

 Brad Pitt himself!!

Brad Pitt himself!!

Summer is here and it’s time for summer camp!!  I am getting ready to go to Michigan for part of the summer**. 

I will be leaving Haiti today (June 21).  There is a lot of work to be done before I go and I will be worried about my kids while I will be gone. 

I have been working to get things lined up for the continued care of some of the patients I am working with while I am gone. Like this little guy.

 Kelly has a sick heart and needs your prayers.

Kelly has a sick heart and needs your prayers.

This is Kelly who is 9 months old and also has a bad heart like Auze.  We found him at this week’s malnutrition clinic.  We will try to work him into the program as well to try to get him help outside of Haiti. 

** It’s been a long 8 months and I know I need a break if I am going to continue to be effective at 100% while serving in Haiti.  There is a constant level of frustration and emotional drain that occurs while your here.  I love working with the kids at camp as the medical staff and think it will be an important part of my ministry to take some time to serve, still loving on kids, but in a lighter atmosphere where kids aren’t dying routinely and parents aren’t neglecting their kids till there near death because you can get more support for the family with a sick child.

I will be home from June 22nd until August 23rd.  I have 6 weeks of camp scheduled.  I will be spending the other couple weeks visiting with friends and supporters as well as speaking with some churches and groups. 

If your group or church is interested in supporting Kelby’s Kids and would like to hear and see more about the work being done please contact me for further information and scheduling at Kelby@Kelbyskids.org

I can not even express my gratitude for your support in making the first year of Kelby's Kids a success!  So I will just say THANK-YOU from the children who you have given hope, health and life!!

Until No Child Dies

Kelby

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!!!

Help Me Help Them

On November 9 at 2:55 PM I landed at the airport in Haiti and officially changed my address from Reed City, Michigan to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  

It’s hard to believe I’ve been here for six months. It sure doesn't feel like it! My experiences ranged from good to bad, from exciting to heart-breaking (and that was just in the first week)! :)

It feels like I’ve just scratched the surface of what’s possible with my work in Haiti. 

 

Preparing Me in 2003

I can look back and see many ways God’s been shaping my life in preparation for Haiti. My first trip in 2003 a germ of an idea of full-time missions work took hold. It took a decade for things to gain momentum. 

In early 2016, I filed the paperwork for “Kelby’s Kids” to be a 501(c)3, non-profit organization — and things really took off! 

As much as I was excited to make this change it was a very big step to walk away from my jobs in EMS and the fire department.  It was all I had known for so long.  But, on October 31, 2016, I became unemployed. I was officially without a pay check for the first time since I was 14. 

I feel that after six months in Haiti — with no intention of turning back — I have proven to myself (and hopefully all of you) that this work and mission is the real deal!

 

Financial Update

Barb (my secretary/treasurer) has recently given me an update on our finances. She does a great job keeping things running back in the states while I work in Haiti. 

So this is a perfect time to give you an update on the financial side of Kelby's Kids. (I’d MUCH rather be sharing stories about babies and kids under my care, but posts like this are critical if I’m going to continue this valuable work.)

As of the end of April we have 20 partners who have said they will partner with us on a recurring basis. (Their monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, or annually giving is averaged across 12 months and it helps us calculate our monthly budget). In addition, we also get occasional one-time donations to help support the ministry’s operation.

We currently have $1,264USD in committed, monthly support through the 20 supporters. That’s an average donation of $63.20.  

Unfortunately, we have had people who’ve committed to making monthly donations, but have not fulfilled their commitments. We’ve also seen some attrition. People who were supporting us in 2016 have not continued to do so into 2017.

 

Monthly Goals

As I prepared to leave for Haiti, you may remember how I said I’d like to have a goal of raising $5,000USD a month. 

The goal is to have $1,500 a month for medical/clinic expenses, $1,500 for ministry/living expenses, $1,500 a month for wages/benefits, and $500 a month for special projects, unexpected expenses, and a rainy-day fund.

That’s a grand total of $60,000USD a year to run a medical program. that helps thousands of people at the cost of an average salary and benefit package for an average middle class skilled job.  

I’m currently seeing an average of 100 patients a week. 

At this rate I’ll see over 5,200 patients this year. They’ll receive free care and it’ll cost our ministry less than $11USD per patient! But that will only happen if the ministry is fully funded this year. Current giving levels only allow me to budget $2.75USD per patient. It includes all supplies, medications, lab work, ultrasounds, X-rays, and more. 

I am sure your doctor’s office or urgent care can't say that!  

We also provide all of the medications we prescribe so the patients don't incur any cost after they leave. We provide complete care and treatment for less than the co-pay for one medication for most folks in the U.S.  

As word gets out and more patients come for care, it will increase our expenses but it will also decrease the overall cost per patient due to volume.

 

Let’s Break Down the Costs a Little More

Medical/clinic costs cover things like supplies, medications, equipment, trips to the ER, and medical tests (blood work, X-rays, ultrasounds). We have some wound patients who need their dressings changed three times a week (and some wound care last for months and months). That adds up!  

In the last few weeks alone I’ve spent almost 10,000HTG (HTG is the local currency — Haitian Goudes) on eye medications for the pink eye epidemic going around and almost 13,000HTG on a trip to the ER for a 3-month-old with a severe respiratory infection.

With the exchange rate, Kelby’s Kids is able to provide exceptional care in those two instances alone for just $340 in U.S. funds! (I’d like to highlight the fact that I currently only receive $1,264USD in support every month). 

It’s a terrible feeling to think of having to ration medications or be worried if I have enough money to take a child to the ER, or if they need extensive testing. 

I also don't want to have to tell patients that I can't help them because I don't have the things I need to make them better.

Ministry/living expenses currently covers room and board at the school where I stay. But some day I’ll need to cover rent for an apartment or small house. (I currently live in a 9’ X 15’ house).  

Utilities, like water, costs $22.40USD for a 3,000-gallon truck. That’s $7.46 per 1,000 gallons. It’s more expensive to get water this way than it is to get city water in Michigan. 

AND, the water I buy from the truck isn't safe to drink! I still have to buy five-gallon jugs of drinking water (or save some money to install a filtration system one day).   

As the ministry grows, I will need to purchase a vehicle and pay to maintain it and fill it with gas.  

They say that a year in Haiti is like five years in the U.S. So, take your auto repair budget, increase it by 30-50% because it’s all imported and then multiply it by five!  

Electricity in Haiti is also expensive. 

It’s commonly believed that 68% of the electricity Haiti produces gets stolen. 

For those that actually pay for it, the electric bills are based on what the electric company thinks it can gouge you for, instead of what your meter says. And we only have power for 33% of the day (about eight hours a day)!

On top of that, dwellings need to have a battery and inverter system and, possibly, a solar source.

 

My Wages and Benefits are Currently Set at $0USD

l’ll start taking a salary when the medical and ministry expenses are sufficiently met.

I retired in October with some money in my savings. But I have not made a single dollar since. 

As a result, my personal savings is down 16 percent. At this rate, I’ll be broke in 2.5 years. I’ll need to start making a salary in order to keep up with the taxes for my house and vehicle in Michigan.

I’m also currently without medical insurance. (I know, not a good idea). A medical emergency could be devastating to my savings. Foreign missionaries often get “evacuation insurance” to cover the $30,000USD cost of an emergency medical evacuation from Haiti to the United States.

 

4,382 x $1 = 75%

This post on the Kelby's Kids Facebook page has 4,382 views. 

To put numbers and dollars in perspective, if everyone of the people who saw that post donated just $1 a month, it would cover nearly 75% of my entire budget for the year. 

If you haven't been keeping up with my blog posts, I encourage you to look back though them and read about the lives being changed and saved. We are making a difference for many here in Haiti! 

I only tell you a fraction of the stories of the lives we’re changing together! But I’m eager to share even more (even though some people tell me my blogs are already too long)! 

But I can only do it by raising additional funds.

I began working on this letter on May 10. I’ve spent a lot of time on it because it’s important and I didn’t want to mess it up. I wanted it to be inspirational about the work we’re doing in Haiti, yet I also needed it to show a sense of urgency about the state of our finances.

If you are currently a donor, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart — and I pray for God’s blessing on you for your faithful praying, encouragement, and financial support! It’s gotten this ministry up and running. Perhaps you will consider getting creative about increasing your gift.

If you’re doing all you can, perhaps you can consider becoming a cheerleader for me! Share the blogs I write, share the pictures on Instagram, tell your Sunday School class about the good work we’re doing for the poor and powerless in Haiti. Tell somebody who needs to know about Kelby’s Kids.

Raising awareness of Kelby’s Kids can go a long way towards our goal of raising just $5,000USD of sustained support a month. We’re currently only 25% of the way to that goal. 

 

There are Several Ways to Support Kelby’s Kids

You can go to the support page of my web site. It explains several ways to give. 

A bill pay option through your financial institution will reduce the administrative costs to Kelby's Kids that are incurred through on-line giving — making your donation stretch further.

(Please email Barb with questions. She will gladly walk you through it.)

 

I Truly Can't Do This Alone

All of the pages of my blog would be blank if it was not for YOU!  TOGETHER WE are changing lives! Saving lives! I already have many stories ready for the next update!

 Watch for the next update to see the rest of this picture and find out how you have given hope and are changing the life of this child!

Watch for the next update to see the rest of this picture and find out how you have given hope and are changing the life of this child!

Watch for the next update to see the rest of this picture and find out how you have given hope and are changing the life of this child!

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby

 

Don't You Understand??

It’s been a tough week already, and it’s only Wednesday.

On Monday morning, my first patient at the clinic was a little girl. 

Auze, a 9 year old, had some strange complaints. She was feeling light-headed and dizzy and was having chest pain and shortness of breath.  Not to out-of-the-ordinary if you're 90 years old. But it is NOT normal for a nine-year-old. But sometimes these symptoms can happen with severe anemia, which is common here.  

 Auze's heart broke my heart

Auze's heart broke my heart

As I started to assess her, I put my stethoscope on her chest and immediately my heart broke for her.  My first thought was "this girl is going to die if she stays in Haiti." 

It’s interesting how much medicine has changed for me already during my short time here in Haiti.  If I was back in Michigan, this little girl would have been in the back of my ambulance and we would be running lights and sirens and headed for the children’s hospital. 

Auze's heart rate was fairly normal at 86. But her blood pressure was 88/82.  Her oxygen saturation was only 78% but did come up to 82% for a minute when I had her take deep breaths to listen to her lungs. 

This little girl is sick! 

So, what was our course of treatment? We told her to go home and we would contact her if we could find treatment options for her. 

It was obvious that she has a significant heart defect. As she continues to grow her heart will no longer be able to keep up with her body's demands. 

We made arrangements to get her an Echo Cardiogram and to be evaluated by a cardiologist.  This would begin the process of trying to get her accepted into a program which would take her to another country for open heart surgery to repair the defect.  I told her to show-up at the clinic at 7:00am on Monday morning and we'd take care of things from there. 

She never showed up.

Yesterday, at the malnutrition clinic, we had two very sick kids show up.  The first one was 18-months-old and weighed in at just under nine pounds.  He was tiny and frail and you could tell the malnourishment had taken a disastrous toll on his body. He has also been having seizures since he was a week old, and had never been treated for them.

The second child was six years old. He weighed 18 pounds. 

He had some obvious medical issues with Cerebral Palsy being one of them.  We made arrangements to try to get both of them into inpatient clinics.  It’s very difficult to find inpatient malnutrition clinics that will take special needs kids because what often happens is this: the parent takes the child into the clinic for care, but the parent doesn't return to get their child.  The malnutrition center becomes an orphanage.  But, none-the-less, we had a plan.   

I told them to show-up at the clinic at 7:00am on Wednesday morning and we'd take care of things from there. They never showed up…

That's three patients in two days who did not return for life-saving follow-up care.  In frustration I say to myself, "Don’t You Understand?! Your children are going to die without some significant intervention. And very soon!"

Please remember to pray for these children. Pray that their parents will do the right thing for them before it's too late. And that their lives can be saved.

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby

Death and Taxes

I just got back to Haiti on April 18 after going home for a short visit to do taxes. 

I had to do my personal taxes as well as be sure we had completed all the IRS requirements for Kelby’s Kids (the government calls us a "Non-Profit 501(C)3."  We also had to file new documentation with the state because we have now grown enough to now be a part of the official State of Michigan Charitable Registry through the Michigan Attorney General’s office!

In traditional fashion, once back in Haiti, I hit the ground running. 

I had been notified before getting back that one of the staff at the school was sick. 

She is 3 months pregnant and was having trouble breathing. She had gone to the hospital and they said she was having heart issues. But it was too late in the day so she would have to come back tomorrow. She returned the next day and was told that she had Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). 

They stated that they could not care for her because she was pregnant and they sent her to the children’s hospital. The children's hospital would not treat her (due to her being adult) and referred her to a different hospital.  

The woman's husband came to the school and told us that they wanted to send her to a Tuberculosis Sanitarium to be treated (although he knew she didn't have TB diagnosis). The sanitarium is NOT a good place for a pregnant Mamma to be.

He told them to give him some time and came to the school for help.  He had a copy of her chest x-ray. The x-ray didn't indicate heart failure. It did, however, indicate an infection in a large part of her right lung. 

We decided the  they were going to kill her if we didn’t take action so I went with him to take her to another hospital which is outside of their insurance network — but something had to be done. 

We went to the hospital to pick her up and the conditions were unbelievable. 

Beds and patients were in the entryway and lobby. 

We went into an exam room. It was small room — with nine beds packed into it. 

It was a co-ed room — with no curtains or dividers for privacy. 

It was very apparent that the patient on bed #8 had passed away. 

I began to assess our pregnant patient as she was in obvious respiratory distress. Meanwhile, all the other patients in the crowded exam room noticed what I was doing and  asked me to help them, too!

We signed some paperwork and were on our way to her fourth(!) hospital.  I was worried how she would do on the ride without oxygen but she did okay. 

When we arrived at the ER of the fourth hospital, I walked in and one of the workers recognized me from HERO Ambulance.  I told them I work with HERO but not that day. 

An American doctor from a visiting medical team met with us and asked what was happening. I quickly explained the entire story and what I though was going on and I showed him the x-ray. He agreed with my diagnosis and ordered a ultrasound. 

The ultrasound confirmed that her heart was good (and was not in CHF) but did, indeed, have a large "plural effusion" (fluid collection) from an infection in the right side of her chest.  The doc headed to find the equipment he'd need. 

He came back a short time later. And with my assistance, and with a large group of Haitian staff,  he performed a thoracentesis (by placing a small tube in through her back and into her lung). 

He removed 1,700mls (almost two liters) of fluid from her right chest! 

She immediatley was able to breath better. 

It can be traumatic for the body to have to re-inflate a lung, but after just a few minutes, our pregnant patient was doing much better.

After we were sure all the fluid was gone, the tube was removed and we took her home with a prescription for antibiotics (to help ensure the infection would be stopped). 

Although it was an invasive procedure — especially for Haiti — it was rather simple fix for her body. But, if she would have had to wait another 24 hours or so in any, I'm confident her and her baby would have died in any one of the other three hospitals she went to.

We are monitoring her and hope she will soon be as good as new!

Shortly thereafter I returned to the clinic to do some routine wound care.

And guess who was there?  Rachel and her baby!! 

Rachel is the one that I sent in for an emergency C-section after I found her with preeclampsia, shortly before I came back to the States (see blog post “What About Me”). 

The baby is tiny (at 2.2kg/4.8lbs) but seems to be doing well. 

I'm so thankful for the Lord's direction to find this young lady and be able to save her and her baby's life! All because of Rachel’s friend!

 Naisha at 20 days old

Naisha at 20 days old

When I returned, there was a team at the school that had been working hard.  It was the senior class trip from a Christian school. 

They had done a lot of projects around the school and were working with the kids after Easter break. They were here for 12 days but I didn’t get back until four days before they left. 

Early Thursday morning they came and got me as one of the students had gotten sick during the night.  The student was dehydrated (but it also seemed to have more going on). 

I started an IV on her and ended up giving her four liters of fluid!

You have to drink lots of water here in Haiti. 

The next morning by 6:00am a second student had gotten sick.  I started and IV on her as well.  This was their last day and they were packing to go home. 

It’s good it was the end of the trip but it's not fun to travel when you’re sick. By 8:00am another student was sick. And then another

As I was finishing up trying to make sure they had everything they might need for the trip home, I could tell something was a little off. (I have not heard from anyone on the team once they returned home, but I am sure many more would experiencing similar symptoms.)  

As they pulled out of the gate, Sherrie said, "what a great team!" 

I replied, "Yes, but they got me, I am going to bed."

I headed to my room, got in bed, and before too long, I was vomiting. 

I spent the next 26 hours in bed! (As I laid there, I actually spent time planning how I would start an IV on myself. I knew I could poke myself — I have done it before — but how to take the cover off the tubbing, connecting it to the IV catheter without bending it or bleeding, and taping it down is really a two-handed process.)  

I have basically been in my room for the last 3 days. I am finally starting to feel better and am hoping to be 100% for clinic tomorrow. There is work to be done!

They say there are only two guarantees in life — death and taxes. 

I took care of my taxes and, together, you and I are fighting death on a daily basis.

We've saved four lives during this blog-post alone! (Not including the work in the medical clinics and malnutrition clinic.)  

If you’re not already involved in some way with Kelby’s Kids I hope you would consider being a part of the work going on here in Haiti so it can continue for many more years with many more lives saved!

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby

"What About ME?"

"What About ME?"

Last week during the malnutrition clinic we again confronted a mom about the fact that her child was not gaining weight. 

She was a very small 6-month-old, holding around 11 pounds for the 6 weeks she has been in the program. This was week number 4 with no weight gain and last week she lost some. This is statistically impossible if they are eating the prescribed amount of Medika Mamba (Medical Peanut butter). 

The previous week we told her that she was not allowed to eat it, as the contract that she signed states. After getting after her she explained her philosophy of how if she eats the Medika Mamba she will be health and make good breast milk and her baby will also be health. It was a win-win for everyone. 

We explained to her that she had willingly broke the rules which she was aware of. That her baby is sick and it’s sad she has chosen not to take advantage of our program to help care for her baby. We advised her that she was being kicked out of the program and we hoped that she would somehow be able to keep her baby alive. But, we could not continue to allow her to break the rules when there were a lot of other mothers who would do what they were supposed to do for their child. 

Her reply was “what about me?” 

It’s sad to see the selfishness and the lack of value put on children here. We did tell her to tell her friends and she spent some time talking with the other ladies before she left so hopefully it will be a valuable lesson to all of them.

This little guy wanted to share his Medika Mamba with me. Hoping his giving and caring spirit doesn't change as he gets older!

 

I told you in my last post I would try to give you a better look at the normal day to day activity in Haiti. 

It was a busy time trying to get ready to come home for a little while to do taxes and get a little break. But I really decided that after a total of about 20 weeks in Haiti there is really no such thing as “normal” when it comes to medical work here.

My normal weekly schedule looks like this: 

Monday is medical clinic up the road at Coram Deo Mission (Latin for presents of God) run by Karen from Canada. We start at 9 am and can see up to 70+ patients. 

We only hand out 45 cards at the gate for patients but often a mother will get a card and then all 3 kids need to be seen as well. So, we usually finish anywhere from 1:00 to 2:30 but usually the later. Before and after clinic I try to see school kids in my school clinic.

Tuesday is malnutrition clinic at the same facility. I do the medical part of the malnutrition treatment. There is a medical component to being sure they are healthy enough to gain weight from the Medika Mamba. 

We currently have 11 kids in the program that we see each week. Last week we graduated 2 kids from the program that made their target weight! It doesn’t sound like a lot when a child gains 3 pounds but when your little that make a 37% increase in their weight!! 

We see up to 20 new patients each week as well. Most of them don’t meet the requirements to be admitted. I think they believe it’s a food distribution and don’t understand the concept of malnutrition treatment. They are evaluated medically and treated if any issues are found. Again, I see kids in the school clinic before and after if possible.

The Children lining up for school. I always try to be visible in the morning if someone needs anything when they arrive. They always sing, pray, and sing the national Anthem each day.

 

Wednesday through Friday I am available most of the day for the school clinic. I also try to go down to the Ravine with the baby feeders occasionally to check on things as well as going to weigh the kids twice a month. I never know what I will get into in the Ravine. 

On top of that our Monday clinic has produced several wound care patients. Last week we were up to 5 patients who needed dressing changes. So, every other day we go up to Coram Deo to do wound care. I am also available for calls with HERO Ambulance at any time as well.

The school clinic can produce any number of complaints. In the last 2 weeks, I have seen many patients for ear infections, sore throats, pink eye, allergies, urinary tract infections, scabies, headaches, dehydration, and abdominal pain. I also had a student that stepped on a burning piece of charcoal. 

After a week, he finally came to see me with an infected hole in the bottom of his foot. I also had a girl with a knee injury after being involved in a Moto accident on the way home from school. It’s not uncommon to have students who are involved in Moto accidents or have burns from the exhaust.

Saturday and Sunday I try to take a little time for myself, which doesn’t occur often enough. Saturday is laundry day. You always have to start early to get the washing done before the power goes out. Then its line drying after that. 

With the wound care schedule, we have to do wounds every other Saturday and Sunday. People from the community will also show up at the gate if they are in need at any time so there is never truly time off.

On Monday evening before I left one of the guys that lives at the school came to get me and said there was someone at the gate bleeding. 

I found a young lady bleeding from her hand. I took her to the clinic and found a deep wound to her left hand. She stated that she tripped and fell into a large pot that had a knife in it. It didn’t seem very likely. I would guess she was attacked and she grabbed the knife cutting her hand. She didn’t appear to have any tendon or nerve damage so 9 stitches later her hand was sewn up. It is very difficult to stitch between someone fingers. I hope her hand does well and she has no complications. 

She will be going to clinic to have the stitches removed while I am gone.

My Little girl whose mother started feeding her cookies and dirty water at 2 months is gaining weight and looking much better. Hoping she does well as she grows up. She was rather sick for a while and probably would have died if we had not intervened.

She is doing well!! I just wish mom would spend less on clothes and more on her food!

 

The other day one of the pregnant ladies I have been working with down in the Ravine asked if I would bring her some more prenatal vitamins as well as some for her friend. She also stated that she didn’t feel well and was having abdominal pain. 

I went back to the school and got some equipment and some vitamins and went back to the ravine. I gave her the vitamins and checked on her and the baby. She’s been pregnant five other times. 

We’re really trying hard to help her birth her first child. Everything looked good. 

I don’t think they understand that process of pregnancy and what happens to your body as the baby grows as all of the pregnant woman I have seen complain about abdominal pain. So now we went to find her friend… 

She reported that her friend had no complaints but she wanted me to check on her as well. 

As I went into her hot little tent shack and I met Rachel who was obviously pregnant. Her boyfriend (not reported to be the babies father) was irritated by me being there as he was taking a nap. As I was evaluating her she told me, through the translator, that at 29 years old, with 2 children, this was the first time in her life that she has ever had her blood pressure taken. 

As it turns out, it was one of the most important blood pressure checks I have done in Haiti thus far. Her blood pressure was 222/130. 

This screamed Preeclampsia to me. But, this is Haiti. I explained to her what was going on and how much of a problem this was. She became very upset when I explained what would probably happen today. 

But, she also was very dehydrated and possibly had hypertension before the pregnancy. She said that she didn’t want to go to the hospital and that whatever I could do was enough. I told her that I would give her some fluid and see what that did for her and we would re-evaluate from there. SO, I went back to the school again and got some IV fluids and more equipment. 

When I returned to start an IV, her boyfriend finally decided he could get up and let her lay down. 

As I started her IV in this tiny little dirt floor tarp shack it was so hot that I had to lean to the side so I didn’t drip sweat on my IV site. The smoke from the neighbors cooking fire was flowing into her house and as it past in front of the light from my headlamp that I had to use to see, it looked like something from a concert. 

It still amazes me how the people live and survive in these conditions. 

Over time I gave her 2 liters of IV fluid. I was able to get her blood pressure down to 160/96, which still isn’t good, but is a 62-point drop from where we started. I lectured her about drinking fluids. 

It was noon when I started the IV and at that point she hadn’t urinated yet since she woke up. I explained that she had 16 hours and if she didn’t drink enough and if she didn’t keep her blood pressure down I was taking her to the hospital in the morning and she would have her baby. I told her that she needed to drink a lot and be on bed rest until I come back in the morning. 

She tried to tell me that she felt better than she has felt in a while, that she couldn’t be sick. I assured her that this was a very dangerous situation and it went against my better judgment to not take her to the hospital right then. 

I got back to the school just as school was ending. When the school secretary seen me she asked me if I had taken a bath with my clothes on. I told her no, I was just down hanging out in the Ravine trying to keep warm. The real feel temp was 103 degrees which felt cool after coming out of her house.

The next morning, I returned worried about what I would find. I found her sweating like crazy and cooking over a charcoal fire inside her house. I asked her what happened to bed rest and taking care of her and her baby? She didn’t really have an answer for me. 

Her blood pressure was 200/120. 

I told her “congratulations.” Because she was going to have her baby that day. 

She had reported to be about 8 months but they also think that its possible be pregnant for a year or more. She said that she didn’t feel like it was necessary to go. I explained to her the she was in preeclampsia and that eclampsia was when she has a seizure. I told her that the only way to fix this was for her to have the baby. I also told her that if she had a seizure here that it was almost certain that her and her baby would die. With some encouragement from some of the neighbors ladies that had gathered around her door she agreed to go to the hospital.

After she left for the hospital I was taken to the home of another pregnant lady. 

Before I finished checking on her 2 more pregnant ladies came to be checked. Word had quickly spread and everyone who was pregnant wanted to be sure they didn’t have the same problem. As it turns out they all had low blood pressure so we educated then about drinking lots of water and less coffee.

 Everything gone...

Everything gone...

 

Had a house fire a couple blocks from the school the other day. People were running around but there was nothing that could be done. It’s sad how often this probably happens. They just have to walk away and start all over. So many people cook inside their homes. Children often get burned from accidents in the home with cooking fires.

So just before I left I went to check on the mother I sent to the hospital. Her boyfriend stated that she was still in the hospital after a week. We decided to go and check on her. After a much longer walk than I anticipated we arrived at the Doctors Without Borders Hospital she was at. 

After a while looking around we finally found Rachel. The look on her face when she seen that we came to check on her was priceless. She was so excited! She stated that her little girl was doing pretty good but was on oxygen for some breathing issues. She was in the ICU so we were not allowed to go and see her. She was unsure how much she weighed but said she was little. 

She was very thankful that I had found her and made her go to the hospital. She said the doctor told her that she would have probably been dead in the next day or so. Two lives saved because of a simple blood pressure check.

I will try to have a picture of Rachel and her baby for the next post!

I told my co-worker, Meredith, that we have a medical clinic, a malnutrition clinic, and a wound clinic. Maybe it’s time to start a Maternity clinic too!

Thank-You doesn’t seem like enough for your continued prayers, financial support, and encouragement! Together we are making a difference in lives here in Haiti.

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby 

Life Is Never Easy

The other day I was down in the yard when someone came knocking on the gate.  They were asking for help, someone was hurt.  I went out into the street to see a man face down in the road with one of the students from the school standing by him.  As I was getting close to him he started trying to get up and everyone was trying to get him to stay down.  He compromised with sitting on the ground.  Someone had started pouring water on his head.  He was upset and wanted to go home.  The student translated for me and got him to relax for a minute.  Surprisingly he wasn’t hurt from his fall.  The student said that he seen him go right down on his face.  He stated that he had not eaten for at least 5 days and had very little to drink and that is why he had passed out.  I told him if he would stay there I would go get him something.  I ran back to my room and got him a bottle of water and grabbed 8 things out of my goody box (breakfast bars, granola bars, trail mix…) and put them in a ziplock.  I went back to him and gave him a breakfast bar and the bottle of water.  He quickly ate the bar and drank the bottle of water.  I gave him the zip lock bag and told him to eat something else but he set it down next to him.  I told the student to tell him he needs to eat more before he tries to walk home.  He stated he would be OK now.  As I started to protest again he said that he has a wife and kids and they need the rest.  The student stated that he was going to try to find him more food.  He went back to the school and in a few minutes, he came back with about a 20-pound bag that had rice, beans, corn meal, and grits in it.  The man was very grateful for the ability to feed his family.  The added weight was going to make his trip home even more difficult though.  I went and found Edmond, the school’s driver, to see if he could take him home.  We loaded him in the truck and he was on his way home with probably more food than his family has had in a month or more…  This is why it’s so very difficult to teach long term thinking in Haiti.  For so many, each day truly is a fight for survival and they can’t put anything into next week because it could cost them today.

I know that many of you are waiting for an update on Faeka (the baby I delived at the neighbors behind the school).  Thank-You so much for your prayers!  It’s been a struggle but she hasn’t gotten any worse so I guess that is progress in Haiti.  If you did not catch my facebook post, Faeka got sick and I was worried that she had gotten a possible bowel obstruction or Typhoid.  I told her Mamma to take her to the hospital.  She said that she would wait until morning.  I was worried that might be too late.  Well, she said that she took her to the hospital but they were full.  So, she went to a little clinic.  That means that no tests were done.  They gave her Tylenol and some gas medicine.  At this point she is still less than a month old and less than 8 pounds.  I figured that the Tylenol would probably cover the symptoms until it was really too late.  Her mother said she was doing a little better with the medicine.  I wrote her an order for a typhoid test so she wouldn’t have to go through the clinic.  When I went back to check on her later she had decided that she was getting better and didn’t need it.  She is still in a lot of pain, doesn’t like her abdomen touched, has constant bowel sounds, but is still going to the bathroom some.  She seemed to also be so hungry that she didn’t even know what to do with herself.  I explained again to her mom what should be happening.  When I told her she should be feeding her every 3 hours she laughed out loud.  This could be our culprit.  In Haiti by the time you’re a month old you are almost an adult.  If they continue breast feeding they figure if they only eat once a day, then the baby only needs to eat once a day.  But for many moms it’s time to start your baby on rice, bean sauce, and vegetables as well as water.  Or if you don’t have much money sometimes it’s just cookies and water.  She is up to 8 pounds 7 oz and I am hoping she will feed her more and will continue to only breast feed her like she told me she would.  So, I guess time will tell!

 When I got to the house Faeka was screaming.  Her Mamma was amazed that in about 90 seconds I had her asleep.  Trying to teach her how to comfort her when her tummy hurts!  

When I got to the house Faeka was screaming.  Her Mamma was amazed that in about 90 seconds I had her asleep.  Trying to teach her how to comfort her when her tummy hurts!  

Well as life has it, there are always kids and babies in need of help here...

Stacy with HERO Ambulance contacted me and asked if I was available for a medical flight.  After the last medivac, I am learning to ask more questions.  I would actually be flying for this call but would not be leaving the country.  I said count me in, sounds like fun.  There was a severely malnourished, special needs child that needed to be transported up north to Cap Haitian.  We didn’t have a lot of details and were worried about what we would find as it sounded very desperate.  A 10-year old boy with Cerebral Palsy, who was possible abandoned by his mom, was found living in an old warehouse and is very malnourished.  We would pick him up from the warehouse and transport him by ambulance to the airport.  Then I would accompany him to Cap Haitian by way of Mission Aviation Fellowship and turn him over to the people from the receiving facility, who do inpatient special needs malnutrition, at the airport and return. 

We walked into a very dark building and found this boy laying on a little bed in the back corner.  The only way to see much was from the light from my cell phone.  His mom had been found and would be going with us.  She was probably out providing for him and he was not actually abandoned but unfortunately under the care of younger siblings during the day.  Before we could get our cot, she had picked him up and was on her way to the ambulance with him.  She was very excited that he was getting help!  We placed him on the cot and he seemed a little fearful of the unknown.  It’s hard to know how long he had been living in that dark building.  But when his Mamma got in and we started moving he was all smiles.  He has his mom and was on a new adventure!  He seemed to actually enjoy all the bumps of the horrible roads. 

 10 years old and about 25 pounds

10 years old and about 25 pounds

Once we made it to the main road traffic was bad and we were running short on time so of course it was time to run lights and sirens! (This isn’t really a big deal because anyone can put lights and sirens on their vehicle in Haiti so you constantly see vehicles doing the same thing.  But our little patient thought that was even more fun and he was trying to imitate the siren sounds.  It was very cute!  Well, as luck would have it, the plane was full and weight was a big issue for the flight.  They actually asked if we had any 90 pound paramedics.  So unfortunately, my friend Bruce, who is a little smaller than I, got to make the flight up to Cap Haitian with him.  After they left Stacy told me, there was a scheduling issue and it was likely that Bruce would be left up there overnight.  That made me feel much better about not being able to go.  But thankfully they brought Bruce back.  Praying that this little man will get some help physically with his condition and well as some good nutrition.  As you can see he has a lot of contractures from a lack of understanding about the care that he needs.  His legs actually cross just below the hips from the contractures.  This may not be reversible.

Another call from Stacy a few days later and again were on our way to help a Neonate.  There is a 32-week little girl who was born that afternoon by emergency C-section, when her mother got Preeclampsia.  The baby was OK for a little bit but then started to have some breathing issues.  2 hospitals in the area do not even have Oxygen available and none of them could take care of this baby.  So they left St. Marc and started for Port-au-Prince and we left Port-au-Prince Headed for St. Marc.  We were anticipating a meet at Mission of Hope (MOH) in Titanyen, which was about half way for each of us.  She was not breathing well and would turn blue without being constantly irritated to keep her fussing but they didn’t have oxygen to take with them.  As it turns out Mission of Hope was the perfect meeting point.  We pulled in and literally 20 seconds later they arrived.  We headed to the clinic on their compound to evaluate and stabilize her.

 Working on Lela in the MOH Clinic

Working on Lela in the MOH Clinic

Little Lela seemed almost perfect at a glance.  But her Oxygen levels were in the 60’s.  We placed her on oxygen and her levels returned to 98%.  Mom was reported to be getting sick and Lela had a fever so she was given antibiotics.  I started an IV on her.  She seemed to be doing better.  Meanwhile, Stacy was still trying to find a bed for this little one back in Port-au-Prince.  After a while we had a bed and felt that she was stable for the rest of the transport.

 Isn't little Lela just precious? 

Isn't little Lela just precious? 

She did well during the transport and we arrived safely at the hospital.  The ER didn’t want anything to do with us until we paid the bill which is common here.  We contacted the pediatrician that accepted her and moved her right to the PICU and skipped the ER.  Dad still had to pay a $40,000.00 Goud (Haitian currency) deposit before she could stay though.  I am happy to report that the last update I saw she was doing better.  Praying that the Hypoxia doesn’t bring any long-term effects for her little body.

These are a few of the highlights since the last blog post.  But on a day to day level there is much more that happens here.  I try to keep these interesting and at a moderate length but I think on the next one I will try to explain the average day and week a little better.  So stay tuned!  

I greatly appreciate your continued interest and support of the work that Kelby’s Kids is doing every day in Haiti.  Together we are touching lives and making a difference everyday so that maybe life can be a little easier!

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby 

The Highs and the Lows

It seemed like it took forever, until the last minute…  I had been working with a Mamma out behind the school for several weeks.  She kept talking like she was going to go into labor at any time.  But day after day, week after week, we didn’t have a baby.  She said she really wanted a Valentines baby.  She had told me that she was not going to the hospital because she had a bad experience with the last 2 children she had there.  She said she would deliver at home with her husband’s help.  On Monday morning February 15th one of her children came into the school and said that her mom has been trying to get a hold of me since last night.  She was having abdominal pain.  Well she has been telling me that for a long time.  I went out back to check on her.  It didn’t take long to figure out we were getting pretty close to having a baby.  I ran back to my room and grabbed everything I might need and ran to the dark and hot little house.  I barely made it back before she delivered a beautiful little girl!!  She and mom were doing well and I was thankful there were no complications!

 Faeka Stacy Jean Louis - Born 02-15-17 at 7:55 am

Faeka Stacy Jean Louis - Born 02-15-17 at 7:55 am

I am reported to be the god father of Faeka.  Although this is an honor it’s also a big financial commitment.  I have been warned that if it becomes official I will be expected to pay for many of her needs as she grows up.  I did not weigh her when she was born, which I really should have done.  She had lost a fair amount of weight and was noticeable smaller after a few days.  But after working with mom, some instruction, and a little time she has turned the corner and is gaining weight again!

 Faeka - 5 days old

Faeka - 5 days old

I have been weighing her every other day and she is making good progress now.  She will hopefully be back to about her birth weight soon (I am guessing about 7 ½ pounds).  She had dropped to 5 pounds 12 oz.  It’s exciting to have a positive experience in Haiti with a child despite the lack of health care options.

 Faeka at 2 weeks - 6 pounds 14 oz.  And hungry by the way she was chewing on her hand!!

Faeka at 2 weeks - 6 pounds 14 oz.  And hungry by the way she was chewing on her hand!!

Unfortunately, the day did not end on the high note it had started on.  HERO Ambulance called and said they had a baby transport they were already doing and wanted to know if I could meet up with them or come to the hospital to help.  I grabbed a few things and headed out the door.  We were able to meet up with the ambulance about 5 minutes out from the first hospital.  They had gone up to a little clinic and picked up a sick baby but the clinic also had a mom that was bleeding from a miscarriage.  So both patients were loaded into the ambulance with some family and they were off to Port-au-Prince.  I jumped in and made number 7 in the ambulance.  We were the highest priority so we were the first stop at our first hospital but the mother had to go to a different hospital yet.  This kind of situation is very much life in Haiti.  Always trying to do a lot with a little.

The baby had been born in a local hospital 8 days ago by a complicated and traumatic C-section.  She had not been doing well since she was born and her mother brought her to the community clinic as she continued to get worse.  She was very sick and the clinic called for transport to Port-au-Prince right away.  She was in respiratory distress, was very dehydrated, was hypoglycemic, and was hypothermic.  By the time I got the story we were at the hospital.  We went to work on her in the ER.  She was not breathing well and was also not ventilating well with assistance, she needed IV access, she needed fluid, she needed glucose, she needed to be rewarmed.  Everything flowed really well, almost like back home with the ER staff working side by side with the EMS Crew.  I had my first Intubation (putting a tube into the lungs to breath for her) in Haiti, on an 8 day old. 

We got everything done that could be done for her and she was admitted to the Ped’s Unit.  She was doing better for the moment but the long-term outcome looked rather bleak due to the amount of time that had passed before she was brought to help.  The odds were stacked against her from before she was even born.  Then medical system which she was born into let her down.  It continued to play out after she was born when she was sent home, when what she really needed was help.  Then, as she got sicker, the desperation of her mother not understanding her condition, not knowing if she should trust the hospital again, and not being able to afford the hospital again.  It was just a really bad situation that plays out in Haiti every single day.  Later that night I found out that she had passed away.

What a wide swing of emotions...  From bringing an infant into the world in the morning to losing an infant that night.  It was almost like the good had been overshadowed by the bad. Like at the end of the day we had only broke even.

 

Sunday (02-19-17) was a fun day!  I went out with HERO Ambulance and helped cover a 10 K ocean swim race.  It was called Swim For Haiti 2017.  It was a new experience and an enjoyable time.  And after 14 trips to Haiti I actually touched the ocean!

 This was the view from "my office" for the day!!  I traded the ambulance for a 28 foot Boston Whaler with a pair of 225 HP motors on it!

This was the view from "my office" for the day!!  I traded the ambulance for a 28 foot Boston Whaler with a pair of 225 HP motors on it!

There was a 10 K and a 1.5 K swim.  The 10K started on a small island off of La Gonave and finished at Wahoo Bay.  We had 3 big boats for medical and support staff.  We had 3 smaller motor boats patrolling and then they had hired a fisherman in a dugout canoe that stayed with each of the 50+ swimmers.

The day was fairly uneventful thankfully!  It was nice to be able to help out this organization as they raised money and awareness for Haiti.  There were swimmers from Haiti, Dominican Republic, France, USA, Australia, and El Salvador that I know of and probably were others.  This included  Naomy Grand'Pierre - the first Haitian woman to swim in the Olympics, competing in Rio.

On Monday morning (O2-20-17) the medical team that was staying at House of Hope came to help with our clinic.  We had put out the word that we could see a lot of patients.  We seen over 200 patients that day!!  Things continue going well at our Monday clinic.  It’s a blessing to be able to help people that don’t have any other access to medical care.  We see some very poor patients and if they had to pay even a little bit (less than 1 dollar US) they could not afford to be seen where payment is required.  In the same way on Tuesday’s the malnutrition clinic is providing hope to so many who can barely provide for their children.  The look of tremendous desperation that some of the mothers come in with that is transformed into Hope and Joy when they find out that there child now has a chance to grow up!  Most of the mothers have already lost a child.  Many to Malnutrition.

Saturday (02-25-17) I got a call from Stacy about a Medivac transport.  She asked if I could help HERO with a “quick” transport from a hospital near the airport to the airport for a medivac to Miami with a burn patient.  I headed to the airport to meet the crew and then to Doctors Without Borders where the patient was.  Doctors Without Borders has a burn unit in Port-au-Prince.  The patient was a female that had a propane explosion when she tried to light the stove.  She was reported to have 95% of her body burned with 2nd degree burns.  She was almost 6 days post injury before they were able to arrange the transport.  Very long story short, after 8 hours and making the airport stay open 2.5 hours late for us, the patient was on her way to Miami.  Praying this young lady will survive and have good recovery.

 Stabilizing the patient on the tarmac before the flight to Miami.

Stabilizing the patient on the tarmac before the flight to Miami.

Carnival started last Sunday and went through Fat Tuesday, which was followed by the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday.  This gave the kids in the school a 5-day weekend.  I enjoyed the break as well!  Sunday, February 26th, was the first day since January 4th that I didn’t see at least 1 patient.  It was very nice to relax and watch a movie.

Just the other day I got an update on little Akanabelle from my last post.  She has recovered from her aspiration pneumonia, is doing well, and was released from the hospital!!  Thank-You for praying for Akanabelle!!  It’s always such a blessing to see positive outcomes in the daily struggle that is life for most Haitians.

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby 

A Picture's Worth.......

 One of the early recipeants of the Pillowcase Dress Project. 

One of the early recipeants of the Pillowcase Dress Project. 

This is Magdola about 7 years ago.  She was living in the school at that time as part of the children’s home here.  She touched my heart the first time I met her and it has been a privilege to watch her grow up over the years.  She now lives up the road at the Rev home (the children named their home and Rev means Hope in Creole).  I finally got a picture with her after all my trips up there to take care of Octaline.  She just turned 9 on February 4th!

 7 years of friendship!!

7 years of friendship!!

I continue to be busy in the school clinic.  I just got my exam table last Friday!!  I am excited to not only have a place, besides the floor, to lay sick kids down, but also don’t have to hurt my back working on kids setting in a metal folding chair or try to examine someone with abdominal pain that is setting in a chair.  It also makes a nice desk/work station in my little clinic where up until now I only had the floor to lay things out when organizing shelves.  Thanks to my neighbor Troy Price for making my exam table for me and my clinic!!

There were many sick children at the clinic on Monday.  There were 2 Hydrocephaly kids.  This little girl lives out on the big island of La Gonave.  She just had surgery to put a shunt in so she is staying with Karen at her facility until she is well enough to make the boat trip home.

There was also 1 little girl with Microcephaly (Possible a Zika Baby).  She is having seizures frequently.  Unfortunately, a treatment regimen to manage her is out of the scope of our little clinic.

This is dry season and there are lots of kids with colds, coughs, and sinus problems.  Some of these turn into pneumonia.  This little one was not feeling well and was treated for pneumonia at the clinic.

 I don’t remember what this little girl was sick with but she was such a cutie and I took advantage for the opportunity to love on this little one for just a few minutes.

I have been working with this little one and her mother since I arrived in Haiti back in November.  It has been a struggle.  Her mother seems to be clueless on raising a child.  Even though she is her 4th baby.  She keeps coming in with complaints of crazy things and when I tell her that I will take her to the hospital for treatment if I can confirm her reports she can never provide proof of her symptoms.  She has taken her to the hospital many times in the last couple months.  They always give her prescriptions but I don’t believe a lot of what she says and she can’t ever answer half of my questions.  I have only seen her awake twice so I wonder if she isn’t drugging her so she can leave her at home unattended (this happens in Haiti).  So, this is a very difficult situation to say the least.  I don’t think she takes very good care of her even when she is with her.  When she was 2 months old she brought her to me for diarrhea and I found out she was only feeding her cookies and dirty water.  She said that doctor told her that her breast milk was bad and to stop nursing her baby.  Despite my lectures, she is not feeding her very well and I can’t get her to understand that you don’t feed babies the same thing you eat.  She brought her to my clinic again a few days ago.  She said she is sick again.  She was very light and has lost weight since the last time I seen her.  She is 4 months old (maybe, mom is unsure of her birthday) and weighs 7 pounds 6 oz.  I stood in my clinic holding her and thought long and hard about taking her from her mom for a week or so.  I know how much harder my schedule would be there with a 4-month-old.  I settled for having her bring her to the malnutrition clinic on Tuesday.  I told her that she will follow the program to the letter or there would be repercussions.  I honestly believe that she has Munchausen’s by Proxy.  A condition in which parents make their children sick so they can rush them to the hospital and be involved in all the activity that is involved in that.  She actually showed up today for the malnutrition program.  She is a little too young for the Medika Mamba (peanut butter) that we use according to the protocols, even though she has been eating who knows what at home.  So, we put her under the contract of the clinic but with formula.  I again threatened to take her away if she doesn’t follow the rules.  Please pray that I make the right decisions and that we can make Rosedena healthy again and that her mother is not trying to let her die, and if so, we intervein before it’s too late.

I was out taking pictures the other day and caught the neighbor boy playing on the porch.  They sit on their second story porch and watch all the activity in the school yard and probably hope someday they will be able to go to school.

Sunday afternoon I got a call from HERO for a baby transport.  It was a sick child at an inpatient malnutrition center.  She had been brought in before when she was very sick and malnourished.  She lives in Cite soleil, which is the largest slum in the western Hemisphere.  Besides not being able to feed her baby she had been getting her babies water from the cannel.  Which would be as bad or worse than drinking from the Ravine where I work (see pictures from earlier posts).  When she got sick again her mom brought her back to the malnutrition center because she didn’t know where else to go.  She wasn’t actually malnourished but was very sick.  She had been having diarrhea and vomiting for several days.  She had been giving her clean water as she was taught in the program.  They rehydrated her but she seemed to be getting sicker. Her Oxygen level had dropped into the 70’s and her heart rate was over 200 and her respiratory rate was in the 80’s.  When we got to her she responded well to oxygen and in a few minutes her Oxygen level was up to 98% but the rest of her vitals were unchanged.  She had apparently aspirated at some point from all the vomiting and had a very bad case on Pneumonia.  We took her to Hospital Espoir.  It was the best hospital experience that I have had so far in Haiti in the last 10 weeks!  I just got word that she is not doing very well tonight.  Please pray for little Akanabelle.  It would be a blessing if she could make it to her first birthday on Saturday February 18th and many more.

After we arrived at the hospital on Sunday night it was so sad to see this mother kneel down next to her daughter’s ER bed and break down in desperation for her daughter.  She knows the reality of life in Haiti where 1 in 5 children dies before the age of 5.

I hope you have enjoyed the extra pictures in this post.  I decided I should share a few more of the many pictures I take every day.  It is such a blessing to work with so many children here in Haiti.  It makes my heart happy to know that through OUR help, WE are making a difference in the lives of children every day.  Helping to change those statistics one child at a time.  If you have not yet partnered with Kelby’s Kids, what better day than Valentine’s Day, to say I love you to a child by helping to save their life!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words…  But the content of these pictures are priceless.  Because Kelby’s Kids are God’s Kids and together they can have a hope for a future!!

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby

Finding the "normal" life of Haiti!

Things have finally settled down into a more normal schedule so I don’t feel like I have as many exciting stories to tell you this week.  But the everyday stuff is just as important to the kids we are helping!

I wanted to cover an event in my last post but it was getting to long with everything I had to get you caught up on.  So, a little late but still of interest I hope.

On January 12th 2010 at 4:53 pm an earthquake struck the greater Port-au-Prince area.  Reports were that as many as 275,000 people were killed and another 325,000 were injured.  It left over 1.5 million people homeless or displaced.   On its anniversary, it’s effects 7 years later are almost no longer visible to the city.  The effects in the hearts, minds, and bodies of the Haitian people that survived, still live on.  Many people use that as a reference point for trouble or health problems in their lives.  Some of the people that survived their injuries still bear the scares or missing limbs.  I remember the emotions of the hours and days that followed trying to get information about people that I knew in Haiti and if they had survived.  I also remember thinking that I had only returned from Haiti a couple weeks before the earthquake and that our guesthouse had pancaked in the earthquake.  It could have happened while I was there.  I returned to Haiti a few times shortly after the earthquake to help the people who were trying to put their lives back together.

 This is how the guest house has looked for years.  I posted this picture in Instagram back in November.

This is how the guest house has looked for years.  I posted this picture in Instagram back in November.

Since moving to Haiti full time the foundation of that guest house stands only about 300 yards from where I now live.  I walk past it many times a week and it’s a constant reminder of that time.

 The UN was breaking up the concreate and the Haitians were collecting all the rebar.

The UN was breaking up the concreate and the Haitians were collecting all the rebar.

I found it very interesting that 7 years later, to the day, the UN showed up with excavators to remove the foundation.  They were from Peru and none of us speak Spanish but we believe they are putting in some housing for personal.  It has set as an empty lot since then so we will see what happens in the future.

I have been busy in the school clinic now that I am able to spend more time there.  Octaline is doing well and I continue to be thankful that she has returned to good health!  I get a lot of your everyday things at the school.  Ear aches, sore throats, sinus infections, pink eye, scrapes and bruises from falling, infections from bug bites, headaches, urinary tract infections, coughs, stomach problems, ingrown toe nails, pneumonia, and colds and that’s just the last 3 days!  There is a lot of education that goes along with treatment.  Haitians don’t ever drink enough water, but they will tell you they do.  “Clean” is also in the eye of the beholder, literally.  If you can’t see it can’t be there.  So, we talk about clean water, safe food, hand washing, and taking care of infections.  Also proper ways to use medications.  Sometimes I think they think I am just making stuff up because I don’t want to give them medication.  They are under the impression that when you go to the doctor the more medications they give you the better that they were taken care of.  But people will go to the doctor with high blood pressure and then bring me 5 prescriptions to fill for them.  You look at the list and its Vitamin C, Iron, Tums, Ibuprofen, and an inhaler.  So, they are often unhappy when they have a cold and you won’t load them up with antibiotics and pills, even when the prescriptions that doctors wright often have nothing to do with there illness.

Donald is the man from the clinic on Mondays that had his foot partially amputated that I told you about in the last post.  We finally got him to a hospital that was willing to do surgery.  We have reports that they only did a surgical debridement so we will see what it’s like when he gets home from the hospital.  I hope that they removed all the infection and closed the skin.  If not, we could spend the next year trying to get it to heal and prevent it from getting an infection that will kill him.

The student with the ingrown toenail didn’t want to me touch his toe.  Even though it was infected and swollen and painful, he stated it would be fine.  So, I showed him the last picture I took of Donald’s foot and told him this started as a toe injury that wasn’t taken care of and he would end up the same way.  After almost passing out he agreed to treatment!

Clinic on Monday mornings up the road at Karen’s remains busy.  It’s always a good place to find babies to snuggle.

On Tuesday, Meredith will be starting her Malnutrition program.  I will be overseeing the medical side of it and the medication administration.  There is a very strict protocol for caring for these severely malnourished children.  You start by treating them for worms and Parasites so that they are getting all the nutrition and not any little stowaways.  Then you make sure that there are no underlying medical issues that are causing them to not gain weight.  Then based on their statistics like Height, weight, arm circumference, and if they have edema, you start them on the required amount of Medika Mumba.  That is a Peanut Butter that is fortified with all kinds of vitamins, minerals, protein, and calories.  You can not only live on just this and water but will gain weight!  Depending on their needs, a 3-year-old could be placed on over 2,000 calories a day.  They are not allowed to eat any food until there required amount for the day is gone.  It is an expensive product but very effective.  It is impossible to not gain weight if you follow the rules.  It’s difficult to penalize the child, but under the protocols children who don’t gain weight without medical reasons are kicked out of the program.  So, the parents must sign a contract that says they won’t share the Medika Mumba with other family members, sell it to the neighbors, or eat it themselves, because we will know and you will be expelled.  We also educate them on clean water and good nutrition for when they graduate the program.  I am excited to be a part of this program because it’s so important.  Small children that are malnourished will have developmental delays and learning disabilities that will follow them the rest of their lives, making an already difficult life even harder.

Walking home from church this afternoon I was passing a little girl who was maybe 10 walking the other way.  Just before she passed I noticed a spot on her chest, just above the collar of her dress, that appeared to be a tumor of some sort.  I stopped her and pointed to it.  Sometimes it’s hard not to let 26 years in medicine effect the way you think and act.  She pulled the neck of her dress down a little more to reveal a very large scar.  It caught me off guard and out of instinct I needed to evaluate the entire wound.  She had a massive and distorted wound to her shoulder, chest, and abdomen.  After a moment, I realized that I was alone and she was alone, she could not understand what I was saying, and even though she was a little kid, I was looking down her dress.  I put my hand on her cheek and said God bless you sweetie.  She smiled and we both kept walking.  It was obviously an old wound so it’s not like she is bleeding or could have an infection or some other life threatening emergency but she has been weighing very heavy on my heart today.  She has a massive amounts of thick scar tissue that is going to, if not already, cause her problems as she grows.  It’s possible that this may be from the earthquake, when she was just little, but I don’t know.  I believe that as she gets bigger she is going to have serious trouble from this.  Scar tissue is very fibrous and does not stretch like other skin.  When you have Keloid and Contracture scars they can do damage to underlying tissue and organs and can affect that way things grow.  It’s possible that this will, if it’s not already, change the way her chest is shaped and ultimately affect her breathing.  I have no idea where she lives but I feel like I really need to find her and evaluate her in the clinic.  I am sure that she will need surgery to release these scars soon, and maybe again before she becomes an adult.  I believe that God put her in my path (actually right in front of the old guest house) for a reason.  Please pray that I will be able to find her and give her a hope for a better and longer life.

As always, thank-you for your support and partnership with Kelby’s Kids!  If you are not currently supporting this ministry and want to be a part of changing kids’ lives, go to my support page - www.kelbyskids.org/support/

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL

It is almost impossible to think that I have been back to Haiti for 17 days now.  It has been such a whirlwind.  I apologize that I haven’t written a blog post sooner but hopefully by the end of this you will understand why!

 And as much as I would like it to be, it's not because I have been snuggling babies all day!

And as much as I would like it to be, it's not because I have been snuggling babies all day!

I arrived back home on January 5th after a nice Christmas break back in Michigan.  It was good to see friends and family over the holidays but I was ready to leave the snow as the temperature really started plummeting as I was leaving...  I think it was just about 12 minutes after walking into my little room with my suitcases that I received a message from Amber, the orphanage director from up the road.  “Are you back?”  She was back in the U.S. and one of her kids was sick so she needed some assistance working though the problem from Haiti.  And so, it began!

The next 10 days are really kind of a blur now but I will do my best to tell the story, while at the same time protecting her privacy and keeping it to the Readers Digest version.  Octaline is the young lady that was sick and had already been taken to the hospital a few hours before I arrived in Haiti.  It wasn’t very clear why she had been taken to the hospital so a more definitive diagnosis was the first order of business.  It was almost dark by now and she will have to pay for the hospital room regardless, so it was decided that we would start first thing in the morning on this.  I got to bed early in anticipation of a long day tomorrow but also having got up at 1:45 this morning to get to the airport.  At 6:50 am one of the workers was at the school to pick me up (I was still on Michigan time and was thinking like 9 am would be a good “first thing”).  So with part of breakfast and no shower I was off to the hospital.  We went past the hospital we thought she was in to a small hospital I had never heard of.  It was not too bad but reminded me more of a little hotel.  And from what they had done thus far it was.  I assessed her and felt like she most likely had appendicitis and its day 6 now.  After a few phone calls a spot was secured for her at Bernard Mevs Hospital.  We signed her out AMA and just as we were heading out the doctor showed up and was upset we were leaving.  He said he was going to start caring for her now.  We told him he had wasted 16 hours getting ready to do that and we were leaving!  We loaded her into the van and made the trip to Bernard Mevs.  We got her into the ER and she was seen by the accepting ER doctor.  She quickly agreed it was appendicitis and she called a surgeon.  The surgeon stated she was for sure a surgical abdomen and scheduled the surgery.  I was keeping in close contact with Amber.  She kept telling me to do what I though was best and don’t worry about money.  Well, what I thought was best was not an option, were in Haiti, and how do you not worry about money when they bring you all the money the orphanage has for the next 30 days?  So needless to say, my stress level was pretty high a short way into this.  I told the surgeon that I would really like some diagnostic proof before we proceed.  He said he didn’t need it, he knew.  After he left I asked the ER doctor about it and she said she would do an ultrasound but she trusted the surgeon.  Now your probably saying what’s the big deal.  It’s just a quick appendectomy.  Not in Haiti!  A ruptured appendix would most likely be fatal.  But the surgery itself probably only has a 50/50 chance of being successful and the patient surviving.  Surgery is a very last ditch effort here.  If we do surgery she could die, if we wait and were wrong she will die.  So no pressure, just pick!

I am still trying to get used to the hospital setting in Haiti.  It’s very different in so many ways.  Like the bathrooms for almost the entire hospital are at the back of the parking lot.  So each time we had to help her across the entire complex and back.  After a while the ER doctor did an ultrasound.  She was not able to find an abscess at the appendix.  But she said she is not real good at finding the appendix on ultrasound.  Her pain had also changed though.  Now I was even less sure.  The ER doctor said “let’s wait for the Typhoid results, I am not sure I would have surgery now if it was me”.  So now there is more doubt of what to do.  I will spare you the thousand other things and details that went into the day to help the stress level.  We finally agreed upon admitting her with IV fluids and antibiotics for observation.  A nanny from the children’s home came to take the night shift because it was already dark.  I told her not to let them do surgery and call if they tried because we had already paid for it but we don't want it now. 

The next morning, we were back at the hospital by 7 am.  I won’t share all the details but there were many times it was evident that the staff in the hospital were going to use their position to let the white guy know that they are in charge.  So, we stood in the street in front of the hospital gate with the guards smirking each time they let other people in.  Finally, after 80 minutes, and with no reason for the change they waved us in.  We were really hoping to get her home but we couldn’t get the doctor to come in until after noon.  At noon, your next day starts for paying a second day of hospitalization, very convenient don't you think.  Some of the tests were back and she appeared to have a very bad infection of the GI tract.  The surgeon said he didn’t believe she was a surgical candidate any more but she would need to spend several days in the hospital for IV antibiotic treatment.  I told him who I was, what I did in the US, and told him that she lives in an orphanage.  I told him that we had already spent a month’s budget worth of food for all the kids on the hospital bill (it sounded about right but I was guessing?!) and could I please take her home and care for her there.  He smiled and said “I did not know, I will do that for you!”  He wrote all the orders and prescriptions for the next day for us to take her home to complete her treatment.

Then next morning we came to pick her up.  We assumed that we would be refunded for the surgery and would use that money to pay the bill.  That was not the case.  They do refunds by check.  We needed even more money to get her out of the hospital.  But, we finally got enough together and got her home!  Again, I was worried if I had done the right thing.  We were following the course of treatment the doctors had given and the first day she was doing well.  But the next day she got very sick again.  Her symptoms seemed to be evolving and I was still worried I wasn’t making the right decisions.  Her IV went bad and it took a while to get another one started because she hadn’t been drinking and had gotten very dehydrated again.  Her IV from the hospital was also infected but they do not use clear tape or op site dressings so I could not see it until I took it out.  I spent over 13 hours in her room that day with her.  But there were a lot of people praying for Octaline both in the US and Haiti and she started to improve again.  We switch from IV antibiotics to oral antibiotics but continued some IV fluids to keep her hydrated and feeling better.  About the time it was fairly certain we had gotten her though this, I had about done all I could do.  For the last 8 days, I had spent a minimum of 12 hours a day working with her or dealing with issues or traveling to and from the hospital or finding medications, or researching things, but most days it was more.  I hadn’t even unpacked my suitcases since I had gotten back or even had time to eat lunch (my good friend Sally had made me a big batch of Monster Cookies just before I left and they are what I survived on for 8 days!).  I wasn’t sleeping well either as I was always running over things in my mind wondering if I was doing the right things.  It was a little too much and it took its toll and now I was sick.  I gave Octaline her morning medications and told her I wouldn’t be down in the morning because I really had to get some rest and take care of myself for just a little bit.

 So thankful that God has brought healing to this beautiful young lady!

So thankful that God has brought healing to this beautiful young lady!

I took the necessary precautions to try to sleep as late as possible Saturday morning and try to recover from being sick.  I woke up to a facebook message alert on my phone.  I had a conversation in the back of my head that I had with a teacher the day before.  So at 7:30 am I checked the message and he said that his wife was having trouble with her pregnancy and he asked it I could come and help because they couldn’t afford the hospital.  It sounded like from his description that she could be in preterm labor.  I quickly got up and got dressed and grabbed what I thought I might need not really sure if I could be possible delivering a 16 week baby today.  Edmond drove me to see her and I was thankful that she was doing much better than I had been anticipating.  She had been sick and was dehydrated but the baby seemed OK and it was just her not feeling well.  I started an IV on her and gave her 2 liters of fluid and went over some things she needed to work on.  Her last baby was born at 29 about weeks.  I am going to be helping them out with as much prenatal care and possible and will try our best to the this little one to full term!!

 Getting ready to start an IV on Mamma

Getting ready to start an IV on Mamma

In the meantime, Meredith went to a training for her malnutrition program so I ran the Monday morning clinic with Makayla as my assistant!  She decided that medicine and especially the pharmacy are not going to be her field of choice once she graduates!  We seen about 35 patients that day.  Sometimes I start to feel like a broken record but they really would have less health problems if they would drink more water.  Was able to see this little Angel in the clinic.

 She fell asleep on my shoulder about 2 minutes after this picture was taken.  I wanted to take her home with me!

She fell asleep on my shoulder about 2 minutes after this picture was taken.  I wanted to take her home with me!

Noella was brought in by her mom because she said she fell off the bed and now won’t use her arm right.  She said it had been 10 days since she fell.  We had her bring her back the next day and I was going to take her for an X-ray but there was a medical team in the neighborhood and we had one of the doctors look at her and he said she had a Nurse Maid dislocation of her elbow.  He reduced it but said it didn’t go back very well due to the time.  The little kids get picked up by their hand or wrist a lot in Haiti and they get injuries from it.  Hopefully she will have full use of her arm in the future.

We are also seeing a young man in the clinic that injured his toes.  By the time he got medical help it was too late.  They amputated the front half of his foot.  They did a very poor job and didn’t even close the end of the amputation with skin.  When he came to us it was all infected and not looking good at all.  I won’t post a picture as it’s pretty graphic.  Although I did use the picture as motivation for a student in the school to let me work on his infected toe.  I told him he would end up like the picture if he didn’t let me help him now!  Anyway, we are trying to keep him well while we wait for an orthopedic surgical team from the US to help him.  I am sure they will have to remove it above the ankle but we are just trying to prevent gangrene and keep him from getting sick until he can have another surgery.

I did have a lady come to the gate at the school with a toe injury.  She went to the hospital and now was looking for some help.  She actually had gotten an X-Ray but that is all they did for her.  They let her leave with a dislocated toe.  So I reduced her dislocation buddy taped her toes and sent her on her way. 

Do you remember Jean?  He is the guy that had the wound on the back of his heal and we took him to the hospital back in the middle of November and they didn’t do anything for him.  I am happy to report that he is almost healed!!  He just has a very small area that is still open.  We should be able to stop dressings in a couple more weeks!  Thanks to Meredith for taking care of him while I was in Michigan.  

Are you seeing a recurring pattern here with hospitals?  Are you understanding the level of stress I had trying to decide just how long to leave Octaline in the hospital to help her but not let it be a detriment?  The struggle is real. 

Let me continue…

On Thursday I was planning to go to HERO Ambulance and help put together a presentation to secure funding for our “Baby Bus” that we are trying to get started.  This will be the first ambulance dedicated to just Pediatric and Neonatal patients as well as high risk OB patients in the history of Haiti.  I got a call just before I was supposed to be picked up and was told there was a change in plans.  There was one of the very patients that needs this ambulance in need of our services.  They said they would pick me up and we would go and do the transport.  I was expecting an ambulance since that is often what you make ambulance runs in…. Today was a little different.

 Before you ask....  NO, I didn't carry the baby on the motorcycle!  Just the Oxygen!

Before you ask....  NO, I didn't carry the baby on the motorcycle!  Just the Oxygen!

So it’s Haiti, what every it takes!!  The ambulance was in for maintenance and it would be a faster response by Moto.  They had a vehicle and just needed portable O2 and someone to provide care.  So, we loaded up.  Stacy on one bike with a huge jump bag full of medical equipment and Steve and I on the other with an oxygen tank (in an OSHA approved securing system of course)!  And we were off.  It was about an hour response by moto.  It would have probably been at least half again as long by ambulance or more.  Stacy later told me that I should just play on my phone and not watch were we are going because it’s harder when I try to “help” the driver!  We found our way out to Onaville Community Health Center.  There we found Deborah, our patient.

 So Small... So Fragile... So Precious...

So Small... So Fragile... So Precious...

Deborah is a 31-week Preemie that was born in the local hospital yesterday.  This hospital apparently only offers one delivery service.  Mom delivered her first baby alone.  When Deborah delivered, she fell on the floor, landing on her head.  The hospital came and tied the cord with a piece of string, cut the cord, and handed her to her mom and said thanks, you can go now.  Her mom brought her to the community clinic the next day.  She was about 44 hours old when we arrived.  Her forehead was black and blue, her Fontanels (the “soft spots” on the top of a baby’s head) were bulging, indicating a head injury.  Her oxygen levels had been very low when she arrived and she required continuous oxygen to keep her levels up.  She had been accepted at Bernard Mevs Hospital which is the only hospital in Port-au-Prince that provides Pediatric and Neurological services.  So after a quick assessment we were on our way.

So the baby and I along with mom and Rachel from the clinic loaded up in the clinic's SUV and we were off for a fast and bumpy ride to the hospital.  Stacy and Steve escorted us on the moto's clearing and blocking traffic as we went.  When we arrived at the hospital the ER staff started working on her.  Even with a hospital that has a NICU in it, things are still very different in Haiti then I am used to in the US.  The nurses were a little irritated with all of us filling up the little one room Pediatric ER.  I was asked to leave by one staff member and when I left another nurse came and got me to come back and help.

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After a while we really needed to get going so reluctantly we left.  Shortly after getting home that evening I learned that about 2 hours after we arrived at the hospital Deborah had found her healing in the arms on Jesus. 

 

I seen Octaline today for the last time as a patient, hopefully.  I am so very thankful for your prayers and for God’s direction in caring for her.  I truly was worried that I would lose her for a while.  I am thankful that God allowed me to be involved in His plan to restore her to health.  It continues to be a blessing to be able to serve here in Haiti.  I am further blessed by the part you play in this work so that together lives can be changed!

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby

Ending 2016 with a full heart!

I can’t really put into words how blessed I am to be able to be living in Haiti and serving the children and people there!  I can see that for a very long time my life course has been preparing me for this work.  I feel like I am right where I belong and it’s such a blessing to me as I try to be a blessing to all those around me.  A big part of that blessing is the partnership that you have made with Kelby’s Kids.  This ministry to the children of Haiti is 100% dependent on you!  Without your encouragement, prayer support, and generous financial support, Kelby’s Kids would not exist.  If you want to know the stories and see the faces that together we have been able help, please look back though this blog for the last several months.

Lives have been changed and saved already, and we are just getting started.  I already have a surgery set up for a little boy the first part of January, others who are waiting for me to return to help them, and even working with one little patient that hasn’t been born yet.  In a place where medical care is either out of reach or so substandard that there isn’t any hope, we can be that hope!  That hopelessness creates a life where things are just accepted as out of there control.  Where an ear infection will result in becoming deaf, or a urinary tract infection will continue until it causes kidney failure, or pneumonia will end your life.  If you haven’t already, I hope that you would consider partnering with Kelby’s Kids to see even more lives changed in 2017.

 Please help Kelby's Kids to keep these smiles going for many years to come!

Please help Kelby's Kids to keep these smiles going for many years to come!

If you would like to make a year-end contribution for tax-exemption in 2016, please remember the following.  Donations by check need to be post marked by December 31st  and sent to: Kelby’s Kids, P.O Box 57, Reed City MI 49677-0057.  If you’re making an electronic donation you can do it through this web site www.kelbyskids.org/support/  just remember they need to be time stamped by 11:59 pm on December 31st.

I pray that each of you has a very blessed 2017!

Humbled to serve on your behalf,

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby Klassen

Founder and President of Kelby’s Kids Inc. (A Non-Profit 501 (C) 3 Organization) 

A Christmas Story

I am still not enjoying this Michigan weather but am getting a little more accustom to it.  It does seem a little more like Christmas with some snow on the ground.  I have been home less than a week and I already miss Haiti a great deal.  I worry about my kids and hope they are all doing well while I am gone.  The kids in the school have been keeping me busy with many medical issues lately.  It still amazes me that the kids will go for weeks before they complain about an ear infection or a sinus infection or something.  I really need to work harder on teaching them to be more proactive with taking care of issues involving their health.  I also need to work on proper medical care.  I had a student that had a Bluetooth speaker blow up while it was charging and it burn him.  When he came to me it was covered in toothpaste.  This is a common treatment in Haiti for many things.

On Sunday evening I was in my room when one of the kids came up and said there was someone at the gate for me.  I grabbed my stethoscope and went down to the gate, really expecting a man who had been there several times wanting money for his daughter’s medical bills.  I had told him several times that I don’t give out cash and since his daughter is in a hospital almost 2 hours away I couldn’t really help him.  What I found was a lady holding a little girl with a laceration to her forehead and who was all but unresponsive.  I had a hard time getting the story from them but it seems that she just fell and hit her head some how.  Her mom was at church and the only family with this little 2-year-old was a 11-year-old sister.  She was only responsive to deep painful stimulus and her pupils were not responding appropriately.  I told Edmond, who doubles as the school’s ambulance driver, that she probably has a closed head injury and we need to get her to the hospital.  So, I ran up to my room and got some money and a few things in-case things went bad and then I took the child and got in the truck for a run to the ER after a quick stop at the church in the Ravine to get Mom.  When we arrived at the ER she began waking up.  Of course, that’s how it goes so that no one in the ER sees her almost unresponsive.  At the very least she was minimally responsive to pain for better than a half hour. 

 This Is Daina after she woke up while she was hanging out in the ER.

This Is Daina after she woke up while she was hanging out in the ER.

When the first doctor came in I told him what had happened and he said that they would admit her for observation as there CT scanner was down and they could not do a head CT.  When the second doctor came in mom was talking to her and I could tell she was not getting the story right.  This doctor spoke very little English but I was able to get enough of the story across to her that she yelled at Mom for not knowing what was going on, as I assume she just told them that she fell and needs stitches.  Then a baby in the NICU crashed and everyone went running.  After a couple hours, a third doctor came in who did not speak any English.  He stitched her up without hardly cleaning it and with very poor sterile technique.  I don’t have the time to tell you all the things that I seen and experienced in the Peds ER but by this time I decided that being in the hospital was probably a bigger detriment to her health than not being in the hospital.  By this time she was running around and acting normally. 

They wrote her a prescription for Tylenol and said we could go.  It took over an hour to check out.  After over 6 hours and very little care I was more than ready to leave.  We got her home a little after midnight and I told mom to bring her to the clinic the next morning so I could reevaluate her.  As it turned out Mom never brought her and it took me 4 days to find her.  I was really worried that something had happened to her during the night but on the other hand I knew that I was probably there only source of medical care so I hoped they would have come to me if she was not doing well.  But she seemed to be doing fine now and did remember at least part of the ER visit as I had to help hold her for the stitches and so now she was hiding behind her mom and wouldn’t let me get close to her.

You never know what is going to happen next and it keeps it exciting not knowing what the next phone call or knock at the gate will bring.  Things are going well at the clinic up the street that I work at on Mondays.  There is no shortage of cute babies that like to be held! 

The week before I left, I was back at the clinic on Tuesday taking care of some things and one of the kids in the neighborhood came in with wound on his foot and ankle.  He had been running and stepped on a broken bottle.  He had a jagged laceration to his ankle.  He had been like this for 2 days.  It was still bleeding and he still had a piece of broken glass in the bottom of his foot.  Due to his living conditions, we decided that it would be better if we would clean it up, stitch it, dress it, and get him on some antibiotics.  So, I put 4 stitches in his ankle and removed the glass from his foot.  We got him the best antibiotics that we had and prayed that it would heal well.  After a couple days, it was looking good.  The second time he came back his dressing was wet and dirty and rather nasty.  The next recheck it was starting to look rather infected.  At last report, he hadn’t come back to the clinic since so I am hoping that he doesn’t have a bad infection going and he waits until it’s really bad before he returns for help.

As we were finishing up with the stitches I got a call that Karen (she owns the building were the clinic is held on Mondays) asking if she could bring a girl by to be looked at.  A few minutes later she arrived with Benjie and was very frustrated with the Haiti medical system by this point.  Benjie was in the hospital but the doctors went on strike so they stopped caring for her.  Now they can’t find another place to take her.  In the 2010 earthquake Benjie had concreate fall on her crushing her pelvis.  She now has a permeant catheter directly into her bladder. 

 Benjie with her Mom and Grandmother

Benjie with her Mom and Grandmother

The catheter became plugged and had to be replaced.  She had surgery about 9 days before to replace it.  I removed her dressing and found that she has a bad infection.  There is also the possibility that urine is leaking around the catheter.  Her entire abdomen is very painful to touch indicating that the infection has spread to her entire abdomen.  She is on oral antibiotics but is probably close to becoming septic from her condition.  Her stitches were pulling very badly and I am fairly certain that she did not have any internal stitches placed after the surgery.  It was time for the sutures to come out but I am sure that if they were removed the entire site would reopen.  They also had put a “surgical drain tube” in during the surgery.  This was a piece of plastic tubing, which I believe is probably cut from a nasal cannula, and placed as a drain.  The end of the tube was open and left hanging so it was a great avenue for infection to enter the site.  I redressed the area and told Karen that this was way beyond what we should attempt to do here.  She really needs a surgical debridement and to ensure the tube is in place and well secured.  She also needs IV Antibiotics.  I told her I would use my contacts to see what we could do.  I contacted my friend Stacy with HERO Ambulance.  She said that she couldn’t find any beds in Port-au-Prince in an appropriate facility due to the hospitals closing from the doctors being on strike.  She was able to find an accepting surgeon in Hospital Boniface in Fond Des Blancs.  She also arranged transport through Haiti Air Ambulance.  This is only about a 15 -20 minute flight but would have been a 4 hour drive which would have been very difficult for Benjie to tolerate due to her pain with any kind of movement. 

 Benjie being loaded into the Helicopter for her flight.

Benjie being loaded into the Helicopter for her flight.

I have not received any further updates but please join me in praying for Benjie as she is a very sick girl.

One of my last few days at school I was called for a student not feeling well.  A girl was complaining of a severe head ache and chest pain.  I moved her to the office and started to evaluate her.  She has not been drinking much water, like many people in Haiti.  Her vitals indicated that she was very dehydrated.  I asked her if she wanted to lay down and she shook her head no.  I told her that she would feel better if she laid down.  She again shook her head no.  I asked her why she didn’t want to lay down and she responded by passing out.  I caught her and got her laying down.  I started an IV started on her and began giving her some fluids.  It took about a half a liter before she started to respond to questions very well.  She is from the children’s home up the road and I found out that she has H Pylori and so she doesn’t like to eat or drink very well due to frequent abdominal pain.  She also stated that she had a heart issue when she was younger but was unsure what it was.  She seemed to have a very slight abnormality to her heart tones so I told the director of the Children’s home to be sure to have the pediatrician that is coming next week look at her.  After 2 liters of fluid she stated that she felt pretty good and was ready to go home.  It’s amazing what being well hydrated will do for you but it’s so hard to get the kids to believe you.

Two nights before I left Haiti Stacy called me about 11:45 and asked if I was available.  I said sure, what’s up?  She said a friend of hers had messaged that his wife was in labor and they were at the hospital and the hospital would not let them in.  She was trying to get more information from them as dad was kind of in a panic.  As we got more information they were going from hospital to hospital trying to find a place where she could deliver.  We were trying to figure out what to do for them.  After the 4th hospital turned them away we tried to convinced them to go home and I would come to their house and deliver their baby.  They weren’t too sure if they wanted to do that at first but Stacy told them that they could always just drive around in the middle of the night until he got to delivered the baby in the car!  Then they decided they would go home.  As I started to get ready Stacy called back and said that they had stopped by a clinic on the way home and they let them in.  So, they were going to stay there.  She delivered a healthy baby boy that night! 

It sounds very similar to the Christmas story, with Mary and Joseph and no room in the Inn for baby Jesus to be born.  But sadly, this is the everyday reality in Haiti.  I hope that today you remember the real meaning of Christmas and you can share some love and kindness to those around you.  Because it truly is better to give than receive.  But in giving you will always be blessed.

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby 

From Happy & Healthy to Helped & Healed!

Well, I promised you a story that had been evolving in my last blog post so I wanted to get that out at least before I head for the horrible cold and snowy north country…

On November 17, we (the medical team that was here for the week and myself (See post 11/23/16 “Going Down South”)) held a medical clinic in Port Salut for the victims of hurricane Matthew.  We had a young lady come thought the clinic for help.  I don’t remember now what her medical need was but after she was seen she was on her way out when she turned around and came back.  She said that she wanted to give her life to Jesus because she needed Him! (After surviving an earthquake and a direct hit from a hurricane it makes you reevaluate your life!!) 

We prayed with Marie and gave her a Bible in Creole with the date and place written in it to remember this day.  As we were talking with her we asked her about her leg.  She told us that she had been in the earthquake in Port-Au-Prince (PAP) and had been injured and lost her leg.  Her Prosthesis was in bad shape to say the least.  David (medical team leader) asked her about a new one and she said she needs one because this one is 6 years old but she could never afford one.  This one was given to her because of all the support after the earthquake but all the programs for prosthesis are gone now and you must pay for them.  David got her name and phone number and said he couldn’t make any promises but would see what he could do for her.  The day after we got back to Port-au-Prince we went to Bernard Mevs Hospital where the prosthetic lab is.  He was going to pay for her new leg so she could get it when she came to PAP next time.  It was not open that day so David gave me the amount of money that Marie said it would cost and asked me to see it through. 

I called Marie on Friday afternoon and asked her when she thought she would be able to get to PAP as I didn’t want to pay to early and have them forget who it was for.  She said it would be some time before she could find the money to take the bus to get there.  I told her to let me know before she came and I would go and pay.  She said OK.  At 7:20 am on Monday morning she called and said I am at the hospital where are you?!  So, I got my driver and we were off for the hospital.  When we arrived, I could not find her so I called her and she said she was stuck in traffic but almost there.  The next call she said she got lost.  After an hour of waiting she finally arrived.  I didn’t think too much of it cause it’s kind of the Haitian way!  We went to register her so I could set up an account and pay the fee.  The registration people sent us to the logistics office.  There we were referred to another hospital.  They stated they don’t have funding and have closed the Prosthetic lab here.  We headed out the gate and to the truck.  I talked with Edmond and he said it’s going to be more expensive at this other hospital, especially if they see the white guy, so I will drop you back off at the school and take her by myself he said.  As we were getting in the truck a Physical Therapist from the hospital came out and said that Macena, the prosthetic’s guy, wanted to see us.  So, we went back into the hospital.  As we were going in we met that lady that referred us to the other hospital and she yelled at him and told him we didn’t belong here anymore, we had a referral.  He said OK and when she walked away he said “let’s go upstairs to the Prosthetic’s lab and hide!”  So, we went upstairs.  He said Macena was stuck in traffic but would be there in a few minutes, not the first time I had heard that today.

    I really like this picture because it hard to see her but her difference stands out.  This is how she is seen in Haiti.  She is seen only as handicapped and not as herself.  But we can change that!!

 I really like this picture because it hard to see her but her difference stands out.  This is how she is seen in Haiti.  She is seen only as handicapped and not as herself.  But we can change that!!

A little over an hour later, I am setting here thinking if all he wants to do is see us and can’t help us I don’t have time for this, I have already been here 2 ½ hours and have accomplished nothing.  He finally arrived and was shocked at the condition of her leg.  He said I can repair this one until I can build her a new one.  He said we have no funding so you will need to pay me so that I can go buy the items to make it.  He said it would be 3 times the amount that David had given me but it would be 10 times as much at the other hospital.  He said it makes him very made as that hospital still gets funding from the U.S. and they charge their own people too much.  Well, I certainly couldn’t and wouldn’t tell her “NO”.  I paid him for the new Prosthesis and he went to work to fix up her old leg to get her by in the meantime.  He also got her measurements and made a mold of her leg so that he would build her a new custom prosthesis as well.  Now she at least has a foot again!  This meant that she would need a new pair of shoes for the trip home as she has only needed 1 shoe for the last year or two.  So, I gave her some money to get a new pair of shoes when she left.

 Marie with her improved old Prosthesis.

Marie with her improved old Prosthesis.

10 days later the new leg was done.  I called Marie and told her to be at the hospital by 10 am the next morning.  I arrived at the hospital at 10 am and was met by Macena.  We called Marie and she said she was waiting for a Tap Tap (Taxi) to bring her from the bus station to the hospital but it wouldn’t be long.  A while later we called and she said traffic was bad but they were getting closer.  While we were waiting, I was talking with Wilfrid Macena, as I discovered that Macena was not his first name.  He began telling me his story and showing be pictures and videos of his recent experiences.  You see, Wilfrid is also a post-earthquake amputee.  He had a wall fall on him and brake his lower leg.  It got infected and 7 days later when he got help he ended up being an above the knee amputee.  He has taken adversity head-on in his new life style.  He thanks God for allowing to help his people.  He is the captain of the Haitian Amputee Soccer team.  He has traveled the world sharing with people that life isn’t over after an amputation and inspiring them to get back to as normal of life as possible.  He has also done a lot of work with Disabled American Veterans projects.

 Wilfrid presenting the Pope with a Haitian Soccer Jersey on the 5th anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, in Rome.

Wilfrid presenting the Pope with a Haitian Soccer Jersey on the 5th anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, in Rome.

Finally, after 90 minutes Marie showed up with her sister.  They both looked very nice and she was excited to be getting her new prosthesis.  After a little bit of last minute fine tuning the prosthesis was ready to go!  During the process of getting everything just right, it came up in conversation that during the first 2 calls we made that they were both actually still at her sister’s house getting ready so they would look nice for this event.  So, it wasn’t really a Haitian thing that made them late it was just a girl thing!!  It will take her a little bit to learn to walk correctly again as she has been compensating for the loss of the height of that foot for a long time.  But before long she will be walking almost normally.   It was so encouraging to see how happy she was to not only have a new, higher quality leg but one that matches her better and won’t make her stand out as different.  Being disabled in Haiti is a huge disadvantage.  People look down on any form of being handicapped here so the less people notice the less you must deal with that and the better life will be for her.

If I had shown you this picture first you would probably have never noticed that that foot wasn’t real or that she even had a disability.  Now, most of the time people that don’t know her will never notice.  Another plus for her with this one is that unlike the old one there is actually a gap between the big toe and the rest of the toes so she can actually where flip flops for the first time since January 12, 2010!

Marie and Wilfrid sporting their Prosthesis together with pride!  I think it made her much more comfortable to go though this process knowing that he is also an amputee and knows the struggles she deals with.

 From old to new!!

From old to new!!

I am blessed to have been a small part of this story.  Marie has gone from being a Happy & Healthy, happy go lucky, young lady to someone that needed to be physically helped.  I was able to be part of bringing her the physical help she needed.  But, she has always needed a spiritual help.  I am thankful that Marie has chosen a personal relationship with God so that someday she will find complete healing, because there won’t be any prosthesis in Heaven!!

 

Well, I will be leaving for the airport in about 2 hours.  It is bitter sweet…  I am looking forward to seeing family and friends for the holidays but I love life in Haiti and the Haitian people.  I also know that some kids will just not get help while I am gone.  I get kids coming with complaints that are months old.  Treatment was never an option until I arrived.  I am not even going to pretend to be happy about the cold, I am just going to try to survive it.  I am to the point where 76-77 in my room in the evenings is cool to me.

Thanks again for everything you do to be a part of Kelby’s Kids!!!  I will try to get another blog post out a couple days after I get home.  There is a lot to catch you up on! 

Blessings to you during this season of CHRISTmas!

Until No Child Dies,

Kelby