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Haiti June Medical Trip

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Haiti June Medical Trip - Page Text Content

S: Haiti Trip June 2011

BC: The day before we left, Gail emailed us and told us that there was a critical situation with one of the kids at Hope House. Jivenson,who was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia just a couple of weeks ago, was in critical condition and would be our top priority when we arrived. We called around and gathered what equipment and supplies we could get, not truly knowing what we would find when we arrived. When we reached the Miami airport, the team discussed what tasks we would focus on when we arrived. I volunteered to focus on Jivenson's care and try to get him to a more stable state so they could hopefully transport him to the US in a few days. When we arrived we found he was sicker than we had originally expected. He was in congestive heart failure so we couldn't give him the IV fluids that we had brought with us because they would only make him worse. I spent the next few hours attempting to get fluids into him spoonfuls at a time. I propped him up on pillows in our container with his legs elevated. I tried to clear his congested lungs and rubbed his feet with lotion to try to help reduce the swelling. At around 630pm the rest of my team joined us in the container and began to prepare for our night. We moved a mattress onto the floor so Gail could sleep next to his pack n play. Mallery came in to say goodnight and Jivenson gave her a little wave, the first he had done in the few days since he had become sick. She left for the night and the girls moved the furniture around to make more room for Gail's bed. I looked at Jivenson and told him that we were going to take good care of him and that he would feel better soon. He squeezed my hand and rolled his head to look at me, giving me a little smile. The girls went to move a rocking chair across the room and I had to lean over him so they could pass the chair behind me. I leaned forward and kissed his forehead and when they had passed, I attempted to sit back onto my stool, but they had moved it and I landed on my backside. We all laughed when I hit the floor. I looked back up and Jivenson and he didn't appear to be breathing. My laughter cut off quickly as I quickly listened through my stethoscope trying to hear lung sounds or a heart beat. When I couldn't hear either after a few seconds, I grabbed him up and placed him on the floor quickly. I shouted to the others that he wasn't breathing and we needed to start CPR. I started chest compressions and Megan rescue breaths. When no breaths would go in, I picked him up, turned him over and compressed his stomach to try to clear his airway. Rice cereal and water shot from his mouth. I cleaned his mouth off and we continued CPR. Gail told Rhonda to go get Mallery as we continued. She calmly told her that we needed her to come down and as they walked back she asked Rhonda if something is wrong, knowing that there was. She walked in to see us working on him and began to cry and pray. We continued to try and Megan and Rhonda took turns breathing for him. After about 40 min of trying Gail suggested that we try to get an IV and hit him with some EPI. I pulled him up onto my lap to look for a site, but there was nothing. His recent hospital visits had left his veins ravaged and he was so dehydrated that we couldn't see anything, so I gave him a little dose of epinephrine IM into his thigh. We continued CPR for a few minutes and I pulled him up onto my lap again to listen and feel for breathing. Gail looked to Mallery and asked her what she thought. She said "he is with Jesus," and told us to stop. I looked down at the child in my arms. I lowered him to the floor gently and Megan closed his eyes. On June 4, 2011 at 710pm, six hours after we arrived in Haiti, 16 month old Jivenson went to be with the Lord.

FC: Haiti Foundation Against Poverty June Medical Team June 4-11, 2011 | Megan Driscoll, Gail McGee, Rhonda South, Nicole DeHann, and Heather Katt. with: Charly and Jimmy our Translators our Nurses and our AMAZING intern Morgan Taylor

1: We all met that morning at the Detroit Airport | June 4, 2011 Nicole, Gail, Rhonda, Megan and Heather

2: The streets of Port-au-Prince | open air market | A taptap - Haitian taxis built in the beds of trucks | A hair salon | this little store was built over one of the huge drainage ditches

3: Port-au-Prince has no orgainized garbage collection so the streets are lined with trash heaps | See the pig?

4: It took us about an hour or more to drive the streets of Port-au-Prince from Hope House to our clinics. Along the way we saw just how much help that Haiti still needs. | Most Haitians barely have enough money for food..so diapers are almost non-existent | This man is cutting sugar cane on the side of the road to sell. | The streets are so congested that they are hard to drive through | This is an above ground graveyard. They are buried in concrete vaults due to flooding and voodoo beliefs | These children are carrying jugs of clean water back to their tent homes

5: On our third night, Tropical Storm Adrian struck Haiti killing 23 people and injuring many others. For everyone else, the fear of Cholera flared as flooding in the streets and across the country side. | Deep ditches line the streets to help prevent the city flooding, but the over abundance of trash blocks the drains. | We thought the streets were bad before Adrian...but when we left for clinic on Wednesday we discovered the flooding had made the roads even rougher. | The drainage ditches have another negative side. Tent cities nearby washed straight into them. This may seem like a pile of trash, but two days before, it was a tent city neighborhood.

6: What they call Home | These houses may look nice but the earthquake left most of the homes on the hill listed as uninhabitable. However, with nowhere else to go, many people attempt to stay in their homes. Even if they are listed as too dangerous. | Here are some signs of progress...a group of small homes that a relief group has started. These houses may have a mulit-generational family with many children all living in one together | This family has a whole bus as well as a tent that is probably their kitchen....the tub at the bottom most likely serves as a bathtub, sink, washtub, and more. But by the amount of laundry outside says there are many people living here

7: What they do for work: There are restaurants and stores but most people make work for themselves like artists and street vendors. | Ever wonder where your bananas come from...possibly this truck. | A group of men took it upon themselves to move these cinder blocks that had fallen into the road. They rushed the passing cars shouting and demanding money for their efforts from passersby.

8: Tent City Clinic | Citie Jeremie

9: People came from miles around, some walking hours just to come to our clinic to be seen. In Haitian hospitals you have to pay up front for medical care. They won't even let you in the door without money. People lined up outside the tent in the sun and humidity for everything from headaches to respiratory infections,

10: Our 5 nurses were able to see 1,500 patients in one week. And that isn't counting the day after Tropical Storm Adrian that we spent at Hope House cleaning up after the flooding. | We opened clinic at 8 or 9 and went until after 4pm. We had to drive across Port-au-Prince to reach Citie Jeremie and had to be back before it got dark,,,,at 6pm. | The week was also dedicated to training a few Haitian women to be nurses. They had some education in nursing but we aren't sure exactly what it was. There was a lot of teaching to be done.

12: The 'backyard' behind our tent

13: A proud daddy with his triplet girls

14: Our days were long, hot, sweaty and hectic. | Not to mention trying to help someone who speaks another language.

15: Meggers is excited about her labor patient | By the end of each day our suitcases of supplies were a mess

16: Not that we didn't have fun too..... | We hid behind this large wooden box to eat lunch. We didn't have enough to feed all of our patients so we had to hide | Meggers, Captain Gail, Nicki, MoMo, Rowhawnda, and me

17: Gail with our nurses | La Paix (Peace) | Charly kicks back after a long day | Salute to Captain Gail | Riding in the back of the truck and counting pills... we did both a lot

18: Treating our patients | I don't even know what to do with this mess...

19: Gail and Rhonda manage the suitcases so well

20: Lying just outside Cite Soleil, one of the most dangerous places on Earth, lies Les Bours School of Hope. A free school for the children of this poverty-stricken slum. There was no other school in the area for these children to attend. The school offers free education, food, clothing, and health care for its 163 students...we were that health care...

22: Each of the 163 kids came through our little clinic. We weighed and measured... then assessed each child from head to toe to check for respiratory, skin and other problems.

23: Yea....a newborn assesment..I'm right at home now

24: Haiti's Beautiful Children | Thanks to the school and the medical teams that come throughout the year, most of the children of the Les Bours school were healthy. There were a few skin and respiratory infections but much better than their last visits.

27: This is Bingo, the school's dog

28: The school grounds....the square in the middle is the 'playground' | the school well

29: the larger of the two small clinic rooms | classrooms

30: Hope House | Hope House is an orphanage and baby home for severely ill and malnourished infants and young children, While the home is being constructed Hope house consists of three trailers, one for the children, one for teams that come and one for Mallery and Frentz. There are also two permanent structures, the kitchen and one by the gate that is partially storage and partially home of the head nanny and guard (who are married). | With our team of five and the summer interns there were seven of us living in this container...with one bathroom. There was a toilet and a shower, which was amazing. But the water only worked occasionally so to flush we had to dump water down the toilet. The shower can only be used on specific days and if the water doesn't work...then no shower. We would each take a bucket of water into the shower and with a cup to rinse with wash up after our long, hot days. | The courtyard between our container and the kids

31: The night of the tropical storm we needed to get to higher ground. We passed the kids up that ladder onto the roof of what will eventually be the orphanage building. Once all the kids were up the ladder and safe a few of us went down to the containers and storage room to get some important items like food, clothes and diapers for the kids and tents. Which we put up during the storm and then stayed in that night. | The view from the roof near the tents, | The kitchen flooded. The few of us that returned down during the storm grabbed anything on the floor in here and got it up on the tables and counters.

32: Tropical Storm Adrian floods Hope House | On Monday night, the seven of us had settled into our container and had gathered in one room to have a group meeting. As we sat around and chatted, the rain fell outside our windows. One of the girls noticed that our shoes began floating away outside our door. I jumped out the door in my pajamas and ran after our shoes, tossing them back toward the door while the other girls brought them into the container. The water had risen half way to my knees and we realized that we needed to get the children to higher ground.

33: I rushed across to the kids container and tried to tell the nanny (who spoke no English) that we needed to get the kids to Mallery and Frentz's container up the hill. I grabbed two year old Pierreline and rushed up the stony hill, still barefoot. I slipped on the stony path and began to fall. I twisted so Pierreline would fall on me. I got back up and rushed up to their door before running back for another child. (We would later discover that I broke my toe) Meanwhile, one of the other girls was continuing to gather the kids and night nanny while the rest of the girls were getting our belongings on the top bunks so they wouldn't be ruined. I grabbed two more kids, Caleb in my arms and Sophonie holding my hand. The water was so turbulent that ended up carrying both of them up the slope. After dropping those two off I started back down the hill again, meeting the rest of the kids, the nanny and Kelli the Intern part of the way down and helped the rest of them through the water. We spent about a half hour in the container with Mallery while Frentz and the guards tried to unblock our drain and stop the flooding. The downpour continued and a few girls thought they felt the container move so we decided we needed to get to higher ground. We divided up the children between us, deciding who could carry who up the ladder and decided to get on top of the hope house building. As we trudged our way through the rising water our plans collapsed as we realized how strong the current was. We all took a different spot on the ladder and up on the roof and passed each child up in turn. I hung under the ladder to brace it from the rapid flood waters while the others were on it and climbing the ladder before climbing up myself. After a few minutes up there with Nicole, Gail and the Nanny under tarps and umbrellas, we decided that we needed to get tents and supplies, not knowing how long we would be stuck on the roof. Morgan, Megan and I took a few trips down to the supply room and the containers retrieving food, supplies, water, clothes and diapers for the kids and a couple of tents. I finally retrieved my sandals so I was no longer barefoot in what we called 'the poop water.' We then put up the tents on the roof, the only light coming from our few flashlights. As we came to the end of our tent striking endeavor, the rain died down and we figured we were in the eye of the storm. While we had a break in the rain, each of us went down to our container to get into some dry clothes, Megan and I finishing the tents while the others changed. Megan and I finally went down to get dry and as we changed we could hear the rain starting to fall again on the container roof. We hurried back up to the tents as the rain picked up again. It didn't downpour like it had before, which was nice. We all laid across the big tent, in the middle of the night and we talked and even were able to laugh together, now safe and dry. | We spent all of the next day cleaning up the containers and ripping out the carpets. We bleached the walls and floors and picked through our soaked things. We later discovered that several people in our neighborhood had died due to the storm. The men who went our while we were cleaning even saw a few bodies in the streets around the complex. God truly protected us that night.

34: The Kids of Hope House | Caleb | Pierreline | Sophonie | Naika | Guerlens | Mika | Kimberlie

35: The kids hanging out in the tent the day after the flood | Pierreline and Caleb playin with a box | Naika is everybody's big sister

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  • By: Heather K.
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  • Title: Haiti June Medical Trip
  • Medical Mission trip to Haiti June 4-11, 2011
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  • Published: about 8 years ago