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Archive for February, 2013

It was tough….

We had time to hang out at the ICU this morning before leaving RHFH. Two of our babies were not doing well.

Guidlene was coughing every breath, snotty, and taking quick shallow breaths.

Earlier this week..
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They took quick measures to get her oxygen levels up and breathing easier.

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Taken just before we left. Please lift her up tonight in prayer. We just checked in w/ RHFH and Guidlene is stable.

It was tough to leave w/ little ones struggling to live.

But it was time. We had to go. We had to start the journey back to the other world we live in away from Haiti.

It was tough to leave w/ little ones struggling to live.

These little babies are reminders of how fragile life is…….for children in Haiti and other third world countries its especially true.

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Last day at RHFH

All days (except Sundays) start like this here.

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Hard working ladies, young and old, hand washing ALL the clothing and lines from the guesthouse, Rescue Center and ICU. That is a LOT of laundry. Imagine having about 100 children, most in cloth diapers, bedding being changed several times a day on 6 baby beds, multiple blankets, usually 2 ‘shirts’ per child a day for many kids,……

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Everything is done by hand. Much of the laundry is hung elsewhere to dry. Know how they get it there?

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See that big round pan, full of wet clothes…….they pick it up w/ the help of a friend……..and put it on top of their head and walk away.

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Of course we held more babies.

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And today my boyfriend Felt so good he got down off his bed all by himself and walked over to us. (yes, this was a big deal)

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Today a new volunteer came to serve at RHFH. This is Betty. She has been to Haiti 5 times since 2008.

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Once a week all the kids are weighed to track how they are improving or growing. For those on the medika mamba, a length is also taken.

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These measurements are used to determine how much of the enriched peanut butter they should have each day.

Tomorrow we begin our journey  back to our own families.

” And remember, ultimately it’s not about you. It’s about the One who wants to write His-story through your life. A world in desparate need can’t do without what you will bring when you become part of something that is bigger than you and more important than you: the cause of Christ in this generation.”~~Mark Patterson, Wild Goose Chase

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No Superbowl party here, but we are still having a great day.

We were treated to brunch and devotional at Papa Zach and Lorraine’s home. They live above the Rescue Center. Lori and Licia, the sister’s that run the clinic and RC are Zach’s daughters.

They have a beautiful view of the mountains and river from their porch.

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★★Notice anything in the photo above? Several young boys were taking their morning bath in the river. That’s very common in Haiti.★★

Sundays are a slow day around here. I think its probably the only one.

Many parents have come to visit their little ones in the ICU the last couple of days.

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This papa (pictured below) came to see his twin boys. They have been here for a while, but this is the first time he has been able to travel to see them.

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Travel is a hardship here. No one has a vehicle, so you walk over the rocky uneven mountain paths or take a moto (motorcycle taxi). Both ways are expensive……..Even if you walk, you will lose a day’s wages (and sometimes have no job to come back to). When you don’t get paid, your family doesn’t eat. If you take a moto, your day costs even more.

What a beautiful sight, a father loving his babies. Their mom passed away after giving birth. He kept telling Licia, as he cried, that it should be their mama holding them today.

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One reason RHFH has the RC and ICU is for situations such as this. The maternal mortality rate in Haiti is high, really high. There aren’t any accurate numbers because so much goes unreported and there is no official count. The orphan crisis you often hear of in Haiti, isn’t entirely due to there not  being any parents of a child.

Often a child is orphaned because the surviving parent just can not care for the child. They love their kids, but can not earn enough to keep them fed. There is no money for special care or additional medical needs (including over the counter meds so cheap and available to each of us). A widowed papa of a newborn has no means to feed and care for it. Formula is expensive, clean water is not always available, he has no bottles, and usually no one to watch the baby while he’s working. If you have a job, you are one of the very lucky and grateful few in Haiti.

To preserve as many families as possible, in the case of newborns and infants, RHFH agrees to care for the baby until about the age of 2. The family can come visit as often as they like. When their child is weaned and walking, or if the family’s situation improves, the family is reunited. Its an amazing program. There is always documentuation of the agreement and the local authorities appreciate the work done here.

I encourage you to follow RHFH blog. There is too much love, too many stories and too manyoracles for me to share here…….typing w/ my thumbs, using a limited data plan w/ sketchy uploading capabilities.

http://realhopeforhaiti.org

ICU babies today……..

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Lotion time!!!

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Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.~~ Hebrews 10:23:24

Lord take me where You want me to go;
Let me meet who You want me to meet;
Tell me want You want me to say; and
Keep me out of Your way.
Amen                Father Michael Judge – FDNY – died 9/11/01

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So, for some strange reason I can NOT understand (insert sarcasm here), data transfer can be a bit sketchy here. Email locks up fo no reason, web sites don’t load properly, and Facebook is  50/50% on success/fail (shocking……right? *insert sarcasm*)

My awesome amazing video will not upload. Please look for it on Tuesday when we hit American soil.

But……this is a snap shot I got of Tena playing ‘band’ w/ some kids in the ICU. She’s brilliant to have brought those instruments!

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Photos from today

Unpacking medical supplies donated by Crosslink Memphis & Jackson-Madison Co. Hospital

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Burial quilts from Covenant Quilters.

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Physical therapy w/ Isabella (yes that’s my shockingly pale leg in the photo, please don’t be alarmed).

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♥♥♥Check out Isabella in the post titled Jam Session……that is if I can get it to actually post♥♥♥♥

This is Sequam.

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He loves the instruments Tena brought and has great rythm. He also liked playing cars!

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We think he’s around 10-12 yrs and has balance issues because of cerebral palsy.

Our view from the porch at the guesthouse.

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Nanny Desimise…..awesome!!!

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Nanny Ti Babe……….just as awesome!

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Cute patooties……

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Visiting over a breakfast of boiled egg and banana….

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And all God’s people said, Amen.

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Or kwash for short, is one form of malnutrition. It seems most of the older kids in the ICU are admitted with kwash. This type of malnutrition comes from a lack of protein in the diet. Many children here rarely, if ever, have meat to eat.

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These little feet belong to this handsome young man, Lemason.

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This deficiency causes the body to retain water. Mild cases can go unnoticed by the untrained eye…….don’t all babies and toddler’s go through a chubby stage? Advanced cases, however, are unmistakable. Their skin becomes painfully tight.  It literally begins to weep water and can begin to slough off.

Its a tough condition to treat. The body is retaining fluids, but the child can become dehydrated. Electrolytes and micro nutrients are also out of balance. So you have to try to get it all in balance. You’ll notice Lemason’s shoulders and chest are thin and fragile, while his legs and feet are puffy w/ fluid.

Remember Widnie?

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She’s recovering from kwash also. She’s lost her water weight, which as you can imagine brings on other challenges.

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These are her hands and legs. The skin becomes leathery, wrinkled and painfully dry. Lots of good lotion helps.

One of the ways these kids are helped is through a vitamin and mineral enriched peanut butter product. Medika mamba is the generic name often used for the Haitian product.  Plumpy Nut is the brand. This product saves lives in many ways…….its treatment for malnutrition AND its produced in country using native grown peanuts (which means jobs).

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Each child has a prescribed amount to eat each day. The amount calculated for specific child and adjusted as needed.

Each kid has their own container. Tena and I help fill them w/ the correct amount each night for the next day.

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I wasn’table to take many photos today. But Lemason and I did hang out, played w/ hot wheels, and did some drawing.

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The test for our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those that have too little. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

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