Of Egos & Frustrations, of Friendships & New Life

Port Au Prince Travel Blog

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Heartbreaking cases become the norm

Anyone who has ever been in a situation that is outside their comfort zone knows that tension and stress levels are high.  Frustration is common and not easily fixed.  Frustrations from the lack of communication, lack of supplies, patient statuses and outcomes.  Frustrations in the lack of ability to talk to and comfort my patients, to know they have life threatening diseses and they will die no matter what we do.  The fact that everything is covered with flies- the back table, the surgeons, wounds, you name it, they are everywhere.  No lap sponges, raytec, gloves, prepping solutions or any other basic supplies to be found.  The only thing we have plenty of is patients and disease.

I was there when they told a 20 year old girl she had bone cancer and it had spread to her lungs and removing her leg wouldn't save her, but will help with the pain.

Our break corner, complete with fridge and crockpot!
  I held her had on the surgery table when they decided to wait.  I prayed over her bed when she begged to live.  I held her leg when they removed it above the knee.  I carried her back to her bed and held her hand when she asked where her leg was. 

I helped with a little girl with a very bad infection that would take her life, I watched as her parents held her hands and begged anyone who walked by to save their baby.  We weren't expecting her to live through the day.  Everyone was scrambling to arrange transport to the States, which is a very lengthy process.  She was finally able to be airlifted out to the States where she could get better treatment and have a chance of surviving.  Last I heard, she was in an ICU in Florida and doing better.

Grandma with her new Granddaughter
 

Its hard to keep your moral up, but God doesn't let His servents wander alone.  When life seems to be at its darkest, He sends out a light to remind you that there is more, whether its an encouraging word from a new friend, a smile from a patient, a box of very needed supplies appearing, a Subway sandwich flown in from the States or a new life coming into the world.  Its when we look up that we see the bigger picture.

A baby was born today.  A healthy baby girl.  I wasn't there for her delivery, but the Mercy Works crew delivered her (one is an OBGYN)  She's beautiful.  Her mother and grandma let us pass her around and we got to coo and awe over one of God's miracles.  It was one of our crew's first delivery, and she had been with the mom since she arrived at the hospital and was suprised and trilled when the grandma told her they would name the baby after her! 

A long, busy day.

Zenaida and baby Zenaida
  We ended by treating ourselves to something other than beans and rice or rice and beans for dinner.  The UN's base is just down the street from Miami Hospital and they have a nice cafe complete with cokes, hamburgers, fries and BBQ.  The place is very packed, being a favorite of the hospital staff.  It was nice to unwind and enjoy the friendship and fellowship.  Tomorrow is another day.

nicolecarp says:
I really like your comment of "God doesn't let his servants wander alone"..something to think about..
Posted on: Mar 06, 2010
Africancrab says:
Inspiring and brave indeed
Posted on: Mar 06, 2010
vances says:
Wow - such an inspiration!
Posted on: Mar 06, 2010
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Heartbreaking cases become the norm
Heartbreaking cases become the norm
Our break corner, complete with fr…
Our break corner, complete with f…
Grandma with her new Granddaughter
Grandma with her new Granddaughter
Zenaida and baby Zenaida
Zenaida and baby Zenaida
We really do like eachother
We really do like eachother
Do you really need a caption?
Do you really need a caption?
Port Au Prince
photo by: Bluenose