I spent the most random afternoon I could have imagined. I was with a President, a GI Doctor, a Pilot, and a journalist from an ABC affiliate in Florida. A group in Pensacola, Florida had put together some health kits and they got connected with the reporter who wanted to come do some on location work in Cayes and follow the health kits through to delivery. Dan (President of RMI) got connected with him and he flew in today. There is also a GI Doctor who decided he wanted to come help out here because he’d so much need, and a Pilot who also just wanted to come and do whatever he could to help. And somehow, they all ended up with us. So we spent the afternoon together.
Today, we visited two Clinics in the area. One was the clinic here on the mission center. This was the same place I had spent last Tuesday night. It was the place I had met Molienne and Rita. I hadn’t had the chance to go back and visit with them. I was hoping to see them today. The first area we visited wasn’t crowded with people, but there were plenty of people there. Beds had been placed in random corners and hallways, where ever they could find a spot. I met a boy there. His name is Furenel. I don’t remember how old he said he was but I would guess 10 or 11. He and his family are here from Port au Prince. I didn’t understand all that they told me but I know they lost other family members in the quake. He was alive but his right leg had been crushed under a falling building. He had only remained there for an hour before being rescued. He now has only one leg. I don’t think it had been long since his surgery but he was in good spirits. He, like most patients, had been given very little painkiller- its something they just don’t have on hand. While he looks sad and forlorn in this picture and I am sure he was in pain, he was smiling just moments before. Its hard to get most Haitians to smile for the camera. While his story is heartbreaking, I asked him if he had any thing he wanted to say (the journalist was recording a little bit of his story) and his response was “Thank you God for keeping me alive and for not letting me die”. We have reason to rejoice. He IS alive. Pray for Furenel. Pray that he will quickly heal. Pray that he and his family will find a new life. Pray for the provisions a young boy will need in life with only one leg. Pray for his future and for opportunities. Pray that the purpose for which God saved him would be served in His life.
He was downstairs. When we went upstairs almost immediately I saw the girl I had mentioned before, the one with the broken hips. She smiled at me when we made eye contact. I asked her if she remembered me- she said she did. I got her name this time. Her name is Rosie. And she’s 22 years old. She said she is not out of pain yet but she’s feeling better. It seems as if her hips have been stabilized and hopefully the healing process has begun.
I also saw the other girl, the one who went into surgery, who had gangrene. I didn’t really get to talk to her. A lot of people were crowding around her bed. But she was still in a lot of pain. One foot and one ankle were wrapped and she was moaning. She’d probably been given the Tylenol they had on hand for pain but I imagine it just wasn’t enough. Her mother was there with her. She looked tired.
There were many patients at the hospital. Many of them had leg injuries. There were lots of casts, lots of bandages and lots of pins holding shin bones in place. I imagine the upstairs area hold 40-50 beds. All of them were full. The area is separated in to four areas with a central reception desk in the center. But the four sections aren’t private. 5 or so beds line each wall and only the outside walls are floor to ceiling. The inner walls are only partial walls. As we arrived upstairs the sound of singing could be heard all through out the upstairs ward. There was a man with a massive wound to his shin, with a set of pins holding it together. I’ve put a link to his picture because it might be a little disturbing. But its here if you want to see. It was he who was singing and as he sang, many others sang along. He too had been given minimal pain medication and yet, he found reason to rejoice. It was a beautiful sound. I didn’t have the opportunity to speak with him but I know he and his family could use your prayers.
We visited the back left corner of the upstairs ward last. I hadn’t seen Molienne or Rita. I was scanning for either one of them and about the same time I saw Rita, Moilenne saw me. AMY! She called up as her face lit up. I am sure mine did too. I ran over to her and gave her a hug. She looked like she was doing well. Her wound had been covered and she said she was feeling better. She told me she had seen Sarah everyday but she' hadn’t seen me. I told her if I am able to, I’ll come to see her again. I told her I had been praying for her and has asked my friends to pray for her as well. I heard from Sarah later and Molienne had reported my visit to her. Sarah said that Molienne told her she likes dolls so Sarah and I working on trying to find a doll for her. We don’t know how long she’ll be at the hospital so hopefully one of us can find one.
I am happy to report that Rita is doing well. She is in a full leg cast on her right leg and her left shin has pins. She has her two daughters here with herl. I did also confirm that she lost one child in the earthquake. I know she will be grieving for many months.
Here are the names of a few other people I met today. One I met at the Clinic here and the other two I met at another clinic we visited in town:
Emile G. He had a leg injury. Spoke very briefly with him so got not other information.
Dirozaire D. and his girlfriend, Gina. They have a 16 month old daughter who is also in Cayes. Gina and their daughter are fine. His leg was broken in two places when an office building collapsed.
Jean Bertran. He was a young boy with a broken wrist. His mother was with him. She had lost two other children in the quake.
Please keep praying for these and for others I have mentioned. While there stories are sad, and we mourn with the loses they have experienced, lets also remember to rejoice and celebrate the life they have. It it truly a gift from God.