For some of you, Pastor McGee of Byron Center Bible Church has been faithfully contacting me (well, maybe Karen, as I have been “out of it” for the most part, barely able to totter to the bathroom, feeble as can be) and sending you updates via the church email. He asked that I give you a more thorough update for myself and what we know of the Haiti situation. So, will do my best, knowing that I do not have “complete knowledge” of either situation.
As you know, I had round #3 (of 4) of my vaccine injection, followed by the injections of Interferon and Rintotolomod for the rest of the week. I felt quite decent on Friday, the 30th, after my injections so we headed home, thankful to be doing so well. Saturday had some ups and downs, felt great in the morning and helped my brother and Duane unload some donated medical supplies, ran some errands and went to see my little sister, Shirley who has spent over 2 weeks in the hospital, having had almost every test in the book and we aren’t any wiser. Her asthma is much improved, but no reason can be found for total passing out episodes. The evening was rather nasty with fever, chills and retching again.
I was a bit under the weather for the next 4 days, but was able to work in the office, though easily fatigued, to be expected, of course. However, Wednesday night, I spent the whole night hugging the “Porcelain Queen,” having shaking chills, fevers to 103 plus and retching. The next 3 days continued much the same, I started an antibiotic and a treatment course for malaria, seemed to make some improvement on Saturday and could do a few things around the house and clean up some of my office paperwork backlog. I was a bit encouraged but Saturday night things became considerably worse and I could no longer stand up, navigate and just had continual shaking chills all night. Sunday morning, Karen hauled me to the Blodgett Emergency Room, I could hardly make it to the car even with Karen supporting me. I knew the ER doctor from years in the past and they all were superb in rendering care, starting 3 powerful antibiotics IV immediately and he agreed to leave me here instead of a transfer to Butterworth (they don’t like treating cancer patients at Blodgett as oncologists don’t come here). My diagnosis is SIRS, Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, with growing out E coli from all blood draws, source unknown. Plus, my littlest sister, Shirley, was here, so we could see each other. Within one hour of my admission, they transferred her to Butterworth anyway?
I have made considerable progress though now waiting for them to remove my port, give me a 48 hr “holiday” and then replace it on the other side. We are pushing them to do it before I leave, so the insurance will pay for it (Our special friend, Dr. Dan De Cook, did the other two for me in his office “the old way” most graciously, saving us $14,000 but we have no more catheters, as he brought the other two back from Bangladesh). I hope to return to work next week, as I have been negligent too long in my work duties.
Dan and Duane arrived in Haiti last night by way of Puerto Rico, as there are no landing lights in the Port au Prince airport so their flight was routed to Puerto Rico for the night. Hopefully they can do some repairs to the hospital, some homes and the camp, depending on what supplies they can find. Beth Newton reported that a 40 ft container of supplies sent to Cayes by another organization was robbed along the road as the lawless elements always take advantage of difficult situations, it seems. My brother, Butch, who has gone many times to help me at the hospital, likely will leave this weekend with his church team to work at the camp, where there is a lot of cleaning up to do before they can consider repairs, surely. Pray for their stamina and health, as cholera is gaining ground again with the less than perfect hygienic conditions. The report is that there is moderate damage to our hospital, significant loss to 7 missionary homes and the government hospital is non functional, so more workload for our staff. Samaritan’s Purse is setting up a mobile hospital in Cayes and that will help.
So, thank you so much for your continued patience with us as we try to live and serve our Savior as He gives us opportunity. We appreciate your prayers and support. Again, pardon the somewhat rambling style, but consider the source and the condition of his mind?
In His Service,
Bill, Karen, Dan, Duane, Butch and the Rest of the Haiti Team