We have had a good, though busy 4 days of work here already. Dan, Duane and Mark went to the Renault Sunday School and Feeding program on Sunday, while I attended the services at the hospital and then saw patients the rest of the day. Monday, we did 4 hysterectomies, a couple of them quite difficult due to advanced cancer, difficult body habitus and scarring. We then had a lady show up who had had an abortion 7 years ago as the baby allegedly was deformed at 5 months, then had trouble getting pregnant again but now was at term and had tried for 36 hr to deliver and was stuck as the baby was too large for her pelvis and had fallen into distress. We took her back and did a C section, admittedly it is hard for me to let Drs. Moise and William struggle to get the little one out and wondering at what stage I step in to help, as they need to learn and each struggle helps them prepare for when I am no longer able to be there as backup, guide and assistant. I was about to take over when they got the little one out, he was sluggish as lots of meconium and his head was wedged in the pelvis. I am fortunate to have a thin but large hand, so can slip over the baby’s head and gently tease it out of the pelvis with minimal trauma to him. So far, mother and baby are doing well but we had some tense moments.
We had planning/hospital future direction meetings on Saturday afternoon, a lot was brought up, how much we can implement in a foreign culture is still to be determined, but we want to do our best to streamline and make our patient care efficient and compassionate. A big problem, compounded by us not being here all the time, is follow through, not a priority in Haiti, it seems. We have had brief meetings in the morning after devotions, it does mean starting surgery a bit later, but we seem to have done ok so far, though Dr. William was here for the 2 surgery days and will leave at 3 am to return to his residency in Port Wednesday morning. It is such fun to work with my two Haitian brothers as this is our 17th year together and we work in sync for the most part, knowing what the other 2 will do without having to be told/converse. I thank the Lord for my two pillars at the hospital, much younger than I and healthy, so hopefully can keep this running for years to come, should the Lord tarry.
Tuesday went well overall. Dan and Duane went up to Bonne Fin to see if we can profit from their experience. They run a considerably different ship, especially in the area of finances, but were most welcoming of helping us when and where possible, a great encouragement. Will sort through the data received and implement what we feel can help us. Mark has been building a new, more appropriately (I hope) placed cashier’s office next to the Xray building and several other projects. Again, that team of Haitian construction men has worked for years when needed and can roll quite well with little direction as needed. We have had a bunch of rain Tuesday, slowing down some activities, but at least it is a warm rain and breaks the mugginess for a bit.
Surgery went well Tuesday, several more hysterectomies, some hernias and then Moise and I tried to remove a good section of a parotid gland tumor that had been done by the ENT hospital in town and no tissue was obtained? A bit discouraging when the specialists cannot get the job done! The continued unrest in Port is a cause for concern, as, so far, I have been unable to make any connections for the October trip for the Dutch Donkey and myself. So, please pray that things will calm down enough that we can drive to and from the hospital. The Haitian Senator shooting several people when he felt threatened by the mob underscores the instability for everyone at present.
Surgery again went well on Wednesday, but we discovered that MAF feels they will not likely be able to get their pilots safely to the airport on Friday and have asked us to leave earlier, as otherwise it may be early next week before we can get out of Cayes, as the roads are getting worse again and the opposition has called for major protests and violence on Friday and Saturday. So, we are scrambling to find alternatives to spending prolonged down time in Port, possibly not even able to get out of there for a bit. Apparently the airport was shut down on Tuesday and part of Wednesday due to a fire, so passengers will be backlogged for a while and every seat taken. We are praying for wisdom as to how to proceed.
Thanks again for your prayers and support of our ministry for Him here in Haiti.
In His Service, Dan, Duane, Mark and Bill