Since the last update had technical difficulties and I could not figure out how to send it out until I got home (will see if can get technical help in that department, no hope for the Donkey to learn such high tech skills), I will update you further on the rest of the week and specific prayer requests. The week continued to be quite productive, though had another major struggle in that we had another ruptured tubal pregnancy come in that we were preparing for surgery when she passed and we could not bring her back. She was the sister of one of our guards, Baoo, so that was doubly hard as part of our employee’s family. Such a reminder of how fragile life is, how quickly, as James tells us, “for what is your life, it is even a vapor, that appears for a while and then vanisheth.” We are thankful that, although there is NO functional Red Cross facility in either Cayes or Port (and thus all of south Haiti), that our lady with the huge tumors and considerable blood loss is doing well despite the hurdles thrown at her.
The rest of the 40 some surgeries went well for the week, thankfully. Saw a cleft lip, which I will do next time, and a cleft palate, which I will not do (as don’t have the obturator, like the top half of a denture, custom made for the little one, so that s/he will not tear up my repair with the tongue). She seems to be growing well, but hope Smile Train or someone similar will come in the near future to do this. The surgery itself is not all that hard, I have done it before, but was dismayed when the repair was destroyed when the child tries sucking (even if we dropper feed it). I also saw the 90 (now) year old man Moise and I resected a huge cancer from his nose and face, I do have some positive margins, but no visible cancer, so discussed with him and his family that I would wait til some came back (not wait so long so it is huge again, though) and reresect if it does, as at 90, he might just live a happy life and pass away of other causes before it becomes a problem again. He was quite happy with the overall situation.
Duane and Evert fixed a number of problems (though decided that we would not have the Haitian employee who considers himself an electrician after a week of classes in Port do any more electrical work, as he attempted a project with some quite negative results). Bravery sometimes can have less than desirable endings, especially in the electrical realm. Sometimes it is braver, and certainly wiser, to ask for help before attempting something we are ill prepared to undertake, whether in the medical/surgical realm or building repairs. The battery backup system batteries, originally installed by USAID, have started to come to the end of their lives at about 7 years and we are exploring which of a number of expensive alternatives to give us power when we don’t run the generator (or the few hours a day the government may decide to give us some electricity) This also requires considerable prayer for wisdom to maintain this vital system. We are working at limiting electrical usage, it seems that turning off lights and fans, etc is an unknown concept in Haiti, one does not stop the water in the river from running, why stop the electricity when it wants to come out? Or, for that matter, the water that wants to come out of the faucet? Novel concepts.
Unfortunately, despite being on both IV Vancomycin and oral Levaquin, I spiked a temp on Thursday evening and have been struggling since. I got repeat blood cultures and other labs done which showed no growth (good, but then why the temp) but need prayer for wisdom as my Infectious Disease doctor is afraid that the only solution is to pull my last upper body line and then have to go to the groins, difficult to take showers, be active with a pipe sticking out there, not something I am looking forward to. I also will see my cardiologist before work on Tuesday and see if my heart is functioning better. So appreciate prayer for wisdom and favorable outcomes on these fronts. At present, the oncologists state that they want to wait 3 months to see if I can remain infection free before considering further treatment, especially in the immunotherapy realm. My blood results also showed that my anemia is slowly getting worse, I was reduced to begging to get one unit of blood transfused (all sorts of new rules based on numbers, but what about the poor patient?)
Dr. WiIliam has gone to France for his 2 months of required training in laparoscopic surgery, I was finally able to make the proper arrangements, we could not purchase the tickets til we got the visa to go there and we couldn’t get that from the French Embassy til we had the letter of invitation from the hospital in France. I can see that I still have considerable work on the transition front at Centre de Sante Lumiere, to get the situation ready for my possible absence, so would like to be as functional as I can be for a while longer, the Lord permitting. Also have things to settle and organize on the home front, so Karen is not left with a bunch of problems.
As always, thanks so much for your prayer and support of our service for our Risen Saviour at Centre de Sante Lumiere in Les Cayes, Haiti.
In His Service,
Bill, Duane, Evert, Linda, Robin, Ruth and Tabitha