Dear family and friends......this is truly the first time since I got here June 2 that I have a good and reliable internet connection!!! Thanks to many of you for emailing and wondering how I am! I have managed to find out a couple of times that the temperature in Vernon is a lot less than it is here...and I smile as I think of you all wearing sweaters and such! We've had a bit of rain this past week and it's cooled down into the 80's....tolerable! I actually have a sheet over me at night now.
I'm writing from OSAPO, the clinic in the mountains, and it will probably be my most reliable source of cyberspace. I bought a modem from NATCOM in St Marc last week but it is worse than dial-up and very unreliable. I'm thinking a waste of money!
Today was the first day I was back here working with Dr. Toussaint and I was greeted with a sign on the OR door...."WELCOME BACK Miss Judy from Dr. Toussaint and Dr. Marius and Miss Andre with love." I was very touched. Today we did a hernia and a myomectomy. I still am amazed at the size of the fibroids that he scoops out of the uterus! Toussaint is still enjoying using the Valley Lab cautery that we brought last year and the cardiac monitor is still beeping away...even though it is still precariously perched on a narrow stool!!!!
I've been to the Rehab clinic at Mission of Hope a couple of times with the kids...and Hercily, the fellow who had his leg amputated last Nov and Sean looked after him. Gedeon is growing and so his leg was too short, Rose Carmen had broken her foot splint again and lost a strap to her arm splint. Jovanee has a strange growth at the end of his arm stump and so we're getting that xrayed soon to see what it is. Dr. Ric Bonnell is here from Texas right now....he's the medical doc at Canaan orphanage where I stayed in 2010 and is a good friend of Annie's and looks after the kids when he's here. His wife arranged for the C-arm (Xray) machine to come to Haiti after the earthquake, when they started using the OR extensively for orthopedic surgery.
Pierre Payen Hospital is barely recognizable. The new administration team has completely cleaned it and painted it and it is now a 24/7 functioning hospital with adequate nursing staff and doctors around the clock!!! Thank you God!!! This truly is a miracle!
Of course the OR supply room still needs lots of re-organizing and inventorying but this time I will be helping the new "Director of Nursing" Miss Greta. She is a Nurse-Anesthetist and will be on-call at night for that. Otherwise she is getting the staff organized and ship-shape. There is now a structure to things which is a real blessing.
Speaking of blessings, my friend Steve in IHA Biomed offered me 2 cardiac monitors and so I said YES, of course but wondered where they might be needed. When I got to the hospital, I was greeted with a sign on the existing monitor "NOT WORKING". I smiled as God always knows what is needed! The plan is to open up the old OR as a 2nd OR room when the teams come in November and so the 2nd monitor will also have a home!
And so my days will keep going! I loved having Audrey (PT) here for the first 2 weeks. I tried to introduce her to everyone and show her the sights. Our first job was to take the 2 boys with the extensive leg surgeries to Port au Prince for their 3 month post-op checks. Lery, the boy with the very wonky legs due to bilateral dislocated patella, is at least a foot taller. His legs are straight and he is doing GREAT. Audrey started him on a daily PT program and his quads are getting so strong. He walks up and down stairs with good balance, he walks or rides a bike to school, which is about 3/4 mile away. Dr. Nelson promised him he could start playing soccer in 3 months! He had 7 osteotomies on one leg alone. His xrays show multiple plates and screws!
Bijory, the 8 year old with the congenital club feet, actually has functioning feet now! They're short and he has abnormal short toes, but he is doing his exercises as well trying to strengthen his quads and toughen up his new feet. He walks around the table supporting himself with his hands on the bench and practices walking around a fair-sized patio with his crutches. We got him going back to school once we arrived and he is loving that. He has a pint-sized wheelchair that he uses there.
Audrey was a great teacher of both the boys and I of the PT program and so we're carrying on since she left. Lery does the stairs in the morning before school and if he doesn't walk home, he does them again at night. After supper and devotions, they do their exercises with me and the other kids monitoring their progress and cheering them on!!!! A true joy to see them both doing so well!
All for now.......I'm loving being back here yet I would love to talk to you all and I think of home often! Everyone asks about my family and wonder where Joel and Emily and Sean are! : ) They all want to know when they're coming back?
Love to all for now........xoxo Judy