Tuesday, May 5, 2009

67= the number of days since I last blogged. Crazy! Can't believe that much time has gone past! So much has happened that is definitely worth blogging, but so much was happening it wasn't worth taking the time blog! And I did indeed have many days where I specifically had to make a point of going to the bathroom. Glad to share that information with youNow I am home for a month to visit and relax, and now I will begin the quest to catch you all up on what has been happening in Haiti! Thanks for continuing to look at my blog everyday, curse me under your breathe, and do the same thing the next day, for the last 3 months!

The last time I blogged, before I blogged about not blogging, I was headed to Cap Haitian to take Rose Lissa for bilateral clubbed foot surgery, and my youngest brother had decided to come to Haiti for a visit. So, that is where we will begin!

Trip to Cap Haitian

Our Ride...I really wondered what Rose Lissa and her dad Sadrack would think, especially when I realized how loud this little plane was! But, Rose just fell asleep right away and Sadrack didn't say too much, just grinned a couple times.

We arrived in Cap Haitain(Rose Lissa, her dad Sadrack, and myself) on Feb 15th, and were picked up at the airport by Pat and Clark Moore. They are a great couple in their 60's who have been married for 6 years, though have been in Haiti prior to being married for many years. Pat is a nurse and oversees 2 clinics in the O-Kap area,along with many other things, and Clark has spent many years doing amazing archeological research regarding Colombus and the original inhabitants of the island of Hispanolia(Haiti/Dominican). I had never met them before, and was delighted to be so welcomed into the home of these wonderful people.

The view from Pat and Clark's balcony. Amazing!

Pat Moore and Rose Lissa

We got settled in and headed up to the Justinien Hospital the next day to meet up with Dr.Nelson and his team. I was amazed at the HUGE number of people waiting outside the ortho unit to be seen by the CURE team. Children and adults with all sorts of deformities of upper and lower limbs, as well as scoliosis and other similiar issues were patiently waiting in the heat, sitting wherever they could find space, hope etched across the faces of them and their families. We were kinda led to the front of the line as they knew we were coming, and Dr. Nelson took a look at Rose quite quickly and they scheduled her for surgery that Wednesday. During this time, I could see that though they had a couple of good translators, there was a lot still to be done. So I asked if they wanted some help translating for a while, and was greeted with "seriously!? Please!" So, Sadrack and RoseLissa and Clark headed back down to the house, and I assured them that I would get back before dark.

A few minutes later I was in my element! The little 10x5' room was constantly filled with people, sharing their stories and eagerly waiting for what the doctors could tell them. I had tears in my eyes a number of times, especially when seeing the joy on parent's faces when I translated for them that "yes, your child can be helped this week!" It was an amazing experience! I spent about 4 hours with them before I realized I had better head back to the house! I had never translated in such an intense setting before, but I remember thinking, man, I need to do this more often! I felt so thankful that God has blessed me with the gift of speaking Creole!

The Docs

This piece of bone had worked its way out of this little boys leg after CURE teams had done surgery back in September.

His xrays showed that the bone had regrown and completely healed, and had effectively gotten rid of the piece of bone that had been injured. It was kinda fun to see the doctors so amazed!

The next day, we headed to get lab work and xrays done for RoseLissa. We had quite the treck across O-Kap to find an xray place that actually had a working machine(good old Haiti!) and then spent the majority of the day waiting to be seen...apparently everyone being seen by the CURE team had all come to the same x-ray clinic! Much of the time there was spent smiling and listening to everyone share their two-bits about how I should and should not take care of RoseLissa, and answering all kinds of questions about why I was there with her, and what was wrong with her, and why in the world if I am from Canada do I not speak immaculate French!

During the time we were at the xray clinic, I got a very sad phone call from Pat. They had called earlier in the morning to let me know that Vens was sick and on his way to the hospital. The second call was to let me know that Vens had died en-route. It was very difficult to deal with that news in front of a roomful of Haitians, trying to stay in control and not give them anything else to question me about. I felt myself wishing I was more Haitian, and could just let out these gut-wrenching sobs that were threatening to overtake me. God carried me through, and shortly after that phone call we got called in to have RoseLissa's x-rays done. She started screaming as soon as I walked in and put her down to take her dress off, and as soon as I put her on the table, she started to pee. Not a little bit either:a definite flood! We all laughed. We had to. And that was how God distracted me from my grief for a while and allowed me to focus on caring for RoseLissa. It reminded me of when Simon died and shortly after we discovered a wasp nest in the baby room and had to focus on getting them all out! God is in control!

During that time, we realized that we were not gonna be done in time to get to the airport to get Caleb who had flown into Haiti and was flying up to meet us in Cap Haitian. So, Pat saved the day and went to meet him for me! So when we got back to the house, it was so great to be met my little brother who was a little surprised at how little I was!

Caleb and I

That brought us to Wednesday, the day of RoseLissa's surgery! We got to the hospital around 7am and waited with the other people scheduled for surgery for the docs to show up. They soon came hopping off tap-taps and we headed to the OR. We had to wait for a while, and in that time, Dr. Nelson and company stole me off to translate for them, as they went and looked at x-rays and saw people who had had surgery the day before. When I got back, the nurses had already taken Rose Lissa to get prepped for surgery. I walked down the hallway and when I saw Dr. Nelson I asked him if I could get a pic of Rose before they started operating. He asked if I wanted to just come on in and watch her surgery! I jumped at the chance, and 5 minutes later they had me all scrubbed up and peering over their shoulders...from a safe non-germy distance of course! It was amazing! I had tears in my eyes a number of times, seeing the gifts that God has given to His creation and their abilites to do such incredible things!!

Right before can see how crooked her little feet were

Rose's little feet straight for the first time!

Putting casts on

Recovering. Rose's dad came in and immediatly pulled back the blanket that was covering her legs. He looked at her straight little feet, covered them back up, and then uncovered them again...and left them uncovered. And then he proceeded to take a bunch of pictures. It was really moving to watch him absorb the reality of the amazing change already visible.

Sadrack and a new friend we made there arriving after surgery

I was lucky to have a good relationship with Dr.Nelson, and he allowed us to leave a few hours after her surgery and go back to Pat and Clark's house instead of staying at the hospital! That was a huge blessing, cuz staying at a Haitian hospital is no cup of tea! It is NOTHING like a hospital in Canada! Rose recovered really well...she cried a lot the first few hours after we got back to the house, though we seemed to manage her pain fairly well with Tylenol and Advil. I thought for sure I was going to be up all night with her, but God was gracious and allowed her to sleep through the night. At this point I cried a lot about Vens, I think finally able to relax that the hardest part with RoseLissa was behind us.

Bathtime took on a whole new meaning...and Rose hated it!

Caleb and Sadrack spent a lot of time teaching each other their native language...and running over to me to translate for them!

It didn't take long for Rose to get back to her normal little silly self, and she loved being the centre of coddled attention!

We went back to the hospital 2 days later, where the docs removed her first set of casts, ensured everything looked good, and put on another set of casts that she would wear for 6 weeks, at which time another set would be put on for 6 more weeks! We all had a good laugh, because as soon as Rose saw the doctors, she started screaming! Everything looked great, and we were given the go ahead to head home. We stayed there until Saturday, during which time I had such wonderful help from Pat and her friend Pam who provided such care to all of us, and really shared the load with RoseLissa. I am so thankful that God has plans that surpass all of my best laid plans and hopes!

Rose and her Daddy
Rose and Caleb...she still wasn't so sure of this big white guy who insisted on making weird faces at her!

Rose Lissa is doing great! She recently had her casts changed and has 3 more weeks until she is done. She insists and pulling herself all over the floor, and recently standing up, effectively wearing out her casts! It is so fun to see the determination she has! After her casts come off, she will need some ankle-foot orthosis(a suuport for her ankle/foot, and it is likely that further surgery will be required for her knees and hip. Please continue to pray that God will continue to heal and restore her! Thanks to all of you who supported this endeavor for RoseLissa with your prayers and finances! It's been amazing to know the power of prayer!


John and Kim Fleming said...

Thank you for filling us in on what has gone on! I had to laugh about people checking your blog everyday b/c, yes I am one of them!

annerieke said...

wow Lori, thanks for sharing that story so beautifully. and yup, i had a good laugh too. you know, being a daily blog checker and all...
blessings, and i hope you have a wonderful time relaxing at your Canadian (though maybe not perfectly French-Canadian:o) home!!!

kayder1996 said...

What an adventure with Rose Lisa and her dad. We're glad you're back; we missed you! (Okay mostly just the pictures and the scoop on HCH...) We hope you have a great time in Canada. May your soul and body be refreshed! And you get to enjoy some things Haiti lacks, like really good cheese, cheap Diet Coke, and chocolate that doesn't melt the minute you put it in your hand.