Praise God - this is the little boy with the big head wound and broken (but as yet un-set) femur- he was feeling so well that this morning he was coloring! Somehow, we found some crayons (well perhaps that wasn't so hard, this is a K-12 school, after all!). He was doing much better.
Below, several medical personnel have arrived and each have tended to the boy. Here is Miquette, our school nurse, changing his bandages for his deep head wounds. We had no sutures, which he needed, so instead we've just kept it clean best we could. His leg is splinted, but not set. He was gone when Ben and I returned to the school at dinnertime, I pray he was transferred to a more advanced medical team.
Yesterday I led several students in working to clean up the elementary library, which was a complete wreck- all 10,000 books on the floor. We threw books on shelves and put the shelves against the wall so people can sleep on the floor- rescue and aid teams have begun arriving in droves. Many students and parents come up to the school often to check things out and see if they can help- lots are working as translators for aid teams.
Here are our sweet little refugees- the 30 children from Three Angels orphanage. They've been sleeping on this porch for four nights. Most Haitians are still refusing to sleep indoors. Apparently Haitian radio keeps telling them more earthquakes are coming. Haitian radio also told them that putting toothpaste on their upper lips will protect them from germs from decomposing bodies, so many were sporting that look today. Abbey, the Three Angels intern, hopefully received some support today- after 4 days on her own, some of her supporters/board members were to arrive today to help find a more permanent home for the kiddos.
To give the Three Angels kids some much-needed stress relief, the "young teachers" from Quisqueya took the kids off the porch to run around on the "big kid"/older elementary playground. This sweet one was my sidekick. They are wild. They've learned two new words in English- "helicopter" and "ladybug". They aren't sleeping well- most still wet the bed at 4, 5, and 6.
Today we left Quisqueya all day to go work at Quisqueya Chapel (related name, not related organization- although many Quisqueya Christian School teachers attend worship there). Quisqueya Chapel was hosting several relief groups setting up a medical clinic. We were advised to wear masks- the bodies still not picked up by officials are getting to a dangerous point of decomposition. Remember, its 95 degrees here.
Most of the injuries today were broken bones and wounds that have received no care. I was assigned to work on minor wounds. We would be sent a patient from the triage tent, then unpack whatever dressing was already on it and a nurse would assess if it was minor enough for me to treat myself. Some Haitian herbal remedies have been used to disastrous effect- putting pieces of wood in wound, etc. Almost every wound was infected and smelled terrible. I would take gauze and iodine and rub it well (at which point they began screaming, usually), then put on antibiotic cream and a new bandage. Everybody left with ibuprofin, a multivitamin, and clean bandages to use in the coming days.
Let me tell you, I saw things today I have never seen in my life. Scabies. The inside of a wrist. Bones sticking out. I helped pour saline on a woman's fingers throughout a procedure where a nurse practitioner from Texas (we were fast friends after seeing he wore a Cowboys shirt with his scrubs!) cut the tips off of two fingers that were gangrenous. Topical numbing only. Oh she wailed.... we did this in a courtyard. Cows and chickens were not 100 feet away. But, she's not going to die of gangrene or even lose her entire fingers now.
This little one came at the end of the day. This baby is 20 days old and weighed under 4 lbs, I'd guess. She won't nurse and the family can't afford bottles. Severe dehydration and malnourishment. They got an IV line in somehow and rushed in fluids and formula.
Somebody found a sucker, which quieted this little one while they set her arm in a cast. It's been broken for four days- no medical care. They had to really hurt her in order to get it set in a cast correctly, but now she will heal.
While I was helping with wound care, Ben was carrying stretchers. Many people's broken bones (legs, ankles, feet) are so bad now they cannot walk. Ben would carry them from triage to the medical stations on a backboard. The UN showed up -some Pakistani troops - when they saw a crowd. They saw things were under control so they went on. It makes me feel safe to know they're in the neighborhood- looting will be much less likely I assume if their presence is seen around.
After putting in the IV and testing her blood sugar, guess who got to pet and love the teeny baby? :) I sang to her in Swahili :)
Hakuna Mungu kama wewe!
There was also a feeding program. People got to come in the gates of the church a bunch at a time, come get "Manna Packs", and all were prayed for. Manna Packs are rice with freeze-dried vegetables inside and a high protein count. They're ready to boil and eat- 12 servings a bag.
Such a satisfying day. So great to be useful and helping. We'll stay here as long as we're safe and useful - comfort be damned.
Els Verloet, who coordinates our alumni relations at Quisqueya, has been the point person on school communication. She's been accounting for all 300 students and 40 staff without cell phones. Her latest Facebook message to Quisqueya alumni and staff tells you what was up at the campus today while we were at the clinic:
"At one gate a DR medical team came asking to put them to work, at the same time at the other gate a truck arrived from Dan O'Neil with medical supplies and more, while at the front gate a truckload of wounded Haitians showed up begging for medical help. It's easy to do the job when God is in charge."
This is my husband's Facebook status, (and right now mine also) After I read it, I sat down and wept.
God, You are awesome!!! Today was a day that more and more things started to fall in place. I have so many medical teams that I can put to work, but lacking the medical supplies. Lord, perform miracles and bring us those very much needed supplies.
The German medical team was working the whole day at Hospital Espoir. I had (former) QCS students and some staff members interpreting for them. CRI (Crisis Response International) team was out in Leogane. More medical teams from Dominican World Vision and another medical group through Paola Diaz showed up. A truck with food, water and medical supplies collected by Carolle O'Neil showed up. At the same time, a truckload of wounded Haitian came and one of the Dominican teams was put to work within 10 minutes after their arrival with very minimum equipment.
Some former QCS students came with laptops, satellite phone and internet system to be put into place tonight at QCS. That way I can work directly from school and can save fuel by not having to drive up and down from my house (Thank you, Lord)
I have more people coming in tomorrow, and 2 plane loads of medical supplies ready to be brought in (Lord, get these supplies here a.s.a.p)
I have 4 requests in front on me for interpreters (our Junior and Senior class and some staff members will be going out tomorrow).
Love you all!