Friday, 10 December 2010

Loss

Wednesday  was a hard day for us in the clinic as we lost three patients. We went down to the clinic on Wednesday morning and the night nurses told us we lost one of the old ladies during the night. The lady had been there from the day before and was continually pulling out her IV fluids. Later that morning we lost another patient, another older lady who had come the morning before severely dehydrated and it took a long time to find a vein for an IV. A few times throughout the day we had to change the IV for various reasons and we just couldn't get  fluid into her as fast  as she was losing it.

Later that  afternoon we lost a little girl who was just  four years old. This was the hardest  for all of us, she came in that morning dehydrated but awake, drinking and talking....screaming even  while the doctors were trying to put an IV in. They  tried and tried but couldn't get one, we continued to give her oral rehydration solution continually. Around 3o'clock her dad told her to the bathroom, had diarrhoea  and she lost all the fluid she had in her wee body and stopped breathing right there, the doctors worked on her for nearly an hour but sadly there was nothing we could do.

It was a particularly difficult day for all our staff and especially the families of those patients who died. Please lift them up in your prayers. It just showed me how awful cholera is, I always thought once you get to  a hospital, get fluids in you will be fine however that is not always the case. The key is time, as soon as someone gets sick they need to get to a hospital as soon as possible. And we need to keep working on educating people on how they can protect  themselves against  cholera.

It  reminded me how fragile life is and how at  any  moment for any of us we never know what is going to happen. One minute that  little girl was sitting up talking and drinking and just  a few minutes later she had stopped breathing. Life is so fragile and not just here in Haiti. We really  need to have an urgency about telling people about God and about what He has done for us and how He alone can save people.

On a different note Hannah and I are thankful to have a team here this week from the states, the team includes 2 doctors and 2 nurses. I don't know what we would have done without them this week. On Tuesday the results of the election were announced and people weren't happy. Wednesday and Thursday brought rioting and roadblocks in town meaning very few of our clinic staff  could come to work. Which would have left me, Hannah  and Dr Rodney in the clinic but thankfully God knows what you need in advance. Things are quiet in the cholera 'hospital' this morning and Hannah and I are taking the opportunity to have some rest  before the team leave tomorrow.

We really need some more help down there, the cholera problem isn't going to go away anytime soon. If you are a doctor or nurse or a physio who knows how to change IV bags and flush out IV's would like to come on a short term trip to help in our clinic please get  in touch with me. We need people asap and I would say willl be needing them for at least the next  couple of months.


On days like Wednesday its hard to look at the positive side of things, but we have treated well over 100 patients some of whom have come in very close to death yet  they have got better and walked out of our wee hospital which we praise the Lord for. On little girl, Neissa was there last week when she came in she wasn't very very sick but we got her IV in and kept her in, she got worse and worse with cholera. Basically you have to let cholera run its course through your body and staying hydrated with IV fluids, antibiotics don't do much because usually patients just throw them up again. Anyway she had 3 full days of being very sick gradually got better. I was out in Vaudrieul the other day and I heard this litte girl say hi Julie, I looked at her said hi and walked on. I never think much when people do that, they always say hello Julie and I never have any idea who they are or I can't remember them!!Anyway I thought about it and figured she just  was one of the loads of kids who know who I am. I stopped to visit someone at their house and she came in. I looked at  her and said 'Neissa' she said yes Julie. I couldn't believe it she looked like a completely different child I didn't even recognise her.

So we are grieving with those families who are grieving over their loss but also rejoicing with those who get completely better. I am thanking God for his strength, if anyone knows me they know I need a lot of sleep and I don't have very much stamina!!!However the only place I am finding physical and emotional strength from is in the Lord and he is enough for what I need. Every now and then I just  look at the things I have done in Haiti this year and if you told me that before I came I would have said no way I could never do that. Yet when you are open and willing to be used by God he gives you what he need for what he has called you to do.

I have quoted this verse a few times but Im just reading through the Christmas story and it comes up right there.....
Luke 1 v 37

'For nothing will be impossible with God.'

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