Thursday, 16 August 2018

Calling all physios, OTs and SLTs

I am planning a UK therapy team to come and work alongside Altidor and I in March 2019.  Here are some Q&A's and if you are interested or want any more information just get in touch with me. 

What are the dates?
12th - 23rd March 2019 which includes travel time.

How much will it cost?
The exact cost is to be confirmed but it will likely cost £1300 - £1500.  This figure will change depending on flight prices.  This cost includes travel, accommodation, food, internet, beach trip and police check.  

Where will we stay?

You will be staying at a guesthouse on the OMS campus.  This is also where you will eat all your meals.  The campus has electricity all day, internet and 24 hour security.  The clinic is situated on the same campus and is a 5 minute walk from the guest house. 

Where will be working and what sort of equipment do you have?

You will be working in the new therapy room at Bethesda Medical Centre.  We have a paediatric area, 3 plinths, a bar, stairs, gymballs, theraband, wobble boards and lots of splints and supports. 

What will we be doing?

Your role will be to treat patients in the mornings, anything from strokes, to back pain, to paediatric neurological conditions. We will also be using this time to focus on some 1-1 training with Altidor.  During these treatment sessions you will also have opportunities to share the gospel and to pray with patients.  In the afternoons we will invite 20 local Haitian physiotherapy technicians to come for education and training.  We will also be able to do a few community visits.

I would like to have a one or two SLTs on the team..  The role of an SLT in this context would be to create communication boards, working alongside a translator, working with patients who are suffering from aphasia, dysphagia and dsyarthria.  It would also be helpful to do some training with local physio technicians as there are very very few SLTs in Haiti. 

Our goal for this team is not only to show the love of Christ through helping people physically but also to train up Haitian physios so they can do their job better.

How many will be on the team?

I am aiming for a small team of 4-6 people. 

What skills do I need?

Altidor and I  treat a lot of strokes, undiagnosed neurological conditions and paedicatric neurological conditions such as CP.  We also see a lot of back pain and general joint pain.  Having never worked in paeds I would love someone with experience in paeds to do some more specific training with Altidor.  On the other hand I have found that very simple things make a huge difference so if you didn't have any neuros experience I wouldn't let that put you off. 

Why does Haiti need therapists?

Haiti has a handful of fully qualified physiotherapists, even fewer occupational therapists and even fewer speech therapists.  The first Haitian university degree for physiotherapy and occupational therapy began in 2015, it is a 4 year degree and will have its first graduates in 2019.  Any other Haitian who is working in the profession has trained outside of Haiti.  There is no where in country a Haitian can go to train to be a speech therapist.  Before the 2010 earthquake therapy was mostly unheard but there was such a huge need for therapy after the earthquake that there were many foreign therapists visiting to provide rehabilitation services for those injured in the earthquake.  Today the Haitian government estimate there are more then 900,000 people living with disability in Haiti. 

The training we will do will be with physiotherapy technicians who have done two years of schooling and are eager for more training so they can improve the treatment of their patients. 

How do I apply?

You will need to apply through OMS UK you can do this by going to their website.  Once you have filled out this 'getting to know you form' you will be sent a short application form to fill out.  Along with this form you will need two referees.  After this you will attend a short interview to be accepted onto the team.  OMS is an evangelical non denominational organisation and the overall purpose of teams is always to help the spread of the gospel and glorify God through the work teams are doing. 

If you have any further questions or want to know how to apply through OMS please email me

Sunday, 12 August 2018

go go go

Things have been all go since we got home three weeks ago (Hence there has been no update!). We have almost finished all our appointments (thankfully) and have had a great time catching up with family and friends.

After arriving back in Haiti last year completely exhausted we are trying to pace ourselves this year but its so hard when you know you are only here for a short period of time you just want to spend all your time with the people you miss when your away.  Needless to say I am not very good at pacing myself and just staying at home and having a rest so I am pretty tired as are the boys.  Meeting lots of people and going to new places really takes it out of them.

The boys are really enjoying seeing their friends but especially family.  Joel wants to go to his Grannys house all day everyday and Sam loves playing with his cousins.  Jacob has had a great time meeting the other side of his family and has not been strange with anyone which has been great.

Bill has been going to my mums everyday to work and get prepared for this upcoming semester, where he will be teaching three courses as well as continuing with his masters.  Its going to be a busy semester for Bill.

The timing of our trip has been great as we have been able to go to a couple of special events. On Wednesday we were went to Pip and Isamels wedding.  Pip was one of the five girls I lived with at university and between me being in Haiti, Cat being in South Africa, Pip being in New Zeland then England its been almost seven years since the five of us have been in the same country at the same time.  It was so great to be there and celebrate with Pip.

We left for Haiti in June 2016 and just 8 weeks later our nephew, Ben was born, we met him last June but missed his first birthday but today he turns 2 and we were able to go to his birthday party last night which was great.

Its been great to be able to go to our home church these past three Sundays, we always appreciate being able to worship in English.  We are also so thankful to the support of our home church and often can't believe the number of people who tell us they are praying for us.

We have spoken at a couple of meetings but things get busier from now with having to share every Sunday morning and evening plus a mid week from now until we leave for Haiti.  Today were off to Glenarm baptist for both the morning and evening service. 

I'll leave you with a few photos...

After having three daughters my mum and dad have ended up with five grandsons!

Jenni and I have been friends since we were we have 6 boys between us, Toby is the oldest at 5!

Jacob enjoyed meeting some of my friends babies who have been born during this last year we have been away. 


 One of the things I was able to do on during my time at home in Northern Ireland during covid was some more training, specifically in paedi...