Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sweet girl suffering...

One of the patients that tugged at my heart the most was a 10 year old that came to us from the Medishare hospital on Friday, February 19th. She has a broken lower leg on the right side which is in a long leg cast and a broken upper leg on the left side which is being fixed with an external fixator (pins). She also has a nasty ulcer like lesion on her lower back as a result of burns she suffered during the earthquake. She came to us with her aunt. However, we soon realized that her aunt was not the most committed. Apparently aunt had a job and so was gone a lot during the first few days. I started worrying however, during my last week there, when I did not see the aunt at all over a 4 day period. By the time I left Haiti, it has been a week since the aunt showed up. I am worried about what this means. Has this 10 year old been left at the clinic for good? Or is the aunt trying to do her best for her by making money to provide for her once she is discharged? Apparently the child's mother and siblings are living in the countryside, her father died in the earth quake. Long before the quake, her parents had sent her to Port-au-Prince to live with an aunt. I think they just could not take care of her as well as her other siblings and maybe hoped for a better life for her in Port-au-Prince. Unfortunately she has not yet begun school...

Everyday we spent some time with this girl. Doing her woundcare; cleaning her pins and her open wound on her back. Praying for her. Sitting with her. Helping her on a bed pan. Trying to teach her to make a bracelet. Etc.

There were a couple of moments that my heart broke for her. One time was at around 7:30 am one morning when we found this girl in her tent, laying on soaked sheets. We have no idea how long she had been laying on wet sheets or why they were wet (sweat? pee? trying to wash herself?) but were heartbroken to find her like, wishing her caretaker would actually show up to care for her or that the night nurses would check in on her now and then. Poor girl was trying to clean herself up with wet wipes. We got her out of bed, onto a clean, dry cot and took her outside to join the other children already situated out under the mango tree. We changed her bed and hoped that this situation would not repeat itself. It didn't. However, we did often have to go to her tent in the mornings to get her onto a cot and out under the tree so she wouldn't remain lying on her bed in the very hot tent till late in the morning. You see, most of the other children had caretakers to move them out, or the children could go out themselves.

Another issue was worms. This girl was unfortunate to be without a caretaker, not be able to go to the bathroom on her own, and have worms. For us, this meant helping her get onto a bed pan multiple times a day. And on 4 occassions it meant disposing of worms. Let's just say that was definitely one of my least pleasant experiences while in Haiti. Bless her though, she's had it rough. Praise God that after 2 albendazole treatments it seems she has been cured.

Pray for this girl. She needs it. She has been in the hospital/post-op ward for weeks now; since the earth quake. And she still has weeks to go. Her follow-up appointment at Medishare is on the 20th. Let's pray for healed bones. And let's pray for her future- that her aunty would come back for her or that she would be able to move to the countryside where her mother lives. This girl needs to be shown the Father's love. She needs to know that when people abandon her, there is a loving Father who welcomes her with open arms, all the time. Lord, be with this girl and touch her heart and touch the heart of her aunty and mother too.

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~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~