Close to one year ago the disastrous earthquake struck Haiti, killing thousands of people and leaving millions homeless. Hope is still elusive for many of the Haitian people. First the earthquake, then political unrest, and now the cholera epidemic. Hope seems unattainable.
Haitians, though, have a history of seeing hope when it appears there is no hope. Many of them deal with disasters every single day. Will I find enough money to feed my family? Will I find money to send my child to school? The earthquake, political unrest, and the cholera epidemic were only three more things to include into their daily list of struggles and trials.
Does this mean they do not need aid? NO, it means we have to do all we can to help. Who will provide a home for the homeless? Who will care for the sick?
God has enabled us, through the help of YOU, our generous supporters, to meet the needs of many Haitians who need homes and care.
Bethanie Burkholder from the CAM clinic in La Source, Haiti, writes that the cholera epidemic has slowed in the past couple of weeks. She states, the number of cholera patients has suddenly diminished. All through December we had 41-50 new cholera admissions each week, but Dec. 26-January 1 we had only 27 new admissions–our lowest number of new patients per week since November! It feels wonderful to have time and energy for more than just sleeping, eating, and taking care of patients. Oh, it is good!
The La Source clinic received new IV solution, Lactated Ringers instead of regular Ringers. The difference between the two IV solutions means the difference between life and death for some patients. Lactated Ringers gives the patients the electrolytes that regular Ringer Solution doesn’t. The new Lactated Ringers has been such a blessing!
Another blessing, someone donated an EZ-IO kit to us. Bethanie explains, this is essentially a drill with which to insert the intraosseous IV lines that we resort to using when we cannot get an IV into someone’s veins because the person is too severely dehydrated. No more pushing and sweating and bending of needles in order to obtain access to the bone. One of the amazing things about the acquisition of this kit is that we had to use it the day after we received it. An older lady came in severely dehydrated. We attempted to get an IV into her numerous times and couldn’t and decided we had better try this new drill before she breathes her last. Perfect timing! We gave her an infusion through her bone until she was hydrated enough that we could get an IV into her veins instead.
Before picture of the lady that the EZ-IO was first used on.
An example of the wrinkled, “wash-lady” hands of severe dehydration
Bethanie writes about this little fellow …this is another fellow we started off with an interosseous line (into the bone) after searching in vain for veins. Can you believe that less than 12 hours before this picture was taken, this boy was thrashing around with sunken eyes and an absent radial pulse (pulse at the wrist and an extremely low blood pressure)? He was saying, “I’m dying, I’m dying!” We’re glad to say he didn’t die, but instead was discharged 48 hours later, looking good.
Nurse Becky, a volunteer with one of the pediatric patients.
For more information on similar projects please click here.