Saturday, December 14, 2013

LaGonave Part 1

We headed back to our beloved island on December 6th. We crossed the sea on the Wesleyan former lobster boat, The Breezy Sea, with others heading over to participate in the 3rd annual LaGonave Development Forum.

We arrived in time to put our bags in our room at the new Wesleyan guesthouse and wash up for a tasty  lunch. Some of the groups represented stayed at their own locations in town but most ate at least one meal together.

Over 12 different organizations sent representatives to discuss topics like: poverty, Haitian laws for non-profit organizations, medical care, education, agriculture. The meetings ran Friday afternoon and all day Saturday.

On Sunday we attended the Wesleyan church followed by Missionary church. I'd planned to talk some with Miss Vero, a dear friend and head nurse in charge of the hospital but we ended up spending our time together in the operating room. Vero provided the spinal anesthesia while I assisted Dr. Shawn in a C-section for twins.

Mom and babies did very well. We ended up consulting several other pregnant women in the hospital Sunday night as well.

During the meetings Eli and Anna spent most of their time playing with the other children on the Wesleyan compound but Eli did find a bit of time to study and read. Anna read two books for school.

Everything went well. That evening we sorted through the medical supplies that the DecAid [link to their Facebook page] project collected and filled boxes for the next day's home visits in Nan Mango.

They invited our family to join their team so we spent 3 days before we headed home. In the village, Nan Mango, my Dad built a church when we lived in Haiti in the mid-70's.

Monday morning we loaded up in a truck, a 4 wheeler and 1 motorcycle to head up the mountain. We saw a few patients before lunch and a few more houses after lunch. The trip takes close to 1.5 hours and so we headed down the mountain about 3 p.m.

On the way down being in the truck cab with Vero I learned about a C-section. Dr. Shawn headed down before us on the quad runner with Anna. Vero and I were dropped off at the hospital while the rest of the team returned to the guesthouse.

The Haitian medical team not knowing we'd started back home [phones do not work everywhere in the mountains] already started the section. Vero took over the monitoring for the mother and I gloved to accept the baby.

Unfortunately the baby did not breath immediately and as we worked to necessitate her it became obvious that both neurological damage and some type of bleeding problem would severely complicate our efforts.

When Dr. Shawn arrived one of the Haitian doctors asked for a consult on a young women, hospitalized a while but getting worse. We consulted her, performed an ultrasound and set her up for possible surgery.

We ended up operating on her that night for what turned out to be a large abdominal abscess complicating an ectopic [not in the uterus] pregnancy. She started to improve the very next day.

Without the surgery or a miracle this young woman's infection and bleeding would have taken her life shortly.

The newborn baby girl did not survive the night despite one on one medical care.

End of day 4 on LaGonave.

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