We arrived in Port au Price at about 2pm on Saturday, March 20, this time flying Copa Airlines, a commercial flight. We were greeted by the banjo band you see below plucking out a spirited little tune that was short and continually repeating. What a big difference from the first time!
We were taken to a warehouse that served as customs, baggage claim, and immigration. Thankfully all of our bags arrived with us and we made the trek to the top of the mountain arriving at Baptist Haiti Mission later that afternoon. It feels strangely home-like and almost as if I hadn't left. We have several surgeries planned for tomorrow. One of which is to remove the hardware from Yonel's right arm. You will remember him as the 12 year old shepherd boy who, while tending his sheep, suffered a crush injury of his right arm and leg. He is healing great! His wonderful, bright spirit demonstrates the joy of the Lord Jesus! He has won the hearts of all those here at the mission compound where he has been since the earthquake. Unfortunately his mother, also pictured below with Yonel and me, is suffering from terminal breast cancer that has spread to her lungs and she is not expected to survive much longer. Pray for her, Yonel and his siblings who also lost their father in the earthquake.
Today we started a regular schedule and did 4 surgeries. Yonel's surgery went well and he now has a cast where his pins were along with a leg cast to help improve his overall mobility. Below is today's picture of us caring for another young man with a broken leg. The surgeons are finishing the fitting of the cast while he is under some light sedation.
Tuesday, March 23 Dr. Wolff broke the slowing afternoon schedule when he announced that he needed my help urgently to examine and close a head wound in an 11 year old child. The boy had fallen from something earlier in the morning and fractured the front of his skull above his nose and had brain leaking out of the wound (I'll spare you by not including the gory picture.) A quick exam revealed a somnolent child in urgent need of care. Below we are pictured doing "brain surgery" which in this case consisted of examining the fracture site, reapproximating the bones and closing the thick lining over the brain with some surgical mesh. He woke up easily, praise the Lord, and we moved him to our make shift ICU which is the pre and post op area just outside the OR. He continued to improve over night and moved him to a regular bed the following day. I'll keep you posted on his progress.
Here he is today, Wednesday, March 24 resting comfortably. Please pray for him as he continues to recover and that he will not contract an infection from his brain wound or develop a cerebrospinal fluid leak.
Farah is one of the sweet ladies we helped in January by putting on an external "fixator" that is holding the bones of her leg together and aligned while they heal. You can see it on her left leg as black rods on each side. It continues all the way to her left hip. This morning we encouraged her and several other women up and out of bed to walk for some physical therapy. We even joked with them that they were racing against one another from one end of the room to the other as we cheered them on. You can see her competition behind her right shoulder...an elderly women with a healing left femur fracture.
Daniela was injured in the earthquake when a wall fell on her right leg. We got to know her early on and managed to resist doing an amputation of her badly mangled extremity with much exposed bone. We are grateful to the Lord for leading us with His wisdom in not proceeding with an amputation! After much wound care by the various teams over the last two months that included a skin graft, you can see that her skin is now healed and she is walking!
Here is Madam Kafa again still hard at work in the OR! At this moment she is ooo-ing and ahhhh-ing as she has just received a "SonSet". These are solar powered radios pre-programed to receive up to 5 local FM Christian radio stations. This is one of the many ministries of HCJB. One of our team members brought 100 of them to give out to those we meet who are interested in learning more about the Gospel and growing in their faith in Christ by listening to radio broadcasts.