Last week was an incredible one in the prosthetics lab. 4 more haitians went from one leg and crutches to two legs. :)
We had two little boys, one 4, Junior, and one 7, Kervins. I am in love with both of them!!!
We also had Desire, who's been waiting to marry his fiance until he found someone to make him a leg... this puts tears in my eyes as I write! These two were truly in love, and soooo happy and grateful that Desire finally got a leg! He was a pre-earthquake amputee, and his leg got taken as he was walking down the road and a car hit him. Lastly, we had a sweet old man named Jean Pierre, (sorry, no photos), but I truly loved him too! He was told after his surgery that he'd never walk again, as there were complications with the amputation. BUT, he was a miracle case who got up the first time after putting his leg on, and walked all around the lab with no crutches or parallel bars, and NO PAIN!!! Miracle. :)
Hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I do. :)
Junior after. :)
Kervins before (he's secretly my favorite, so here's two for good measure :).
Desire and soon to be Madame Desire. i love these two!!!
... a video of our prosthetic patients singing worship the whole way home as we take them home to their tent city. some of the lyrics are: "Jesus is with me... then WHAT should I fear. Nothing Nothing Nothing Nothing Nothing!.. Even if my house collapses.. Nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing!... Even if I lose a leg.. Nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing!..."
Most of you that know me (especially you, mom) will be very surprised when I tell you this, b/c there’s about nothing on the planet more out of my comfort/non-fainting zone.
Thursday night was just like any other night after a long day of work. I was just sitting at a table with some of the summer interns, just popping open a cold coke. Then, someone came up on a truck, yelling to all of us that there’s been a HUGE accident right outside the mission. Apparently, a cow caused a 3 car pile-up, one of which was a huge tap-tap (public transportation in Haiti- about 20 ppl crammed in the back of a pick-up). When I heard the news, I really didn’t want to go down to the hospital. If you know me at all, you know it just takes a measly shot to make me pass out. But for some reason, I thought I should go. I knew they were going to need translators, and I thought I could help a little. I prayed God would make me strong, and that he would save these people’s lives. I heard that accident was terrible.
I’m not sure all the details of the wreck, but within about five minutes, our ambulances began pouring in with more and more Haitians that were bloody, crying, throwing up, and with mangled bodies. Double broken femurs. Feet hanging off by a flap of skin. Head injuries. Open flesh everywhere, with bones popping out.
It felt like the earthquake. Again.
We didn’t have enough doctors (we had two, and no orthopedic docs), or nurses (again, two), and about 20 people that were non-medical like me, running around and trying to get supplies, morphine, etc to those that needed it. There were about 20 Haitians lying on stretchers outside our clinic, with docs running around evaluating who needed to be transferred to other hospitals first. The man with the feet hanging off was first. When he arrived at General Hospital in our ambulance, they refused him. They said they couldn’t handle his case, b/c their Operating Room wasn’t “sterile” enough. This is THE MAIN HOSPITAL in the country. And they don’t have a sterile OR. The man needed both legs amputated to live. He was going to die if they didn’t at least TRY. But they wouldn’t. By the time we could get him to a different, private hospital, 2 hours later, he had died.
All through the night, people from the MOH team and short term team members were transferring all the patients out to other hospitals, whoever that would take them. As far as we know, everyone else made it.
But my heart still aches for the man that had to die. I feel angry. If the same accident happened in America, he would have lived. No hospital would refuse him.
My heart feels burdened for the Haitians, who have absolutely no idea the comfort that we live in in America. Or the medical care. Or the physical therapy. Yesterday, I was thinking of this contrast: In one tent city I go to, (that is fortunate to have ANY physical therapy), about 50 patients wait all day long to be seen by one physical therapist, outside, in about 100 degree weather, with almost NO MATERIALS/TOOLS. Patients don’t know what they are missing. Compare this with any PT center in America. Air conditioned. With ramps. Parallel bars. Every kind of elastic with different tensions you could ever dream of. No sacrifices are made. Patients are given the best.
Don’t Haitians deserve the same? It’s so hard for me. Why is America so privileged, and Haiti is so destitute, forgotten?
Post earthquake, there are 1000s of Haitians that still need SO MUCH help, yet help is slowing down remarkably. Even as far as the prosthetics lab. We can’t find people to come down for much of the fall. I feel really discouraged right now, and need prayer. Haiti needs prayer too. Lots of it.
we have a small little 10 day assignment for all of you... just to keep us fresh on working together... while raising asome money for work in Haiti... here is whats going on...
Chase bank is giving away over $5 million dollars, all to charities that have small operating budgets (under $1 million dollars.) They are having a voting contest on Facebook and the top vote getter wins $250,000. The next 4 spots get $100,000 each. The top 200 charities get $20,000 each.
There are 10 days left. We just found out about it yesterday, but because we are competing with small organizations, we really think Lespwa can win. The voting is on Facebook, and you can vote for up to 20 organizations, so share the love, and get out to the e-ballot-voting-stations. And you can even pretend that you have an "I Voted" sticker to wear around.
We believe that if we can get 1000 votes (we already have 150+ in 12 hours), we can win $20,000. Our goal -- and prayer -- is that we could get 20,000+ votes and possibly win $250,000. Either way, your vote could be worth $10-$20 dollarsTo do this, WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!
After you vote, (or if you are not on facebook) here is what is what you can do to help:1. Stand on your rooftop and shout (electronically through email)2. Put a link to the voting on your facebook wall3. Personally message at least 10 people encouraging them to vote, and then tell their friends!4. If you haven't voted, stop reading, and get out to the polls. Pretend it's election day if you need to!5. Write a similar blog to this (you have permission to plagiarize this blog if you want) asking your friends to help6. Take a minute to pray for the people of Haiti. Regardless of this contest, God will continue his restoration of Haiti, and we ask that you pray for the Haitian people. If you don't like praying, or don't believe in prayer. Tell God that too. 7. Tweet it, Digg it, Status it, and Stumble it, Etc it. (if you don't know what any of this means, or you are over the age of 40, you can skip this step)8. Go to our friend, Brooks Potteiger's website, and choose one of his awesome pictures from Haiti. (If you like some of his photo's please support him as well.) Then make that photo your profile picture on facebook, tag a bunch of friends, and make this the photo text: "I have personally selected you to vote for Lespwa Worldwide to help us win $250,000 dollars. Click here to vote: http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/charities/205019981-lespwa-worldwide-inc. After you finish voting, which takes just a minute!, please download a picture from http://brooksphoto.smugmug.com/Travel/Perspectives-of-Haiti/12772131_mm5MF#920294482_ZYk8e and tag all of your most awesome friends as well!"
Also, if you need it, here is the link to send to your friends for voting: http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/charities/205019981-lespwa-worldwide-incThere is a rumor going around that a Jeremy, Austin, Diana and I (Jay) will be making a youtube rap video, along with our Haitian friends, to send out to you all this weekend. If this rumor is true, we will let you know, and you can proudly show this video to all of your friends. The tentative title for the video (and this is secret for you guys only) is "Vote your socks off!" We are open to other video titles/ideas. If you have one that you think is better than that, please post your ideas in the comments below. Thanks a lot for reading, caring, and praying. Thanks for supporting and believing in us, and thank you for loving us.