Journal from Haiti #5

Martin Johnson with child  who has Kwashiker

Martin Johnson with child who has Kwashiker

This journal chronicles the six months my mother spent in Haiti from October, 1987 to February, 1988, working as an RN in a clinic sponsored by a non-profit located in Searcy, Arkansas. Jerry Myhan, Director of the Clinic, had his young family with him. Haitian workers in the clinic served as interpreters, clerks, and medication management. The following is taken from the journal she kept with a little editing on my part.

Euselyn

About 6 P.M. one night as Debbie and I were preparing supper a rapping sounded at our gate. Joseph had sent his young son to us, escorting a couple with their very ill baby.  They had been to a hospital already and were turned away because they had no money. A quick inspection determined the child was an extremely dehydrated 9 month old baby girl. The fontanels (soft spot in the baby’s head) were sunken and the skin on the abdomen was “tenting”.

Debbie and I prepared the re-hydration solution quickly, undressed the baby and found she was burning with fever and was unresponsive.  Lange, our interpreter, arrived and began talking with the parents and helping us. We learned the baby’s name was Euselyn. Her father sat apart from the activity, praying with all his heart.

Mama's hands tending to a sick baby

Mama’s hands tending to a sick baby

We continued to bathe her with cool water and pour the solution down her as best we could. After about an hour she began responding; in another hour she was trying to hold the cup. It was something to behold!

Lange and I went to the clinic for medicines. We then loaded the parents and Euselyn into the van and took them home, making sure they understood the instructions to continue the fluids all night. As we drove away, the three of us felt very good about our work, feeling we had saved her life with God’s help.

Children, no matter where they live, tug at our heart.

Children, no matter where they live, tug at our heart.

The next day her parents brought her to the clinic. Her fever was down, and she was well hydrated — but she appeared to be very, very ill. We kept her there all day – began antibiotic injections and continued fluids, but the diarrhea continued.

A group of Lion’s Club people from Florida arrived during the day with a huge shipment of medications, always welcome to our little clinic. But the extra bodies, noise, and boxes distracted all of us from Euselyn. By late afternoon her tired little body stopped fighting. She was gone.

Saturday Debbie and I took food and money for the funeral to Euselyn’s house. Sunday we attended the funeral and went with other mourners to the house to sing, pray, and receive the refreshments they served.

These 3 year old twins are named Issack and Daniel.

These 3 year old twins are named Issack and Daniel.

Later we learned their neighbors “déshukad” (uprooted) them because of jealousy over our help! They were forced to leave their house and all their belongings. They lived with a relative, but continued to faithfully attend church services.

This couple continued to show their  appreciation to us – bringing us a dozen fresh eggs as a gift. Later when Debbie had malaria, they came for a visit, to sing and pray over her.

Giving thanks today for 

  • medical skills and medicine to heal sick and malnourished children 
  • parents who seek God’s help when children are sick
  • hundreds of mission teams of healthy adults and teenagers this summer to developing nations to show the love of Jesus with hands to feed, build, teach, and heal
  • the teams from McKenzie Church of Christ and Madison Church of Christ leaving in a few days for Hondorus

Groupchildren.2See David’s blog (my brother) about his trip to Honduras here.

JoyMartell

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