Sunday, December 9, 2012

Ti Jimson and Medical Reality Here in Haiti...

This morning I sit in a hospital in La Pointe, Haiti with a precious 12 year old boy, Ti Jimson, who is battling infection throughout his body.  He now sleeps on a hospital cot with a blanket rolled up under his head, IV in his little foot, a diaper wrapped around his little bottom, and a pillow case draped over his body to give him comfort since he can’t have clothes on because his fever comes and goes.  For the last seven days, this has been us.  We wait for answers, we wait for the doctor to come every morning, we wait for the nurses to check in every few hours, he takes medicine, he tries his best to keep food down, he shivers, he cries, he looks into my eyes and expresses his feelings without any words.

Last Saturday afternoon, I was reminded of the medical process here in Haiti.  I scooped Ti Jimson into my arms as he needed to go to the maternity section of the mission to get his hemoglobin checked.  They had to turn the generator on for power in order to do this.  In just a few seconds, we received the news that his hemoglobin had gone from 5g to 3g in one day.  Dr. Simone immediately had us go to the hospital which is about 40 minutes away from the mission because he required a blood transfusion.  Once there, one of the Miriam Center nurses and I walked him to the emergency room.  She paid for a dossier for him, and I sat in a chair with him as everyone just stared at this sick boy in my arms. 
I must say, I was impressed with the quickness of the emergency department of the hospital.  Within 30 minutes, they had an IV in him and were transferring us to the pediatric “in patient” room.  After a few hours, I quickly realized that Ti Jimson would need a private room because he could not battle infection with 17 other pediatric patients and their families in the same room.  On Saturday evening, I made the best decision I could have ever made on a whim…we walked down the hallway and this precious boy now had his own room.  For so many Haitians this is not an option because it costs about $30USD a night and a 5 night deposit is demanded before transferring.  The room is simple, but clean (minus a few mosquitos and a dusty fan) and quiet…priceless in my eyes!
Ti Jimson received the emergency blood transfusion on Saturday night.  I looked on the bag of blood, and it was donated by a visiting doctor on November 6, 2012.  In the states we always hear about the “gift of life” but here I was seeing it with my very own eyes.  On Monday morning, we received the news that Ti Jimson’s hemoglobin was 7.3!!!  Although we praised this report, we still needed answers.  Ti Jimson has been coughing, having fevers up to 105.1, liver is enlarged, refusing to eat, crying in pain, etc.  The pediatrician has been wonderful, but only has time to see him once a day because she is the only pediatrician right now.  Her time is stretched thin between the ER patients, the clinic patients, the orphanage patients, and the hospital patients. 
Every day has presented with more tests and more medications.  It has gone through my head, “are we simply putting a Band-Aid on the situation or are we indeed treating something?”  Pneumonia meds, fever meds, malaria preventative meds, etc.  Blood work is looking better and the chest x-ray doesn’t look too bad anymore either.  Wednesday and Thursday nights were quite the scare with a 105.1 fever, no eating, diarrhea, respiratory distress etc.  An emergency IV was given as well as 2 shots (one for fever and one for respiratory trouble.)  Again, the Lord became our Great Physician…the medicine worked both nights.  I finally feel like the little guy might make it.  I sit here just praying over his little body that the fever does not come back, that he keeps his food down, and that he rests to gain all the strength he has lost this past week.  I truly believe that God wants this child to have one more miracle to add to his collection!  See, he is already a miracle in so many ways…he is a special needs child living in Haiti, he is a true orphan, and he has battled many illnesses in his short life. 
I could go on and on, but it is not needed.  I simply want you to ask for a hedge of protection over this sweet boy.  His body is weak, and it needs strength.  May he feel loved each day that he fights, may he be comforted when he hurts, and may he be a LIVING testimony of God’s love for all of those like him! 
Little story for this season of giving…
A nurse came in last night, and saw that we had two thermometers on our shelf (one being an old fashioned mercury one.)  She said, “You have much thermometers, could you give me one?”  She is a nurse at a hospital in Haiti and she needs a thermometer!  She said we had “MUCH” and we had two…reality, for sure!