Don’t Untie That Knot!

It is Friday. Ninety or more people are thinking that they should be seen sooner rather than later. The beds are full. One lady is in labor. And then, this boy shows up.
    He looks not too bad from the start. But he has these rags around his stomach. And they are oozing intestinal stuff. And we need a hospital bed.

    By afternoon we had a bed for the white-faced boy. We started to unwrap him, and then the doctor said, “Just leave it go. Don’t untie that knot. He needs a surgery.”
    The big problem is that they are having demonstrations on the Streets by the hospital, and we don’t know if it is possible to arrive safely in the hospital.
    And then, to heighten the dilemma, the dad leaves, and walks off with the mule he came on. Now what? This man could be dying! Should we put in an IV or not? One doctor says do, the other one says don’t….What if he dies on our hands?
     Donovan and Mali jumped on the one machine and tried to go find the father of the 20 year old boy so that we could get help for him.
     Finally, the dad was found walking down the road. We were so glad he was showing up. But not for long, soon he walked out the gate again, just as we were loading the ambulance to go to town! A helpful neighbor went and made him return.
      Finally, at about seven o’clock in the night, we had a ride ready to go to Port-au-Prince, to see if we could find someone who would receive a man with intestinal fluids running out of his umbilicus. The ride was as crazy as usual. Bounce. Bump. IV pulls loose. Machine stops. IV is repaired. Bounce. Bump.
    Nearing midnight, we arrive at our first prospective hospital. The doctor says they don’t have the machines to operate on the man, and that we need to go to the general hospital. We go.
   We find one helpful man who gets in to see the doctor. The doctor says we can stay. But then a crime scene is brought into the hospital, and among all the yelling and noise, the doctors are all obligated to leave for security reasons.  The young doctor apologizes, tells us that he can’t help us, and the patients who are sprawled here and there in the emergency room get ready to leave, without having been helped. We find someone to show us out the back door, to avoid walking by the yelling, blood, and danger zone.
    We sit in our machine with our angry, hungry patient, who is hungry, full of IV fluids, and in pain. A rat walks by.
     We sigh, pray, and wonder how we got here. Hours away from home, turned out of the second hospital.
    God gives us one hopeful thought at this moment, as the stench of our patient washes over us. How about Bernard Bevves hospital? It is expensive, but what are we going to do to save this man’s life?
     We go out on the road, drive through the dangerous streets, and honk our horn as we arrive at the third hospital for the night.
    “We can’t help you,” they say. I got out of the machine, and walked by a man with a gun.
    “Where can I give some information?” I asked.
     They showed me to an office, and opened the gate for Donovan to pull in the machine. By a miracle from God, there was a team from Canada on campus, and they seemed very helpful.
     We were able to get a CAT scan, a surgery lined up, and leave that spot by about 2:30 am. But the story was not over that easy. The next day, after the Canadian team was gone, and we were on our way, trying to get home, the phone rang.
    “We don’t have a place for your patient,” the voice rambled.
    I couldn’t believe it. He was supposed to be in surgery! Will I ever understand this country????
    By the mercy of the Lord, our patient was able to stay the week-end. We made a lot of phone calls, prayed a lot, and waited. This is Tuesday, and our patient was finally able to see a doctor today, I believe.
    We are hoping to bring our patient home sometime this week to continue recovery.

     Just for fun, I am throwing a picture of our present team in here. We ran away from the compound Saturday evening about sunset, tired of emergencies, bandages, IV’s and blood. Those who were here at home had quite a time as well, and we couldn’t wait to feel fresh air in our hair.
     Today, being Tuesday, Mali, Whitney, and Julian are in Mirebalais again, helping two other patients realize some long awaited surgeries. Their trip is turning into a three day experience. Hopefully when they get back, you will get an update from one of them!
    Good-night! Rhoda for the team

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