Google+ WTN Haiti Partnership: May 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

john mutin's reflections

I have been asked to write to you about how things are going in Haiti.  In considering this task, I feel one of the biggest questions in my mind is - Are we making a difference?  The answer is definitely yes!  We have helped to improve the children’s lives thanks to your help.  They are showing a big improvement in their hematocrit (blood iron) levels although they are still not up to the equivalent of an American child’s level.  The multivitamins they are getting every week day are improving their general health along with the food and clean water. Their health was much improved; their weight is up slightly and all they are growing taller.  They are in a safe clean place where they are cared for and loved very much. It never ceases to astound me just how happy they are and the love they exhibit. In a place where one would expect self-pity, I see then striving to help their friends.
One of the biggest new events that came out of this trip is that there are some children that are currently in wheelchairs that could, with physical therapy and casting, be able to walk.  What an amazing gift this would be that could change a child’s life forever.  We need to develop a full time physical therapy department that can work with the foot clinic and give these children back there mobility.  Currently a child with a club foot is placed in a wheelchair to give them some mobility, but this weakens their leg muscles and contracts the tendons to the point where they will never walk again.  We can make a huge difference to these children if we can provide a properly trained staff to work with them on a regular basis. The children are coming from all over Haiti for the foot clinic, so this is chance to change their young lives.  It wouldn’t be that expensive and the impact we would have is nothing short of a Miracle.  With God’s blessings and your help, we can do this. 


Nick Pesce's photos Haiti trip March 2011

Nick with a patient in therapy clinic

Auguste

Riding in a TapTap to church on Sunday
For more of Nick's photos click here.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Photos from our March 2011 trip

Sonya Yencer of Red Thread Promise (www.redthreadpromise.org) has sent us her extensive photo library from our March 2011 trip. Thank you to Sonya for these beautiful pictures. If you click on the link to see more photos you will also have access to photos from other trips to Haiti by the Red Thread Promise volunteers. We are fortunate to be partnering with them in our efforts to support St Vincent's School for Handicapped Children.

Amy and Wes in the medical clinic


Drew with Diana in her new red wheelchair brought by Red Thread Promise


John is checking a hemoglobin with a fingerstick test.  Except this child has no arms, so John is checking his earlobe


Sonya shows kids her camera


Susan in clinic


For more photos from our March trip to St Vincent's, click here.

reflections from Sonya about children's orthopedic clinic at St. Vincent's



The Club Foot Clinic

The central hallway that runs through the clinic building was lined with
mothers holding babies, soothing crying children, nursing infants,
shushing toddlers—all waiting for their turn at the club foot clinic.
Parents came from miles around with their children, displaying an array of
leg and foot abnormalities. The lucky ones were able to walk on their own
or with limited assistance. But the majority were non-ambulatory, relying
on a parent or relative to carry them.

It was on the first day of the clinic that Dr. Bheki Khumalo, a podiatrist from Memphis (originally from South Africa) performed his first outpatient surgery of the
week on the very first patient. In a small square room with light blue
walls and a cement floor stood a single table covered in a white sheet.
Surrounding that table was a talented medical team that would change the
course of this child's life forever.

She was an infant, no more than 1 year old—the sweetest little girl with
smiles for everyone and tiny laughs. With a simple set of surgical tools
and skilled hands, the tension was released on the child's Achilles
tendon, the foot carefully set in the proper position and finally casted.
When one leg was complete, they set to work on her other leg, casting it
as well before the appointment was over. All the while, she cried little
and we were amazed by her cheerful temperament. (Author's note: I cannot
imagine how incredibly hot and itchy her little legs must be in those
plaster casts in the Haitian sun. But what a small price to pay to have
the opportunity to walk someday. I had the honor of holding her after both
casts were applied while her mother went to the pharmacy—the highlight of
my day!)

Hour after hour, infants and toddlers came to have their feet and legs
examined. The team consisted of Dr. Bheki Khumalo, Nick Pesce (a physical therapist from
Memphis) and Michele (a Haitian physical therapist).
Together, the team discussed each case in detail, determining how to best
treat the child within the means of the clinic. X-rays were studied
through the light of a single small window on the only exterior wall.
Debates ensued, weighing the pros and cons of each treatment plan (i.e.
would putting a child in a brace for the right leg cause damage to the
left hip). Many casts were applied and many referrals to hospitals and
specialists were made. Each appointment was complex and lengthy,
exhausting work in the heat.

As Dr. Eric had predicted during our trip to St. Vincent's in February,
even though the clinic had few supplies, in the hands of properly trained
people, small miracles could be performed. And that's exactly what we
witnessed day-after-day in St. Vincent's clinic. Children who may not ever
have been treated were seen by a very talented group of physicians. Each
case was handled as if they were full paying clients in the United States.
Every effort was made to do the very most for each little person, to
provide the optimum care given the circumstances.

Imagine how much more can be done for these children when the permanent
clinic and surgical center are rebuilt on St. Vincent's demolished
property.

FW: 150th Anniversary Diocese of Haiti

From: Kesner AJAX [mailto:kesnerajax@yahoo.com]
Sent: Sunday, April 10, 2011 4:01 PM
Subject: 150th Anniversary Diocese of Haiti

Dear Partners and Friends,
I would like to personally thank you for all the support you have provided to
the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti thus far; and furthermore for you continual
support of the Diocese of Haiti.  Without committed and generous partners such
as yourselves we would not be able to touch as many lives as we currently are.
Because of such help, The Diocese will be celebrating its 150th anniversary of
successful operation.  We invite all partners and friends to celebrate with us
in any manner or location you see fitting. 

The 150th anniversary of the diocese will be celebrated in the five
archdeaconries on the following dates:
               May 8th  – Central Plateau Archdeaconry at the church St. Peter
in Mirabalais
               May 22nd – South Archdeaconry at the church St. Savior in Les
Cayes
               May 26th – West Archdeaconry at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in
Port au Prince
               June 12th – North Archdeaconry at the church Holy Spirit in Cap
Haitian
               September 11th – Leogane Region and Southeast Archdeaconry at the
church Holy Cross in Leogane
The staff of the Partnership Program, myself and Angela, along with your partner
priests will be happy to help you arrange a visit to celebrate with us.

In other Diocesan news, before January 2012 there will be a suffragan bishop
elected and consecrated to serve the needs of the growing number of
Episcopalians in Haiti.    
We are also blessed by a new addition to the diocesan staff, Mr. Sikhumbuzo
Vundla, who starting in March serves as Chief Operating Officer for the Diocese
of Haiti.

Schools in Haiti have just completed their second trimester of the year and will
be have a break to celebrate Easter. 

To all of you who are supporting the reconstruction efforts as well as all who
have made plans to do so, I profoundly express my gratitude on behalf of the
Partnership Program and encourage your sustained efforts. The needs are
enormous.

I wish all of you a wonderful Easter holiday and know that you are in our
thoughts and prayers.
 
 The Rev. Kesner Ajax


Executive Director, Bishop Tharp Institute (BTI)
Partnership program coordinator, Episcopal Diocese of Haiti
Priest in Charge, Ascension Church, Beraud.

Mailing address:
c/o Agape Flights acc# 2519
100 Airport Ave
Venice Fl. 34285
Tels. 011-509-3445-3346
011-509-3724-8376