Google+ WTN Haiti Partnership: September 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

CBU nurses at St Vincent's, Day 2

Monday, September 30 - First let me say it was an awesome day. Second, it was not a day we would have planned; however, all went well beyond my expectation. There are only resident children there; Yoline, August, Margaret, and Diana of course and a few others. The Education Ministry decided no schools would start until October 1st. Students will hopefully begin to come in tomorrow. The nurses had ample time to spend seeing St. V, visiting with JoJo, who is investing a great deal of energy to sell his paintings, and many others. Jojo is going to NYC and needs the money for a plane ticket for himself and his nephew. His daughter, Joanna came today to be seen - lovely girl and glad to be with her father.

Zachary has another large decubis on his buttocks - stage 4 but will heal. We do not have any silvedene cream or anything to treat this with in the pharmacy. In fact, the pharmacy is quite empty and we are making a list of things we need. Zachary’s main problem is a 5 cm, stage 4 + ulcer on his heel and it is tunneled. Dr. B thinks his best chance is to have the foot amputated. This was confirmed by Pere Sadoni. Terry did a terrific job of working with him and we did a great wet to dry dressing change.

Madame Leon had a BS of 340 but claims she did not take her medication today. I will recheck her tomorrow. Marie Carmel is great -very happy to see us and lots of hugs for me. Her BP is good but she needs refills on her medications. She really enjoyed visiting with the new nurses.

There were some very important people at St V today. So much so that there were 2 policemen there for security. Pere is very encouraged that there may be another source of funding. The NGO visitors were from Louisville. They and the government/church officials came to the special needs room when the nurses were assessing the children and spoke to our group about what we are doing. The nurses were very excited to talk up WTHP and CBU.

After I took Marie Carmel’s BP the flood gates opened and all the adults wanted to be seen for anemia, headache, back pain, pain here and pain there, tuss (cough) - all the usual; Including the children 29 seen today.

Dieumene is my new best friend! She asked me to contact Tom and be the nurse for Camp Jake in July. I was very touched, almost to tears. She wanted me to promise I would come to camp. She has a HB of 8.7 and will not take “the pill” it makes her vomit. We had some liquid Vit B complex but other than Cod Liver Oil we do not have anything to give her. What would you wise women recommend? She also worked translating today - have you ever seen anyone “sign with their feet”????

 My sister-in-law works for a prosthetics company and visited the shop today. They were asking for technical support and training. Linda is going to make some asks at work. She was quite impressed.

This is an unbelievable team. Actually, I have told them they are the best ever, fun, engaged, work well with one another, share everything they have and step right up to do    what ever I express a need for at the moment. Lashelle has not felt very well Saturday and Sunday but was better today and stepped up. Stephanie Scott has been a “rock star” - taking the leadership role very seriously. LInda Barnes is terrific. Yolanda and Michelle have come out of their quite place and are really fun and chatty.

I did see Andy (the architect who stayed at Helping Hands and is doing the work for St. V) today and he was excited a brought him a jar of Jiff extra crunchy peanut butter. He says their guest house will be done in December. Gail is in the states but is well.

And finally, I would like to say I miss the mosquito net - I do not.
sent in by Dr Sue Trzynka

Sunday, September 29, 2013

CBU Nurses travel to St Vincent's

Editor's note:  Dr Sue Trzynka and a dozen or so nurses from CBU's (Christian Brothers University) graduate nursing program are in Haiti this week, to do wellness assessments on all the children at St Vincent's.  They also bring toys, toothbrushes, and other goodies from many American friends.  Below is Sue's log entry for her first day:

Haiti October 2013

Sunday - first full day. The church service was lovely with a special peace blessing; however, two and a half hours long. We visited the gift shop at Holy Trinity School where several students made purchases. From there we spent a hour with the ladies at the Foyer. Sister Margaret received the hygiene kids, lap blankets, and bath towels. She will also distribute them. They have stopped there building project due to lack of funds. They also need repairs to doors that have panels rotting away and plumbing issues. That said, they have made significant progress from a year ago.

All of the suitcases are unpacked, sorted, counted, and labeled for daily distribution of hygiene kits, coloring books and crayon, games, toys, and bags of food.  The school supplies have been set aside to give to Pere Sadoni.  All are excited to see St. Vincent and meet the children. We learned from Jean Robert after church today only permanent resident children will be at St. Vincent tomorrow. This may make it an extra challenge to get all kids completed by Thursday afternoon. We will sure give it a go. He tells me the orthopedic clinic has been moved to the new facility and the large physical therapy area is now a “secondary classroom”. Ah - sweet change is often the same as progress.

Sleeping was a challenge last night. There was a lot of partying outside the compound until about 4:00 - Boom, boom, boom and enough to rock you out of your bed; some after the sunrise services started and competed with the roosters and dogs. We should sleep well tonight. Given my foggy state, I began to wonder where the food came from since I could not locate a kitchen by dining area. I was thinking there must be Haitian Keebler elves!! These elves can cook too.

Students are settling in very nicely, mixing and mingling outside their usual groups and really doing well - lots of good laughter and a infectious smiles.

Wifi is extremly spotting and staying connected is a challenge. I will check only emails that I can impact from here unless the service improves.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

October Mission Team plans

It has been many months since my last post, but we are getting ready for our next trip to St Vincents Oct 12-19. We have a great team as always, including a pediatric nurse practitioner, a pharmacist, two paramedics, a nurse, a sign language interpreter, a medical student, and several non medical but willing 20-somethings!  I have just been looking at the Red Thread Promise blog, and I encourage you to check them out at  They have great video about the new water purification system at the school, digital hearing aids for many of the deaf children, and Camp Jake which is a summer beach camp for some of the permanent residents of St Vincents. Reading all the things happening at the school reminds me that many partners are working hard to help rebuild the school since the earthquake of 2010. Whenever I feel inadequate about what I can do to help these children, I remember that many others are helping, too and that God is magnifying all of our efforts.

Please pray for our team as we prepare for our trip.

                                                                                    Susan Nelson