You never know what life will bring here. That’s the interesting part of living here, though not always easy to know what to do.
We had some people visiting from a neighboring mission, and they found it in their heart to take the boy in temporarily. He said his dad had died in the earthquake and his mom had died of cholera. Bless these missionaries! They have great hearts. We warned them about getting it legal, about getting a family member to come sign; I encouraged them to wait till next week. They asked me if I believed him, and I told them the story is to set up. It’s not likely both parents die in tragedies like these.
(He was taken up to his home town today, and low and behold, both his parents were there. The mom had been really mad at him making up such a story. Apparently he’s having “bad habits” problems, which is why he’s so thin.
So we took 3 kids, a 3 or 4 yr old boy who was vomiting a lot when we got there, and they weren't able to put an IV in again, but did seem a little more stable later but who's father was one of the two dead men lying there (they had come in together that morning), a teenage girl from that morning who lay barely conscious and very sunken eyes, and a 6-8 yr old girl from a local orphanage in Montrouis that looked like death, and went to St Marc. The sight there was INCREDIBLE! You can't imagine unless you're there. People everywhere. They've built these tarp over wood beams shelters on the lawn and everywhere. They're big. The "triage" where we ended up must have had 100 patients. They have narrow, 3 strips metal benches, maybe 6-8 rows and maybe 60-80 ft long and ALL head to toe with people on IVs. Strings across the room allow you to hang as many as you can. Total at the hospital they figured they had about 400 cholera patients, but I'm sure they didn't have all counted. The 3 we brought in were attended without registering. The leading doctor, from Spain, was very nice, and attentive, right there with the patients, and grateful we had brought them in and said they would turn no cholera patients away. He took one look at our little girl and there were about 4 people trying to get an IV in on each limb, and one putting in an NG tube because it seemed almost impossible. That girl was almost gone. They had to check the heart several times. I was impressed by all they were doing. We could see everyone was busy. They told us where to lay them (squeeze everyone closer!!) and soon Dr Carlos checked the little girl. She looked so bad, I can’t believe she made it, but she did, thanks to the many doctors that worked urgently on getting a vein to take fluids. Meanwhile, other patients’ family members would call us to check their family member’s IV. Because they want to get so much fluid into them, they have the IVs going fast, and so often run dry, and sometimes stop working. So for a long time, I went around, hanging new ones and a few times, starting new IVs. They were so grateful. I can still see both the patients and family members faces relax a little with each new IV bag that was hung. To them, this is life (and for many of them it literally is). (good place to practice IV starts, especially since they’re dehydrated!). Just truly an amazing sight!!! I’ve never seen so many critical patients in one area. At the same time, it can be cured and treated, and quite fast. You would see them bring a patient in that seemed lifeless and an hour later and a few IV solutions, their eyes have stopped the glassy looked and they look more relaxed and less scared.