Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sweet and Salty

Today was a sweet and salty day... we had our (3h) meeting with all of our nursing staff which I can say  was a challenging meeting.  Of course we discussed the usual (salary, promotion, benefits), congratulated a few staff and services on a job well done. The hardest part of the meeting was when we had to talk to the staff about negative behavior patterns and several other incidents that occurred during the month.

At the end of the meeting one of our nurses pulled me to the side as I was walking out of the room to say "Ms. Marc, did I ever tell you how much we like you"... That made my day after this meeting.  

Sometime you never know how much you need those words of affirmation.

It as a good day after all.

Friday, February 6, 2015

A Life Well Lived

January 6th my Grand-mom took her last breath. She lived 99 years and 8 months!

As I write this blog tears well up in my eyes and this tension fills my heart.  The tears...yes, for a life that has been lost but more because of the moments that are forever lost to me.  Choosing to live a life so far away from family means that I choose to miss the births and birthdays, the showers and the weddings, the dedications, the family dinners, the campouts (or glamping), the movie night or the game night, the shopping sprees (which I can do without) followed by the lunch dates with my sisters, the climbing into bed to my mom to talk about the day or the wrestling  with my nieces, nephews and small cousins (heck even the big ones).

Choosing to live so far away from family mean I chose to miss out on making memories,  that I chose to miss the one-on-one time with my grand-mom, who was a vivacious woman filled with love and compassion, the spark of life and a wicked sense of humor.    

Living so far actually never has to be a choice to miss out rather it's an opportunity to reach out and make sure even though I am not there in person I can find other creatives ways to be there.  An opportunity to not  allow fatigue,  the frustrations of the day and the "inconvenience" of time be the reasons or really excuses to miss out of real life and time with the ones I love.

When my grandma took her last breath I lost something precious...I lost time.

It is my desire to not miss any more time with the rest of my family.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

And I'm Back...

Shoot forgot my password and the link to my blog but now I AM BACK, hope you hang in there with me on this adventure I call life

Friday, January 23, 2015

Wisdoms cry

I have been studying about wisdom this week in the book of Proverbs. This afternoon I had to really pull on what I learned about being quick to listen, willing to understand and slow to speak and more so I had to pray about how I would respond as I held meetings to address some issues with a few staff members.
The meeting started off tense and I was praying about how to clearly address the issues and not just confront them but more importantly how to listen and not just respond thus putting into practice what I read earlier that day. Happy to report that within 5 mins of the meeting it became more of a brainstorming session to address some of the issues we identified and ultimately ended as a sort of team rally.
Not an easy day, but it was a great day.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Code Blue....No Wait ..Code Milk

What The Mess...

So I am spending a quiet evening at home (finally) when I hear a tapping at the gate and someone calling my name (so goes that quiet night) the security guard  say that Madame  Lareche is calling for either Dr. Wise or myself and said it was and emergency ( we have a 27 week premature baby in the unit and so if Madame Lareche says it's and emergency it really is). So I quickly change into scrubs run to Joe and Anna's house telling them there is an emergency in NICU, and took off running to the hospital.

hmm... as I run through the hospital to get to the NICU, past the guard that warns me to stop running or  I will fall (it had rained earlier and hospital has tile floors), so I do what anyone would do at that point ...I ignore him and kept on running to NICU cause it's and emergency right??? I get to the NICU  where it is suspiciously quiet and madame Lareche is calmly walking away from the incubator... she opens her mouth and tells me "bebe a pa gen lèt" ....... WHAT THE MESS !!! she says that the baby does not have any milk,,, important but not an emergency.

Apparently the guard decided to add emergency to the message.

Soon after I arrive Joe and Anna get to the NICU to assist in the "code" but I had to break it to them that it was not a code Blue but a code Milk ... yeah we just had our exercise for the night .

Don't get me wrong I am happy that it was not a real emergency but dang it my heart can not take this kind of excitement.

Until next time

Marc J  (S.A.L.T)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Gerilon's Miracle

For several months the Haiti Adventist Hospital team has been working to get a young man with a facial tumor some help.  One of our visiting orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bibiloni suggested bringing him to Puerto Rico for surgery.  A "get Gerilon to Puerto Rico  team was formed". Project Medishare made it possible for us to get the CT SCAN, Dr. Bibiloni arranged everything on the Puerto Rico end for Gerilon and his mother to get a visa and for his time in Puerto Rico during his recuperation from his surgery. 

With unfaltering devotion Marie Paul was able to call in some favors at the local television and radio stations to raise money for Gerilon.  With the aid of our CMO Dr. Geneus, Gerilon and his mom were able to get a passport in short ime frame.  Haitian citizens from all over called into the stations pledging their support of this young man.

Below is a copy of an e-mail Marie Paul sent me on Gerilon's first day of surgery
We were received like royalty, the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Lucé Vela and the Secretary of State Kenneth McClintock as well as Dr. Bibiloni, Dr. Carlos Mellado, other doctors and dignitaries were
at the airport to receive us. We were escorted throughout the trip by Homeland Security Officers, TSA, and afforded other privileges reserved for diplomats. All this for a young man from Haiti who lives in a small house without electricity, running water, and indoor plumbing. God is so good and He does things in a grand way. Our airline tickets were donated by a travel agency in Haiti and they sent us first class, Gerilon got to meet the pilots and sit in the cockpit of the plane. 

 Gerilon had his first procedure done today, a tracheostomy ( a hole in his throat to help him breath).. He is spending the night in Intensive Care and going back to his room tomorrow. The First lady of PR, Luce Vela, came to see him today after his surgery, she's awesome. I think she's going to have him on a talk show. The removal of the tumor is scheduled for next Thursday morning.

I am sending you a picture of Geri right after the tracheostomy, and one with his mom.

This young man has several months of surgery ahead of him if you would like to help financially please contact me at and I will place you in contact with the appropriate people.  

Most of all please pray for this young man, his family and the doctors doing the surgery.  

Monday, May 28, 2012

P. Harley Davidson

Sabbath afternoon
On Wednesday we were given the one of the best news, his head ultra-sound exam came back clear.  Davidson is becoming more interactive, playful and aware of his surroundings. He eats like there is no tomorrow, at the physician's office he threw a fit because his food was finished...hmm that has to stop.

He is becoming a very spoiled little boy with all the attention he is getting from the staff and us (he has a lot of aunties and uncles). This child refuses to sleep unless I hold him and sing him a song.  

Ted and I went to the social services office today to inquire about the steps for adoption, They denied my request to be his guardian.  We were told that he had to go to an orphanage for at least 6 months before they would release him for adoption.  Because of some situations that have happened with child trafficking they have changed the laws, so I will not be able to take care of him while we are waiting for him to be adopted. 

I am both sad and relieved; I will miss him when he goes but we have to get him out of the hospital, he is getting sick again and there are several kids in the peds department that have meningitis.  We are looking into several orphanages to see who will take good care of him, so far the only one that I have found is about 2 hours away from me.  :(

Friday, May 25, 2012

HAH's First EMT Graduates

Hôpital Adventiste EMT Graduates 

The Adventist Hospital in Diquine has four new EMT's as of Friday.  Today I feel like a proud mom x 4.  For eight weeks our students left their jobs, their families, and their comfort to attend the EMT program, an 8 week course provided by EMPACT-Northwest.   Our students left their homes before 5am in order to reach school by 8 am, missed meals, reaching home sometimes after 7pm.  Even on days where there were demonstration and people were cautioned to not travel on the roads, our students refused to miss a day of school.  Out of the several weeks of demonstrations our students only missed 1 day, that's it.

They took motorcycle taxis in the rain, endured injuries and still made it to class without complaint.
To explain how proud I am of Exume, Josette,  Pierre, and Rutza, I do not think I can begin to put it into words.  Every Sunday they would come of their own accord to the hospital for tutoring, often staying 5 to 8 hours in order to grasp the concept.   Every week they made a pact among themselves not to give up, to finish what they started in order to help change our ED and to make a difference in Haiti.

We often speak of how difficult it may be when we try to change an existing system, and how EMT's are not yet known in Haiti.  We often speak of the challenges that they will face, but more so we speak of their desire, their determination to help things change.

I am so proud of our EMT's, If they are Haiti's future, we are on the right tract.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mòn Dèyè Mòn-->Mountains Beyond Mountains

One of my favorite books is "Mountains Beyond Mountains" written about Paul Farmer and the work that he has done in Haiti, by Tracy Kidder.  After living here in Haiti for almost two years I finally understand what that means.  In Creole we say  Mòn Dèyè Mòn, meaning that behind every obstacle there is another one. I have learned to celebrate the success of overcoming a challenge but also to be prepared for the next one to come.

Matthew 17:20   And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove from here to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 

I see a lot of celebrating in my future :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I am a mommy!!! well sort of... About two weeks ago a baby boy was abandoned at the hospital, the nurse who was on that night ran to where my room use to be in the hospital to tell me about him and to ask me what to do...???? 

1. WHAAAAT !!! I don't know. 
2. Thank goodness we moved and I no longer live in the hospital

The next morning she found me and ask to take a look at him (sucker). Yup that is what I am, he is too cute. Immediately they began trying to get me to adopt him, it's like the hospital banded together and formed a get Marc to adopt this baby, they even put my name on his medical paper work.

We have been worried about him because the "father" said that he was a year old but he appears to be 7-8 months old and has some developmental delays. For the past week I have been taking him home with me for a few hours to give him bonding time and play therapy.

When he first came to us he did not respond to anything at all. He did not cry when left, or made any facial expressions or even move from the spot we put him. PT has been working with him (thank you Emily) and we have been giving him lots of good loving (thank you NadineSirkoAmy and the awesome peds nurses). So today he laugh, turned over on his own several times, babbled, played with is toes, and sat up for a while on his own. I know that this seems like a simple thing, but for a baby that was not reactive and displayed behaviors that are consistent with being abandoned emotionally long before he was abandoned physically, for me it is a big thing and I rejoice.

The nurses are still on the "get Marc to adopt wagon" God will provide some parents for him but for now I am happy to be is temporary mommy.

So what does this mean? It means I get the phone calls when he is out of diapers , water or food, it means that I get the calls when a new prescription or lab test is ordered. It means that I get the phone calls when he does something new and amazing like, roll over, laugh, drinks his whole bottle, or starts to play with his toys. It means that I am get the pleasure of being his mommy.... well for now.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

I Have Learned

I have to learn, when the first words out of a doctors mouth when asked to do a transport is "the patient is stable" QUESTION that statement. At 10 am Saturday morning I was asked to get ready to go on a transport, at 1pm one of the docs called me out of church for the "stable" patient transport.... HAH, when you walk into the room and they are bagging the patient SHE IS NOT STABLE. 

[I have to say that I am very proud of our soon to graduate EMT students (they are the 3rd group of EMT students to graduate in all of Haiti). As we were walking into the ER she immediately went to the patient's bedside to assist.]

We bagged the patient all during the transport to General Hospital. I have to thank our driver Michael who was awesome, almost killed us several times but he made a 2 to 3 hour trip (because of traffic) in 1 hour.

When we arrived she coded twice, Every time we stabilized her our (awesome) doc tried to leave. I was like heck no, you are not leaving me with this patient, ( I think the man was trying to kill me).
We continued to bag the patient for 2 hours after we arrived at General , finally we stabilized her enough to get her on dialysis.

Lesson for the day
1. Always assume a patient is unstable until you have verified for yourself
2. Make sure the your spare oxygen tank is not locked (forgot to tell you they placed a locked O2 tank in the truck).
3. An awesome team can make or break a code
4. NEVER let the doctor leave the room after he says "she is stable now" !!!!
5. Take a candy or granola bar (I was so hungry).

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Question: How many people do you think it takes to assess a patient?

Answer: 3 

Had a patient that came into the ER today with severe diarrhea and vomiting (simple assessment right, NO) The problem, the patient only spoke Portuguese and the doctor speaks French or Creole (see the problem). We needed three people to assess this patient; The doctor, speaking French/Creole, me, translating to a friend in English, Her, translating to the patient in Portuguese and repeating the process in reverse. That was the longest assessment ever.

SO you want to know the kicker, as she leaves to get somethings to admit him to the hospital, I was left with Him to do his admission paper work, problemmmmm, or so I thought. I asked him is he understood any Spanish so I could fill out the paper work, he responds to me "oh, I rather speak English. WHAT THE MESS, that bugger spoke English the whole time.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sunday ...

Sunday: spent 8 hours teaching (to some awesome students) with one 15 minute break 

Monday: woke up at 5:30 -worked till 11, no breakfast, a quick lunch and a Bagel with 
hummus for dinner

Tuesday: woke up at 5:am, but dreamt about work all night long...quick Bagel for breakfast, I did eat lunch, no time for dinner...wait does a Bagel count? and spending the rest of the night on call for a post-op patient... In all of this I ask one question...


Friday, February 24, 2012

The End is What Really Matters

You know when you start the day and you have a feeling it's going to be one of those days where you never stop moving... well welcome to my Thursday... it all started with a 6:20 am call. Here are the highlights.

Challenges at the start of the day 
1. abdominal pain that ended up being appendicitis, that ended up perforating (one of the volunteers), 
2. convincing a physician to doing a CT scan for us for a cancer patient,
3. and looking for O- blood for a patient with a hemoglobin of 4 (impossible)

Results at the end of the day

1. Successful appendectomy, just finished recovering the pt,
2. batting eyelids successful, patient had the CT Scan
3. got a call to go pick up the blood to day at 4 pm after we were told it was not going to happen.

No breakfast, no lunch, no dinner, but still full
Finally getting to bed...I wonder what tomorrow will bring... ehh scratch that .... Whatever tomorrow brings, with God I know we can handle it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Update: Houston... We Have A Problem--> Haiti we have a problem

Dang it, seriously... Ok guys this is to crazy for me to make it up... I finally got to Florida for my connecting flight back to Haiti.  I took a 6 am American Airlines to Haiti, was bumped up to first class (well actually I paid for an upgrade so I could get the extra bags of supplies on the fight, it was cheaper than paying for the bags).  Back to the crazy story, I am in the first class cabin, just finished drinking my pre-breakfast orange juice served on a tray in a glass, closed my eyes to take a rest (actually I was praying for knowledge and a steady hand for the pilot) when what do you think I hear....

YEP... "is there a doctor, nurse, or paramedic on board, please press your call light" umm hummm third flight in a row.  So I do what any medical professional would do, I crack open an eye to see if someone else responded, nope... here I go again.  I head to the back of the plane where an elderly lady was passed out cold, pulse weak, could not find a blood pressure cuff (they had a new complicated one that you would need a rocket scientist to figure it out).  We asked the family members if she had any medical help there... they didn't know. So I figured that at that time of the morning she probably did not have a chance to eat and her blood sugar was low.  I asked the flight attendant to get the glucose paste, she said that they did not have it so I told her to go to the black pocket of the emergency bag... sad to say I knew what was in each the emergency pockets because of very recent experiences.

Thank God the lady responded after we place the paste in her mouth followed by a peanut butter sandwich and OJ.

Lesson learned:

1.  Carry and emergency kit in my carry on
2. Never ask "whats next"
3. Always travel on American Air... they were the only ones that gave me frequent flyer miles (United and Continental just lost my business) LOL.  
4.  Take a later flight in the day.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Update: Houston... We Have A Problem

Update: No not another medical emergency... my plane has mechanical problems so they made us deboard after 40 min on the plane, now we are stuck in the airport in Houston. Next update 15: min. I love life it is so full of adventures.

Houston...We Have A Problem

On my flight to Houston the flight attendant started having palpitation mid flight, Three of us responded to the call. Ended up placing an AED on him to monitor his rhythm,giving him a IV bolus of NS and one dose of aspirin. On my flight to Cali we had a guy with seizures that bit his tongue bleed on me all before the flight took. 
Hmm. Seizures and cardiac issues. I wonder what will happen next on this next flight.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I never though I would be happy about getting breast implants

...let me explain. 

Answer to first question no I have not upgraded, I am fine with the ones God gave me. 
Answer to the second question, they were donated. 

Amy Russell Lindsey, our volunteer coordinator told me that we had breast implants donated to the hospital---------------(pause)----------(silence continues)------(exclamation)---what the MESS... why, why would someone donate breast implants to a hospital in a post disaster situation. That was something I could not wrap my head around, that is until we realized that breast implants make a great gel pillow for our babies in the NICU.

Now I am proud to say we are happy about getting breast implants... well.. you know what I mean.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Lesson I Learned from Steve Job

Two weeks ago I thought about death; if I died what was my contribution, what issues have I not resolved, who do I need to forgive, who do I need to ask for forgiveness, have I told those that I love that I love them, am I living a life of impact or am I just living. Today I am still thinking about death… well…really I am thinking about life. Although Steve Jobs died yesterday his words, his impact continues.

Two weeks ago Karla Hernandez , Vanessa Castro, Sara Lary, Beth Kuntz and I were on our way to Cap-Haitian to hold medical clinics with Dr. Barbie. We left the hospital in Diquini Haiti at around 7:30am headed to the small airport for an 11:45am flight to Cap-Haitian. When we arrived at the airport the airline overbooked the flight and told us that we would leave on the 1:45pm flight.  After waiting for hours at the airport the ticketing agent came to me around 12pm to tell me that the plane leaving Cap-Haitian had some technical difficulties and they would not be able to fix it in time for our flight, they placed us on the 3:45 flight, this time giving us our boarding pass … so again waited. We started to joke that we should have taken the other airline Salsa Air instead of Tortuga air. Salsa air flight was on time, no delays and Tortuga air…well… let’s just say it was slow.

Around 2pm Vanessa asked if we could switch to Salsa air but we decided to wait to see what would happen with our flight. At 3:30 the sky became slightly overcast, Salsa air took off and finally we boarded the 20 passenger Tortuga air flight. The flight to Cap-Haitian usually last 15 min, but this flight took 1hour. Half way through the flight I saw the co-captain looked back to at the passengers; I smiled at him (and no I was not flirting), Heather turned to me to ask if I knew why we were circling the airport (the Citadel was in site), at the same time the co-pilot turned to look at the passengers again, it is at that time I began praying even more if possible, for wisdom for the pilot. 1hour after we took off we landed safely but not in Cap-Haitian as we planned but back in Port-au-Prince were we started. After applauding for the pilots and giving them our thanks they informed us that the weather was so bad that they could not land. The pilot circled several times but decided that he did not want to take the chance so he returned. At the same time he informed us that they have not heard from the Salsa air that took off ahead of us. 10 minutes after returning back to the terminal (amidst some angry protest from other passengers) we were informed that there were unconfirmed reports that the Salsa air flight went down. Our group thanked God that we were safe and prayed for the families of the passengers and crew of the Salsa air flight. Shaking we returned back to the hospital in Diquini and notified Barbie that we would not be going that day.

I prayed long and hard if we should try for the next day, and if God did not want us to go that one more thing would happen. The next day we prayed and left the hospital at 5:30 am to head to the Airport (Tortuga air made a special flight for us to Cap-Haitian). As soon as we got off the plane we were told that patients had been waiting since 5 am for clinic to start, so we ate then headed to clinic, we saw about 300 patients in two days.
Why am I writing this? It is not to boast about clinic, it is only to give you insight to what I have been thinking about for two weeks.  That day made me think a lot about death, today Steve Jobs made me think a lot about life, and how I am living it. Read this excerpt from his Stanford commencement speech, see for yourself what he has to say about life and death, but focus on life… I know I am…
Excerpts from Steve Jobs Stanford
"If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." ... I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "no" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important thing I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life, because almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
About a year ago, I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctors' code for "prepare to die." It means to try and tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next ten years to tell them, in just a few months. It means to make sure that everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope, the doctor started crying, because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and, thankfully, I am fine now.
This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept. No one wants to die, even people who want to go to Heaven don't want to die to get there, and yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent; it clears out the old to make way for the new. right now, the new is you. But someday, not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it's quite true. Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Patients waiting 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

30 and counting

No I am not talking about my age...

I am happy to announce that we have had 30 training sessions since January of this year.  Whoo hoo.  Most of our trainings have been centered around resuscitation.  We now have 6 nurses trained as BLS, PALS, and PEARS providers, and one nurse trained as a PEARS instructor and two volunteer staff members trained as BLS, PALS, and PEARS instructors.  I am hoping to have another PEARS, BLA, PALS training in August with another 6 staff members.

PEARS class
Sharrie Tall, helping out setting up for trainings.

And Two Were Added

Tuesday night a man came into the hospital asking for help for his newborn twins, a boy and a girl.  I had just finished recovering a patient in the PACU and though that my day was done...Oh little did I know.  Those that are in the hospital would appreciate this.  We know that there are two words that one never says, those words being equal to a curse word... yep you guessed it the Q word or the S word (quiet or slow).  Those two words can spell the end of a beautiful day or night.  Well here in Haiti since we actually live in the Hospital those two words should never ever be uttered... Apparently there is another word that should be added to the list "I'm done"  Never...Never say that word!!  Saying I am done indicates that you are asking for the craziness to start.  Ok...back to the story .

As I was leaving the PACU I began to talk to a friend of mine and decided to go to her house with her to pick up some clothes (she was the doctor on call for the night).  As we were leaving  to go with her to her house, no sooner were the words "I'm done for the night" out of my mouth when this man comes up in frantic but calm manner (hard to explain) saying that he needs help for his twin babies.  Apparently his wife went into premature labor gave birth at another hospital/clinic.  They stated that the hospital did not have an NICU to provide care or  a pediatrician available that could take care of the babies.  The hospital heard that we had an NICU ( which has been closed for over a month now until we can train our nurses), and we also don't have a pediatric physician at night nor could we call one in.  Seeing the mans face when we told him that we did not have physician there to take care of the twins broke my heart.  I began calling the other hospitals that had an NICU, either no one answered the phone, they were full or they did not have the personnel.

Dr. Spendie remembered that Dr. Regis had a maternal child clinic down the street so we went there to ask if the would accept the babies (by the way the family had no idea what heir gestational ages was, according to the dad, mom was either 6 or 7 months along).  So... off we went down the street to Dr. Regis's clinic... guys if you know Haiti crossing the street is like taking your life into own hands... anyways, when we arrived at the clinic we were able to call Dr. Regis at home as asked him if he would accept the babies.  Thank God he said yes (whoo, off the hook)... however only if we would admit them to our hospital (back on the hook :).

Dr. Spendie went to her house to change and I went back to the hospital to prepare the NICU for the babies.  I write this post in sort of a joking way but all through this I was praying and still am for the babies.  Our NICU has two incubators, neither one works.  They do not have mattresses, they do not hold any heat and the access ports do not have any coverings... essentially the incubators are empty shells.  We placed folded bed blankets to make a soft padding for their beds, a spot lamp that functions as a heat lamp when brought really close, and for coverings we tore a plastic bag and taped it over the ports.

About an hour later the babies arrived, the first one a boy, weigh 1.36 kg the second baby, a girl, weight .65 kg. Both babies arrived on oxygen at 2 liters via nasal cannula wrapped  like little mummies in cotton.  Both had increased work of breathing, the baby girl's temp was 35.6 C and she was pursing her lips blowing puffs of air out.

Dr. Regis was able to place an umbilical catheter in the baby girl so she could receive fluids while we were able to get a peripheral line in the little boy.  Since mom was still at the other hospital and dad was not around I decided to kangaroo the baby girl  (well a modified kangaroo) I had a T-shirt on. Her temp finally came up and her breathing began to stabilize .

On Thursday night  in the middle of bible study one of the nurse called me to the NICU the little boy began to have some problems breathing. His sats were in the low 50's I was able to use a bulb suction to do somewhat of a deep suction and remove some really thick secretions (Thank you Sinai/Rainbow team for thinking to bring them) .  After about an hour his breathing began stabilizing.  I had asked the nurse to call Dr. Regis to come in as soon as I came into the room when I noticed the baby's breathing... I have to officially say that he is now one of my favorite docs.... He came in less than 15 mins to assess the babies ( which in Haiti traffic is amazing).

It is now Sunday night and the babies are still holding on.  Please keep praying for them.

Monday, May 16, 2011

It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times

Late post started 5/16/11 

It is 4am and we are still up.  That beginning alone should alert you as to the type of night that we are having.

The Best of Times: 

This past week has been a week full of celebrations. PULSE (Pediatric Universal Life Saving Effort) was here to provide a four day training course for the nurses and physicians at the Adventist hospital and the General hospital here in Haiti.  By the end of the training several of us were certified as BLS (Basic Life Support) instructors, PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) instructors and PEARS (Pediatric Emergency Assessment Recognition and Stabilization) instructors, the others were certified as providers.  PULSE also donated several manikins to our training department so that we would be able to hold courses here at the Adventist hospital in Haiti, in addition they donated supplies for our NICU and Peds unit.  Needless to say I was speechless with joy (speechless is not something I do very well, ha ha).

This week we also celebrated the birthday of one of our local awesome docs, Spendie.  On Thursday we celebrated the birthday of Lynn our orthopedic coordinator, on Friday we celebrated Brian's birthday (a few day's earlier but hey), and today we finished the week at the beach for nurses appreciation week and the actual celebration of Brian's B-day... I told you there were a lot of celebrations.  Ok, back to the story.  It was an awesome fun relaxing day at the beach... then the fun ended.

The WORST of times: 

On our way back from the beach we came upon an accident.  We stopped to see if we could help but not much could be done.  Three people were dead on the road, another was in the ambulance with a head wound and several more were transported to a nearby hospital. I have seen death before, but I was not prepared for what we saw.  For some of the others in the car it was the first time that they saw death ( I pray that the image does not stay in their head).

Later that evening an orthopedic surgery a patient threw a pulmonary embolism, fortunate it was a small one.  He was started on anti-coagulation therapy and is doing well.

A few hours later a three day old infant in our NICU began having respiratory difficulty.  She is stable now...

Sorry for the brevity of the post, but as I started it at 4 am and we are still up... I am going to bed... ops.. I meant I was going to bed, just got a call off to NICU


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Another Example Of How A Soft Answer Turns Away Wrath

Judges 8:1-3

After the battle with the Midianites led by Gideon the men Ephraim became angry with Gideon for not including them when the battle started with the Midianites. NET) Judges 8:1 The Ephraimites said to him, "Why have you done such a thing to us? You did not summon us when you went to fight the Midianites!" They argued vehemently with him.

Gideon answered softly

Judges 8:2 He said to them, "Now what have I accomplished compared to you? Even Ephraim's leftover grapes are better quality than Abiezer's harvest! It was to you that God handed over the Midianite generals, Oreb and Zeeb! What did I accomplish to rival that?" When he said this, they calmed down.


Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns way wrath.
It overcomes anger
It overcomes pride
It overcomes fears

Sometimes it overcomes those things in us.
In our next situation, how will we answer?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Unshed Tears

Yesterday a mother sat outside our hospital with pictures of her and her children... she was not asking for money or food... she had a sign in English asking someone to adopt her youngest child because she had no way to continue feeding him.  For eight months she has been breastfeeding her son, as he is growing her milk is no longer enough to satisfy him.  This woman, who obviously cares and loves her child felt if was better to part with him than to let him starve.

This evening two women working at a local orphanage explained to me that several of the children at the orphanage were left by parents who were unable to take care of them.  The mother of one of the babies who was a patient at our hospital came every day and night to take care of her baby, yet had to leave her when she was discharged from our pediatric unit because she does not have a place to live, much less money to care for her.

I spent the better part of one hour listening to one of the hospital employees telling me how she is beginning to get discouraged, her eyes glistening with unshed tears.  My conversation with this strong beautiful woman started when I saw her studying English, within 15 minutes of our conversation I could see that my friend was not her normally happy self, that something was bothering her. When she began to share with me her discouragement I had no words,  saying "I'm sorry" felt inadequate and "I understand" did not ring true either.   She is currently living in a tent on the hospital ground with her only son.

It is eight months after the earthquake; money is scarce , food even more so and people are still living in makeshift shelters or if they are lucky under a tent.

Almost every day it rains here in Haiti, when I ask how they endured the night the common response is " we survive". 

I wish I could end this blog on an upbeat note, give me a day or two... but for now... ;(

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Traveling Light: Singing does help after all

Traveling Light: Singing does help after all

Singing does help after all

Tuesday Night

Tonight one of my patients who is a paraplegic was crying because she was in so much pain because of the spasms in her legs. The mother of another patient and I decided to sing to her as I massaged her legs. We told her that the singing would either be really good or just bad enough to make her forget her pain. At that point the only thing we could do was make her laugh. We sang for almost an hour until she fell asleep. I'm not sure if she the singing was good or bad but thank God something worked.

Not to be a downer, but for some reason tonight my heart hurt as I looked around and saw all these children with serious injuries, some orphans, and some with parents living in the hospital
with them because they have nowhere else to go. I keep thinking of what is going to happen to them when they have to get discharged... where will they go...

Wednesday Night.

Last night as I was in another patients room having a small worship with them, in the middle of singing I saw a big stinking spider crawling around the room... that was it for me... I swear I almost tossed the kids off the bed trying to get away from the thing...that is until this 11 year old boy with this massive wound on his leg with metals and screws coming out of every which way asked me "do you believe in God?" I replied "yes" (all the while keeping an eye out on the spider), then he asked "so why are you letting the devil distract you with fear?" Dang it... that little bugger was right. What came into my head was Philp 4:6-9 be anxious for nothing...
I am sitting here worrying about so many things and forgetting to give it to God. Why am I letting the devil distract me...

This morning I woke up with a song in my heart and for at least one hour before I left my room, before I interacted with anyone else... I decided to sing.

S.A.L.T (sisters actively living the truth)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Living Love Out Loud

This week I have seen what real love looks like. In the middle of their suffering two women put aside their personal pain to to help someone else. There is a young girl at the hospital who suffered a spinal cord injury that left her a paraplegic. After going though several surgeries at another hospital she was essentially cast aside. She later developed multiple decubitus ulcers, on her right hip and on both her heels. This young lady also has wounds on both her legs which she explained to me were caused by rats. She described to me how she could see the rats eating away at her but did not have enough strength to call out for help. She is now at our hospital in Haiti receiving care.

For a long time Mai Mai's (pronounced my my) family were unable to come to the hospital to visit or take care of her for various reasons, Two ladies that are in the hospital saw that she did not have anyone to take care of her decided to cook for her, buy her food, clothes and even wash and turn her several times a day. The amazing thing is that neither of the women knew the young lady previously and neither had any source of income. Out of their meager savings they decided to share what they had with Mai Mai. One of the women has a baby girl in the hospital to take care of and the other is a post op patient who still has not regained her full strength. Both of these women saw a need and have quietly gone about to take care of this young lady to the point that I believed them to be family. It was only as I was giving out some instructions pertaining to the girls' care that they quietly informed me that they were not related to her.
I wish you could see how these women are treating this young lady as their own, with such tenderness, they treat her like a beloved family member.

"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing,therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow human being let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."
- Stephen Grellet,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On my way

Captains log... LoL I always wanted to start with that... I am sitting here in the airport waiting for my flight to board for Haiti. Ever since I told my family and my friends that I am going to Haiti the one common question that I got was ... "are you excited" that is of course after the " are you crazy". Just to let you know a little about me, I am a traveler, not just a person that likes to travel. I think I am the ADD verity of travelers. I love traveling with a purpose for the most part (seriously I am not trying to claim sainthood, I just get board sitting around doing nothing)... told ya I have ADD. O.K . back to the original purpose of this blog. Am I excited? yes and no. I am excited about what could be done, the prospects of that lie ahead, but I am also terrified of others expectations of me. Usually when I am asked if I am excited I have no idea how to answer, I act as if it is not a big deal, while inside I am terrified of being a disappointment. Bet you did not expect that? With all seriousness, internally I am freaking out so any words of encouragement are welcomed, prayers are also solicited ...or better yet get your bottom out here and help me. :)

It has been several hours later and I am finally in Haiti. I met some awesome people in the airplane... man I realize that I love to talk. Thank God I had an uneventful flight, love going places but hate flying. After arriving and navigating my way through the sea of bags haphazardly cast about in baggage claim I finally made it outside only to be greeted... no bombarded by men willing to "assist"me with my bags, all for a small fee of course. Seriously, I cannot find any fault with them ... these men are only trying to make a living, it's just that having five people offer to assist me with two bags is a little much. Anyhow, after waiting in the airport for what seemed to be an eternity (actually it was only one hour... slight exaggeration for dramatic affect), The hospitals driver and I finally found each other... Have I failed to mention IT IS HOT and HUMID here... I'm just saying...

I have been here for almost one hour and after having an extensive discussion with some of the volunteer staff I have think I have identified one area that I can begin to work on... how I will start, I have no idea... but by the act of reading this you have been drafted as my support staff, I am expecting full participation.... Please... : ) I will update later after I have had some time to investigate.

Day one of Haiti adventure... also known as the Introduction

R U ready for our adventure?


Friday, July 23, 2010

Three days and counting- two months and counting

I am visiting my family here in FL. Since I came I have spent every waking moment with my niece and my nephew. Wow, I did not realize how much I miss them. I have three days left to spend some quality time with my family before I head to France, two months before I head to Haiti.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Found an apartment in France

OK. I think this is it. I found the place that I am going to stay in France, however the host is asking me for my ID and to send the deposit ahead of time. Do you think this is a scam. I told them that I will only give the deposit after I am in the place. I hate the fact that I have to be suspicious, I want to trust everyone but in this world there are so many dishonest people. Arrrrrrrhhhh. What do u think am I being too paranoid?

Friday, July 9, 2010

New trip...New country...New adventure

Two weeks and counting.... yes it is me again. Man I am bad at this blog stuff. I promise to be better this trip around. Getting ready to head to Haiti to work, but first with a stop off in France (wee wee) wait that is something else ... I ment "Oui, oui". I am back living with J until I leave again. ( this is becoming a habit) seriously. for the past several months I have been trying to find a place in France to rent for the months that i will be there. Man there area a lot of scams going on, but shall push on. it is now 1 am.. will update more tomorrow. Ciao

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ecuador or bust...

I am here... or there depending on where you are. I have finally reached Ecuador. Believe it or not I do not have any adventures to share. the whole process of getting here was so smooth, I knew something was bound to happen.... Wait....

O.k y'all know how I love to travel but I HATE flying. I am one of those people that you hope does not sit next to you because you know that as soon a there is the slightest bit of turbulence they are all over you... YES that is what I did. There was this gentlemen sitting next to me, we had a nice long conversation about his life a little about mine ( for those of you with a dirty mind.. no it was not a mid-Atlantic hook up). It was a nice conversation... I LIKE TO TALK...

...Anyways back to the story... at one point in this long flight from Cali to Atlanta there was some turbulence... let me tell you, before I knew it and most certainly before he knew it I was all over him. I mean, I had a grip on his arm and I was half on his seat.. ( dang it y'all planes are not suppose to drop and sway that hard!! I thought that I was going to die). So thus began my not so short conversation with God.

airplane  - Cartoon image for proofing use only, unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
Why don't planes carry parachutes instead on life jackets?...

The whole time that I was holding this man that I don't even know hostage (dang it why couldn't it be some gorgeous, young..ish, mission minded, guy sitting next to me... Oh well... just my luck...) I was apologizing... but yet I would not let go. (it was o.k. he didn't mind).

Well I have officially completed my first week... or my first school week in Ecuador. Spanish is hard. Every morning I walk 15 blocks
to school and back home (I will send you pictures of this mammoth hill I have to climb every day to go home) I better be fit before I return home.

Everyday I walk pass the American Embassy, ( I don't know why, but I feel secure knowing that I live close to the embassy). to go to school for Spanish classes. Some days I feel as if I will never learn the language.

Yo etsoy un poco triste. Yes I miss all of you... I have been hoping that one of you guys would come and visit.... then again you do have a whole year to come... and you better... please :).

This weekend if we get enough people to go we should be going to Mindo, essentially the cloud forest, however if we don't have enough people I am going to spend my Sabbath missing ya'll... well just a little... you know in between catching up on sleep, and reading.

next time I will write some more words in Spanish... right now my brain hurts.


Love y'all lots

Sunday, August 10, 2008

One Week... The Countdown Begins....AHHHHHh

O.k... O.k... O.k... I know I have missed a week, however I do have a good excuse... Mac had an emergency... Yes for you non Mac users... Mac is a computer... More so HE was my brain ( now at this point I can make a joke about men... but it is too obvious)... Love ya guys:) My hardrive died and I needed to replace it... and no I did not back it up... ( yes, yes, lesson learned). So... getting back to the original story I could not post a new blog B cause I did not have a functioning computer. Yes I Cried, O.K maybe not actual tears, but... my friends did after they heard me lamenting on and on and on about the information that I have lost....

Anyways... One more week left.. actually I have less than 5 days left B 4 I leave... you can let out your tears now...don't try to be strong I know that you will miss me:( in fact i can almost see the tears now... Oh wait that's me...hee hee... I'm eating some spicy food... :)

Anyhoo ... I will leave you for now...
Read, learn, post and share your thoughts..

Love you
Marc J A.K.A. Peppaseed

Monday, July 28, 2008

Book I: Three weeks and waiting

Marc: Book I Chapter: Three weeks and waiting

This is the story of my life.

Marc Book I : Three weeks

Language learning!!! HA

I love this period of my life it is full of expectations, and fear, I not sure what God is going to do and how.

The countdown is on I now have three weeks to the day before I leave for Ecuador. Three weeks to make memories that will sustain me when I am all alone. I have three weeks to make y'all miss me :wink:Three weeks to get into trouble... and out of course, y'all know me, I'm a good girl :wink: and three weeks to miss all of you.. O.k, all right enough of the mussy stuff. :bigkiss:

Guys, as the date draws closer to leave my anxiety builds, I sometime think that i will never learn this new language , yes SPANISH arrrhhhh, yeah, yeah, yeah everyone says that I will learn Spanish easy, o.k now y'all just know that if you are a native Spanish speaker THAT IS NOT COMFORTING, try saying something in another language... you see people smiling at you with the look that says " ohh how sweet, she is butchering my language but she tried"

A lot of you (my friends) are telling me that I will learn this language, that better be the case or this is the last that you will hear from me.......until I do.

This is the story of my life, not in its entirety, just in part. it is my book to write, my adventure to tell, friends to make, tears to cry, and new joys to discover, all with the love of my life (that my friends is another chapter, wouldn't you love to read it....tss...tss.... patience)

Until next time
Love you all

Marky Marc
(pick a name, depending on what you know me as)
and if you are looking for a new name to call me...
Call me Mujercita hermosa

Love ya, ciao