I have started this post several times now trying to get into words what we at RHFH are feeling tonight. We are very overwhelmed. Even through the flood, earthquake and many other large challenges we have faced we are feeling more right now. We see no real end in sight. We see the need growing. We see many, many people that are in great need of help with cholera. We are not slacker. We plan ahead for supplies and try to keep up. We try our best. But when the numbers increase as fast as they are we are having a difficult time keeping ahead. We will be out of IV fluids tomorrow by noon. But… CAM (Christian Aid Ministries) has a load for us to pick up early tomorrow morning. We are so thankful to them for helping us over, and over and over again. Always with a cheerful heart.
We knew yesterday that the numbers were picking up as we ran out of chairs for people to sit in.
In this small little yard, donated by a person in the Cazale community, many lives are being touched.
Tonight we had 101 people at the 6pm bed count. There has been several others admitted after 6pm. We have 67 cots. I think you can figure out where that puts us tonight with beds and sleeping. Several people to each cot. Literally people everywhere.
Dad had to make a three day trip back in the USA to do some more paper work for the equipment that is coming to Haiti. He returns Wednesday afternoon. Enoch returns Friday afternoon. Charlie is still not able to get around due to his broken leg. That leaves L2 to carry the load of work. We have been extremely blessing with 5 great volunteers that have been working long, hard hours to help in every way they can. They are not afraid of any work I give them. They have done every. single. task. I have asked them to do, with a joyful happy heart and no complaining. Such a blessing to RHFH.
Sat morning Pierre got up and had coffee and bread with his wife. He left to go work in his garden. While working he got sick with cholera. He began walking down the mountains to get to the cholera house. He did not take the time to go home and tell his wife. He got about 1/2 down and could no longer walk. A guy that we know well (he got his lips cut off a few years bad-long story) found him and put him on a motorcycle and tried to get him to the cholera house. It was raining and they could not make it all the way to the house-to much mud. He carried him on his back the rest of the way. He was dead when they arrived. His brother arrived about 1 hour later and was shocked to hear his brother had died. We prepared the body and buried him with the other cholera patients that have died. It was dark and we had to have flashlight to finish the burial. His wife spent the evening wondering what had happened to her husband. Pierre’s brother walked back to their village and gave them the news late that night. They had 4 children.
We currently have 4 children from the RC at the cholera house. Two tested positive today. We have 7 children that are in the intensive care tent. We have 6 other kids that are bunked up with Anna & Caroline in the volunteer house. They and the other gals are working as hard as they can to keep these kids hydrated and living. The total count today for the kids at the RC is 75.
Kids at the volunteer house below
This is the skin on the stomach of one of the girls that is with us from the RC. This would be a very dehydrated child.
Over the weekend we had 2 children die. I want all the kids to live. All.of.them.-every.single.one. I try so hard not to attach myself to any of them, because I cannot deal with it emotionally when they die/leave/etc. These two I really, really, wanted to live. It was hard to see them die. It was hard to know they did not make it.
There is well over 40 people sleeping outside our gate on pieces of cardboard and sheets so they can get a number to pass early in the clinic tomorrow. Do we continue to keep the medical clinic open? We are asking ourselves that tonight. Could we take some of the nurses from the clinic up to the cholera house to work? What about the 250 people that walk miles/hours each clinic day to be seen by our staff? What about those that are very ill with other sicknesses? What about the kids in the RC? Do we stop and focus all our efforts on the cholera house?
I really do not know what to tell everyone to do but to pray. Pray that the numbers decrease. Pray that people listen to the education that is being given all over the country for the prevention of cholera. Pray that God continues to provide the needs of IV fluids, ORS, cots, chairs, sheets, gowns, diapers, bleach, water, IV poles, tape, medications, tables, tarps, pillows, clothes, toilet paper, paper towels, soap, syringes, markers, pens, flashlights etc. We know that He can do it. Our cholera house also has no running water or electricity. All the water has to be carried up to the house. 100’s of gallons each day. We use rechargeable lanterns, kerosene lamps, and headlights at night. We put IV’s in with flashlights/headlamps. We are doing all we can to save as many as we can. I have heard it over, and over and over again by our patients. They tell us–God sent you here many years ago, but today in this moment, we know this is why God has sent you here to save us now from cholera. So we continue to do what God has sent us here to do. Showing his love to as many as we can, telling them each and every day, and showing them through our actions, that He is the the True and all mighty God.