Port au Prince

Port au Prince
"He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure." Psalm 40:2

Monday, July 15, 2013

Today was my first day working in the hospital. After seeing a few routine patients, a woman burst into the exam room, holding her limp, one year old daughter. Through tears and terror she explained her daughter fell from the second story of a building onto the concrete below. A quick exam revealed she had a severe skull fracture and possibly bleeding in the brain. In order to diagnosis a brain hemorrhage she needed a more sophisticated hospital with a CT scanner and a neurosurgeon.  I assisted in the transfer and spent the trip praying the child would not stop breathing on the way. After a very nerve wracking drive we arrived at the other hospital, who refused to see the patient because they did not have a neurosurgeon or a trauma surgeon. Even more desperate, we left for another hospital with both a CT scanner and a neurosurgeon. The whole ride the only thing that baby’s mother said was “Jesus”. When we arrived at the second hospital, we were met by an EMT who agreed that an emergent head CT and likely neurosurgery were needed. While the child lie limp and pale in her mother’s arms, the EMT explained that you could not see the neurosurgeon unless you had had a head CT. In order to have a head CT (emergent or not) you needed to pay $200 up front. This was more money than the child’s mother likely makes in a year.  I was absolutely overwhelmed by the injustice of the whole situation. After some negotiation, the hospital agreed to admit the baby and both the Haitian physician and myself promised to do what we could to offset the cost of treatment. Both the Haitian doctor and I left that baby feeling defeated and helpless. The Haitian doctor explained that she often feels this way. That she can easily diagnose disease and make the right recommendation, but more often than not, the family cannot afford treatment. She asked me, “What good is my knowledge and training is if it helps no one?”  I am oppressed by the same thoughts. The poverty here is so oppressive and seems insurmountable. I will, like the child’s mother, put my faith in God.


1 comment:

  1. Job 5:8-16 ESV

    “As for me, I would seek God, and to God would I commit my cause, who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number: he gives rain on the earth and sends waters on the fields; he sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety. He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success."

    I join you in pray for this little girl and her mother that He would intervene in a mighty way!