Monday, October 22, 2012


Hello Everyone!
I hope this email finds you well. There has been A LOT going on the past few weeks in Haiti and I have been meaning to write an email update (I am much better at updating my facebook then getting an official email out) BUT I really wanted to take the time tonight to update you all and petition your PRAYERS. Over the next few days I will write you some updates and prayer requests. I want to start with the most IMMEDIATE one. Tomorrow Christ-Cherry is having a life saving surgery in the Dominican Republic (DR)

Dominican Republic Medical Adventures….
12 days ago Heather Meyer (Co-director of Miriam Center specifically working with severe & profound children) headed to Santiago, Dominican Republic seeking medical help for herself, Peterson (her “son”), Papito (father to Christ-Cherry & Hatian Supervisor of Miriam Center), and Christ-Cherry started on a medical Adventure. Below are the updates I have received thus far

October 11th-Been holding off on this update until I had more details, so here it goes...The Miriam Center at NWHCM is blessed to have a seizure team come down a few times a year to check on our children who are on seizure meds. They were around to witness my seizures as well, and highly advocated for me to get more testing and evaluation done before the scheduled November trip. In November, Papito, Christ-tcherry, Peterson, and I were all scheduled to go to a hospital in Santiago, DR for follow ups, testing, med changes, possible tonsil/adnoids surgery for Christ-tcherry, etc. Well, I immediately broke down as I didn't think it was possible to do this all right now and it would cost a fortune to do it now for me and again for them in November, but of course God works in crazy, special, and amazing ways. So, last night, the four of us along with Nahum (who came along to hold Petey the whole time so I could rest and take my meds knowing my baby boy would be good on our night journey,) came on the Haitian overnight bus to Port au Prince. We arrived here at a hotel at 9am. The boys and I have rested in the room all day while Papito was able to obtain his visa in less than 5 hours (Praise God!) I received a generous donation to help with some initial funding like transport, accommodations, visa expense and that has relieved so much anxiety. Pastor Daniel "happens" to be in PaP today and is going back to Ounaminthe tomorrow so he is picking the four of us up and taking us back with him. We have passports, visas, referrals, etc so we should be able to make our way to the hospital on Saturday morning. I have called the neurologist and he is willing and ready to receive us when we get there. He knows we are on a tight budget so he is going to do as much "outpatient" as possible. So blessed to have so many understanding hearts. If you feel led in any way to help (and yes, prayer is definitely needed too,) please contact me and I can let you know the needs. We feel blessed and loved tonight and know that ONLY God could have orchestrated all of this! (side note: thanks to Stephanie and Ashley for doing an awesome packing job...definitely deserves an IOU

October 12- Journey Update: Papito just went outside to meet Pastor Daniel to show him out hotel. We will be on our way to our next stop Ouanaminthe in just a few more minutes. Peterson had a small seizure this AM, and Christ-tcherry woke up cranky but all of us have had our meds and now have full stomachs. Praying for sleepy babies on the ride :) Thank you for the continued prayers. I will update again when we arrive in Ouanaminthe.

October 13th MORNING- We knew there would be bumps along the journey, but nothing too big for our God. We are in our taxi on our way to Santiago now! A big thank you to everyone who helped make this possible. Will keep you updated as possible.

October 13th NIGHT- We've made it to Santiago. Boys are changed and fed. We won't go to the hospital until tomorrow. With it being at night and a Saturday, and no emergency...we will go tomorrow and check things out and proceed as we are directed Keep praying. The prayers are greatly felt! I will write more later once I figure out Internet situation.

October 14th- Update: Annie (and Francimene) so graciously are helping Papito, the boys, and I out today. We went to the hospital today so Papito could see it, went to the neutologist's office to know where to go tomorrow, called the neurologist and have to be at his office around 11am tomorrow. He acted over the phone as though we would have to be admitted via ER but would walk us through the process if needed. Everything is going smoothly. We got an Internet USB so hopefully we will be able to figure it out and have better contact. Thanks for everything. We are super blessed!

October 15th- Well, as we figured this will be a process. We got to the neurologist office at 11, and just got back to the hotel. He spent 2 hours with us going through everything we need. Peterson and I have EEGs scheduled for Friday and Monday, labwork referrals, I have a MRI referral, Christ-tcherry has a CT scan and the BIG stuff for Christ-tcherry we will know tomorrow as he has a referral to a pediatrician who will direct us regarding his tonsils and asthma. For now, we are happy to be back at the hotel. It has been a long day and tomorrow will be long too. We are grateful to be able to do this mostly outpatient and are happy to be staying in a hotel that is $35 a night. The medical bills will start adding up though, so I will let you know that help is needed. If you feel led to help in any way (small works great,) please let me know. Knowing that God has orchestrated all of this and it will be taken care of.

October 16th- Nobody ever wants to hear from a specialist the sentence, "Wow, look at this!" Christ-tcherry indeed needs surgery to remove tonsils/adnoids. His airway is severely blocked. So, he is getting his 3rd X-ray for the day now and then we are off to the hotel as we have to be back here at 7am for blood work for 3 of us. Thanks for the prayers. Everyone is doing well and hanging in there like true troopers.

October 17th- Feeling so blessed today! Christ-tcherry’s lab work, EKG, chest x-ray, and doctor consults went very well today. He passed it all, and has been booked for surgery at 7am on Tuesday! The internet is causing us a bit of a problem as I want to stay more connected with all of you, but hopefully this weekend, I can get a blog together. Tomorrow, we have our 4th day at the hospital in Santiago. We have to pick up Peterson’s “special” lab work, Christ-tcherry and Peterson have CT Scans, and I have a MRI. Other than that, we are good. Papito is hanging in there too. He is such a loving father, and it is amazing to hear him speak of his first few years with Christ-tcherry. He worked two jobs so that he could buy Christ-tcherry baby formula when he was a baby since his wife passed away during Christ-tcherry’s birth…one dedicated daddy! Christ-tcherry’s surgery is estimated at $2,000USD for his surgery, anesthesia, recovery room, and one night in the hospital afterward. We will then have to stay another week to get the “clear” and for the tissue biopsy results, so I am estimating that we need about $2700-$3000 to finish this all out. Please let me know if you are at all interested in helping out. It’s going to happen! I just know it! God has had His healing hand on this little one forever, and He placed him in my care a little over a year ago. Thank you for helping and praying. We feel it so much!!!

October 18th- Another long day in Santiago at the hospital. Peterson ended up just going along for the ride again as he actually didn't need a CT scan. Christ-tcherry got his and I had to schedule my MRI for tomorrow at 8:30pm (no mistake there...PM!...haha.) So, Papito will have the boys while I get my EEG in the afternoon and MRI at night. Today, I had to fight a mischarge from a prior visit, but God is working that out and the fight should be over tomorrow! Thanks for the prayers. They are needed and appreciated

Yesterday- About to head to the hospital to see Christ-tcherry's surgeon and to pay for his surgery (believing in faith that the funding will come in as God wants.) Peterson has a 3 hour EEG at 2pm today too. If you have a chance, please read my latest blog on Christ-tcherry and the present need to fund his surgery. Thank you for the prayers and support. Below is the BLOG POST Heather Wrote Christ-tcherry (Miracle Baby!)

Although, I wish I had more time to write and update everyone, I am crunched for time today. So, the goal is to get this blog out today to get people praying for this little miracle boy! Many of you already know Papito and Christ-tcherry's story and how they have impacted my life forever. We were scheduled to come to the Dominican Republic for medical care in November, but because of events with my health, we had to come a month earlier. It has been evident that everything has been in God's timing as it has all worked out relatively smoothly. (it could have been a very rough road) We have been here for 9 days doing a lot of outpatient medical stuff (doctor consults, testing, lab work, etc.) All the doctors have been wonderful as they are working with Peterson, Christ-tcherry, and myself. Christ-tcherry was seen by a neurologist last week, and we were referred to an Ear, Nose, and Throat surgeon for his Tonsilectomy surgery where he will also have his tongue "clipped." The surgeon looked at his X-ray and was appalled by what he saw. Parts of Christ-tcherry's airway are only the size of a needle where it should be the size of a pen cap all the way through. This is causing major respiratory problems for Christ-tcherry and he is being deprived of more and more oxygen every day. The surgeon said at best we have up to a year to get this surgery done before his airway closes completely. I do not tell you all of this as a "sob" story, but mainly for facts and proof of God's perfect timing! All the doctors believe that this will be a life saving surgery for Christ-tcherry and that he will begin to really thrive after it. Because we came a month early, I had not had time to fundraise for this surgery, and am asking if you will consider contributing directly to his surgery. I have been able to cover most of our other expenses by a generous initial donation of $1,100. This is what really prompted me to "go out on a limb" and seek all the medical attention needed at this time (in the long run, saving money.) Tomorrow, I have to pay $1,800 for Christ-tcherry's surgery, one night hospital stay, and tissue biopsy. I am believing in faith that the funds will come in...I have to! The Lord has guided me thus far, and I know it is in His will for this precious boy to get this care. The hospital has been so generous in making us a "package" deal where a huge deposit is not needed. Christ-tcherry's surgery will be done at 7am on Tuesday morning. His dad (Papito) and I will be with him. Peterson will come visit once he is out of recovery and in a regular room. The two boys have become very close over the past 9 days...their bond is sweet! If you would consider donating to Christ-tcherry's surgery, please let me know and I will let you know how best to do so considering your needs as well. Everyone can pray, so please keep Christ-tcherry and his daddy in your prayers this next week. Their bond is precious and something unheard of (even in the states!) We really have felt much love, and are blessed beyond measure to have you along with us for this exciting journey. I will keep everyone updated as well as I can via Facebook, and hoping for a "PRAISE REPORT" blog afterward! TODAY: Well, the little man (Petey) slept through his entire EEG just like he was suppose to and it was 3 hours long! I guess waking him up at 5am and not letting him fall asleep until the test at 2pm worked. Thanks for the love and support!

TOMORROW is Christ-Cherry’s Surgery. I am asking all of you for you PRAYERS for this sweet boy and his AMAZING Father For everything to go smoothly, for quick recovery, for peace for his papi, and guidance for the doctors.

Here is a blog Heather wrote about Christ-Cherry and his father Papito
As I was in church on Christmas morning, I had tears in my eyes for so many reasons. First of all, I was just thankful and filled with pure joy to be in Haiti celebrating and remembering the Savior’s birth. I was also missing my little Jean this Christmas season, but realizing that being in Heaven has to be the best place to be on Christmas day! Then, I focused on the fact that I was holding a little miracle… On October 16th, a young man came up to me after church telling me that he had a son at home that was 2 ½ years old. He said that his friend told him that Mami Heather could help since his son did not walk or talk (the word has gotten around that I love all children that look a little different, can’t walk, and can’t talk…haha.) I immediately told him to bring his son the following day for me to evaluate and see. At 9am, this father arrived with his son. I had never seen a cleaner child in Haiti in my life! I picked him up in my arms, and knew that “crackling” sound oh too well. This little one had obviously aspirated, and needed to be tended to. I brought him and his dad up to the clinic where our nurse, Emily, was. We both knew that this little boy had cerebral palsy, and was suffering from aspiration. We weighed him, put him on an antibiotic, and gently told his father that his son had a condition where he might not ever walk or talk. I watched this father’s heart just break right in front of me. His little Christ-tcherry was all that he had. His wife had a C-section with Christ-tcherry and died when he was 2 months old due to an infection in the incision (a death that could have been prevented, for sure!) What could I do? In front of me was a 25 year old widowed father who obviously loves his baby boy with all his heart. He is educated and intelligent, but will not work because he does not trust anyone else to watch his severely disabled child. The day I met Papito and Christ-tcherry, I gave them cereal, baby food, and a stroller. I figured the stroller would help keep Christ-tcherry in an upright position to help with aspiration. I told Papito to come to church with his son every week, and that if he did, I would continue to help them. Every Sunday since, Papito has brought Christ-tcherry to church. I have continued to help him as much as I can. On December 3rd, Papito came to the property of Danita’s Children around 3pm to tell me that Christ-tcherry was very sick and struggling to breathe. Blake and I jumped on a motorcycle, and hurried to their home. I didn’t have to walk inside to hear Christ-tcherry; I could hear his labored breathing from outside. I immediately looked at Christ-tcherry’s chest concaving in each time he tried to breathe. Little air was passing through. I picked his limp and tired body up off of the bed, told Papito to grab a few things because we had to go to the clinic across the border immediately. The border was about to close, but I knew we didn’t have any other choice. I knew this child would certainly die if we didn’t go right then and there. In my heart, I knew it would take a miracle from above to breathe life back into this child. I wanted this father to know that we tried everything, and that there was HOPE in our Lord. We got to the clinic, and the doctor was called. She took vitals right away, and had no way of getting an x-ray until morning. Thank goodness she was compassionate and understanding, and started the IV antibiotics and oxygen right away. I was scared and nervous. I wasn’t with Jean when he passed away, but I could only imagine that this was similar to the same situation. We were dealing with aspirating pneumonia, a high fever, and we were even in the same room of the clinic. I prayed and asked God to be in control of the situation. I pleaded for life and a miracle, but also told God that if it wasn’t the day for that, I understood and would still trust Him with everything! I could see that Papito knew his son’s life was in danger. I could see the worry in his eyes. He didn’t say much. He just held his baby boy tightly, and comforted him as needles were going in and out of his son’s tiny body. After a few hours, things seemed to be settled down, and Christ-tcherry’s breathing was not as labored with the oxygen. I went home for the night, and asked the nurse to call me during the night if anything changed. I would return in the morning. Christ-tcherry had made it through the night. He was a fighter. I asked Papito if they slept, and he said that Christ-tcherry did. When I asked him if he slept, he said, “No, I could not sleep. All I could do was pray. Mami Heather, he is all I have left.” This is love, this is true love. This father/son love is a rare find especially in Haiti, and it has been such a blessing to me to see. I left the two of them in the clinic by themselves for the day while I went to Haiti. I crossed back into the DR around 5pm, and checked on them. All seemed to be going ok. I ate dinner with some visitors, and then brought food to Papito. I was with Bill (a missionary who was a paramedic in the states) and we both thought that Christ-tcherry had taken a turn for the worse. His breathing sounded horrible, and the oxygen didn’t seem to be helping very much. The doctor had rigged something up to help keep the oxygen in Christ-tcherry’s space to give him all the help he could get. She looked at both of us, and said that it didn’t look good and that Christ-tcherry might not make it through the night. Bill contacted another doctor in the states, and they both agreed that this was probably going to be it. This could quite possibly be the night for Christ-tcherry to enter the Kingdom’s gates. I left the room because the tears started to flow, and I needed to still talk to Papito and prepare him for what might come. I prayed and just asked the Lord to prepare our hearts and be with all of us through the night no matter what He chose to do. I had made the decision to stay in the clinic with Christ-tcherry and his dad. I didn’t want his dad to be alone if Christ-tcherry died in the night. I wanted to be there for the both of them. Blake and Bill took shifts to be there too. I was sitting on the bed with Christ-tcherry and I read the back of his jacket that he had been wearing for the past two days. In big letters it said, “Forever Yours.” It was so fitting and just a reminder that this little boy belonged to God. He is forever His and that brought so much comfort during this time. Each hour passed, and Christ-tcherry fought hard! God was holding him tight, and when morning came, I realized that God had performed a miracle. Christ-tcherry was alive and breathing better! Everyone agreed that only God could have done that. Christ-tcherry’s chances of survival went up drastically because he had made it through the night. After a couple more days, he was taken off the oxygen. After 6 nights of sleeping in the clinic with his daddy by his side every minute, Christ-tcherry had received all his IV antibiotics and was ready to be discharged. What a great miracle we just witnessed. His dad was excited to bring Christ-tcherry back home to Haiti where he would show off his son and the good work the Lord had done! The homecoming was priceless! His uncles, aunts, cousins, and neighbors all greeted him with big smiles and laughter. Christ-tcherry had a check-up at the clinic and is still doing great. He will continue to struggle with all that comes with cerebral palsy and living in Haiti, but he will forever be the little Christmas miracle of 2011!!!
Heather Meyer, Peterson, Christ-Cherry, and Papito
Papito and his son Christ-Cherry
Christ-Cherry and Peterson
Peterson during his EEG Today


Autumn Marshall OTR/L
Miriam Center Therapy Coordinator