Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ministry UPDATE February 2014

It has been a busy…full month of ministry. At the end of most days I usually am not sure what I did or accomplished but looking back over the month I am reminded what a busy, productive & blessed month of ministry it was!


Seizure Team- We are so blessed to have a neurologist specializing in pediatrics send a team of his nurses 3-4 times a year (and he comes at least 1x a year himself) to make sure all of our Miriam Home and outreach children as well as some community people have needed medication for seizures, behavior, and muscle tone. I have seen so many of our children make so many gains since they started coming. He is one of the only if not the only neurologist of his specialty that comes to Haiti & does what he does. We are so blessed. They spent 7 days re-evaluating everyone who is currently on meds and evaluating a few new children. Dr. Franz & Gail do an amazing job helping the families & individuals who can understand themselves what is going on, why they are prescribing which meds and helping the families better understand their children. It was so wonderful to finally meet Dr. Franz as I have heard so much about him but have never overlapped in Haiti while he was in country.

Eye Team- In February the eye team was at the mission. 70 American/Canadian came for a week and performed 148 surgeries and saw 1,000 patients in the clinic. 3 of the outreach children who have visual impairments had the opportunity of going to clinic to get their eyes examined. I had the privilege of meeting the little guy pictured below. He got 2 fake eyes from the eye team. He was born without eyes. This little guy also has other developmental delays. They came from 4-5 hours away and so not able to sit on his own or walk. I got to spend an hour teaching this family how to do therapy with their son at home and show them the potential he has to sit and stand.

Skin Doctor- We were blessed to have a dermatologist Dr. Gary come in with the eye team. He came with plans to spend time at the Miriam Center. He spent some time almost everyday he was at the mission working with the Miriam Center nurses, Stephanie, & myself educating/explaining to us about various skin disorder & how to best treat them in Haiti. He spent time evaluating the kids who needed to see him the most, writing out plans, and providing us with skin medications to help with they many skin issues that arise in Haiti. He is such an amazing doctor for multiple reasons…He knows his stuff, he is gentle with the kids, He took time to educate & train for follow through, and he was AWSOME with the kids.

Dental Hygentist- We were tremendously blessed to have Carla come and clean the teeth (or attempt to) of ALL the Miriam Home children, the school outreach children, and many of the Miriam Center Staff (including myself ;-) She is AMAZING…she was so patient, gently and thorough. What was even more amazing was that not only did she clean all the teeth of the above but cleaned all the orphan kids (90), the boys at the Bay (30+), and many of the mission staff.


 Foot AFO’s- I fit all the outreach children with old donated AFO’s. Most everyone who needed a pair got a pair that fits decently well. The AFO foot braces will help when working on standing as well as for positioning of feet into a good stretch. It was so wonderful to see how excited the parents were and some of the children were to receive needed braces.

New Therapy Room/Clinic- As of yesterday Ralph’s dad (outreach) finished building all the therapy equipment in the new room. He painted, build/installed shelving, made a ladder, made adjustable height tables, installed countertops, built adjustable height parallel bars, stairs, a matt table and stackable benches. Everything looks so good!!! I am excited to get in their next week to clean, organize and get the room ready to start using it. I hired one of my outreach mothers to come in and help me clean & organize the room so it will be ready to start using. I will post a separate blog with the finished pictures when I completely finish I have a few more things to finish up. 

Hand Braces- The week that the eye team I set out to tackle making all the outreach children needed hand/leg braces since we would have power all day. Since outreach is in the afternoons we never have power and I need power to boil the water, use the heat gun, and the hot glue gun. Thus making eye team week the perfect week to tackle this project. I made 30+ braces in 4 afternoons. The crazy business made it all worth it to see how excited the families were for their children to receive needed braces.

Fixing Chairs- I have spent multiple days fixing the Miriam Center chairs, re-inforcing them with plywood & ductape…re-doing a few chairs and starting to specialize some of the outreach kids chairs as parents request them. It has been fun to use some of the new patterned ductape to decorate and my 55lbs of ductape I bought while I was home has definitely come in handy for all the projects I am working on.

PVC Pipe Walkers- One of projects I have been excited to start was making needed walkers to increase independence for the Miriam Home and Outreach children out of PVC pipe. I was blessed that a team from Cincinnati embraced the project & helped me come up with a protocol, measurements, etc. Now I am working on mass producing. I did not think I had too many kids that would benefit but after trialing them during outreach time I up to making 12-14 of them!!!! It is going to take me quite a while to cut all the PVC pipe, glue them together, sew seats, add snaps, etc. The following pictures are some of the kids trying them out.  

MP3 Music Players- While I was home I purchased MP3 players & speakers for each bedroom/classroom that is filled with Creole worship music, Creole dance music, Veggie Tales Bible songs, Nightime soothing music, etc. The kids LOVE LOVE LOVE their music and ask for it all the time. After a week of constantly trying to remember to put music, keep everything charged, etc. I took a break until Justin came. He built wooden shelves that lock so I can keep them plugged into the outlets to charge and so I just have to climb up and press play. It also keep everything safe from little hands ;-)

Henry Claude sitting up in a chair for the first time in almost a year. Also learned how much he loves anything sweet especially lollipops and cake!

 Thamara is progressing after her surgery in October. She sure is a fighsty one to say the least but I am just as stubborn as she is and we are making progress :-)

The kids are loving the IPAD. They want to play on them all the time so we set limits. They get to use them during therapy time in the stander and on Saturday's. I have been using the IPAD in the severe & profound preschool as well and they love time on the IPAD as well.

Hand Patient- I am continuing to work with my hand guy and I am excited that he is gaining some more movement in his arm!

Ti-Willey- Is standing and Walking with assistance and loving his new walker/stander

Kenderson LOVES LOVES his sensory input and when he sees me get out his vest or the swing comes running to put it on. Occaisonally he will even grab the swing and bring it to me or grab me and take me to the swing. He is definitely starting to let us know his needs and wants more. The other day he grabbed my hand and took me over to the water to tell me he wanted some water.