This is the beautiful new black top road that leads to the new hospital in Gonaives. We had the honor of touring the the newly opened facility last week. IT is amazing. I love the way so much construction is done in the Carribean, open air. The hallways are walkways every room has fresh air circulating through except the temp controlled surgery units.
We were walking through the facility with the director of Health. THis man is a friend, a fellow believer and a pedatric doctor. We were stopped by a nurse in the pediatric ward as she asked Dr. Honore to have a look at a13 year old boy . The situation had already caught my heart as i watched this young boy struggle to breathe, he seemed unconscious. His father sat by his bed, eyes riveted to his son’s chest as it made every effort to rise and fall. My eyes were on this fathers face. Such intense love and near panic.
i talked with him and asked the kids name and situation, apparently he was in a diabetic coma and desperately in need of an injectable antibiotic. Dr. Honore explained that the hospital pharmacy has neither of those things and that the family had no means to buy them. We got on the phone to Cody and Keziah, met at a pharmacy in town and brought the antibiotic and put it in the hands of the father. As i stood in the hall and talked with the Pediatric doc on call that day, he told me that the real need the kid had was for insulin R , again, not available at the hospital. He told me clearly that the father had no means to buy it if they did, It is expensive medicine… 25.00 usd a vial. very much out of the grasp of this family.
i just looked at him and asked, how do you do this everyday? As a doctor, how do you watch suffering continue so needlessly, when 25 usd…or usually much less money, could cure and bring relief? He just looked at me , shook his head.
i was again brought back to my early days in Haiti, standing in a rural hospital with wounded people laying on naked beds with out the means to buy pain reliever, sutures, bandages to set broken bones and Beaver took everyones scripts in hand, went out to the nearest pharmacy and bought what everyone needed so the doctors could work… for less than 100 usd. IT is still just as real today as it was 10 years ago.
i stood looking at this young bright doctor and he looked back and asked, “are you going to help them? Are you going to get the insulin for him?” All our great training of “when Helping Hurts” all our big words about not facilitating cycles of poverty…not doing “hand outs” … all that came to one question in that moment…”if that was my son?”…. it was not a difficult decision.
Out the door we went, scripts in hand in search of insulin R.
i ‘ve spent so much time trying to help visiting teams understand why we don’t just give to every kid who asks for one dollar. I talk loud and strong with such firm convictions… i must or i will crumble? because it is a constant thing here. constant . every day. many times a day . the needs , especially in Jubilee are so real, so tangible. watching kids picking through the garbage, kids and old ladies. and then to see this kid in the hospital and knowing we could walk the halls and find a hundred more situations like his, where for such a relatively small amount of money, live can be saved.
Haiti is in need of great economic development. She needs men and women of faith to plant their lives and businesses here…people to train folks in living the way of the kingdom in all aspects of life…this builds up cities and families. This is a slow solution. not a quick fix. Please pray for us, that we stay soft of heart enough to know when to just give. at the moment. give. But also that we’d be really really wise in building structures and training people in ways that will last long term.