Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Critical Patient Update

Please note the update I received from Sheila today. It's only been 5 days since we left, but it's still great news!

Greetings Mike,
Thankful you arrived home without a hitch. Just a little update on the
hospital patients. The twins are doing fine. Getting a little darker and
content with being held by grandparents. Baby David is also learning to
nurse his mother sleeping contently otherwise. His mother is doing better
she smiled when I told her she had a fine boy baby. Not sure about the
trauma patients. I think they are doing as well as hoped for.

Still working on the hydro and the reservoir....began cleaning it yesterday.
Brother John Ruefner on the next team is and electrical engineer. Guess I
will hold his passport until he has all of the problems figured out :).

So thankful for your team. It was such a blessing for me.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Safely Home

Joan & I left shortly after 6 am for the Cayes airport this morning. It was good to be able to spend a couple days with them. Again, we were one of the first ones to the terminal. I breezed right through and the flight was on time. Same thing in PAP, no problems anywhere even though Mardi Gras is tomorrow. I was even able to take my water bottle all the way through security and on to the plane in PAP? It was amazing to go through 7 check points in PAP airport alone! I sailed right through customs in Ft Lauderdale and wouldn't you know, I saw a mosquito on the plane when we landed in Florida. He's probably going to follow me home! I arrived in Detroit about 10 min ahead of schedule. Thankful to be home safe and a huge thank you to all who offered prayers on our teams behalf. May God reward you abundantly.

The only additional update I may include here is the condition of patients of interest when I find out.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


We were up early and left 7:20ish for church. Good thing Jill wasn't along. The loud speakers in Bonne Fin were just a warm up for the ones today. At least 4 of us were plugging our ears at times. After services we headed up to Fortresse des Platons. It's an old fort that overlooks the bay of Cayes and the valley. It was a 2 hr trip of which the second half was 4 wheel drive winding up the mountains with very steep and rocky roads. We didn't take it out of 1st gear very much. The views were incredible! Hard to capture. We took lunch with us and ate at the fort. Then we came back to Tim's and enjoyed some American chicken with ice cream in the evening.

Saturday afternoon

The last couple blogs are going to be mostly myself since I'm the only one left down here. From the airport, Sheila and I came back to my brother's. I arrived in time to get in on breakfast and then I took a 3 hr nap on the couch with the kids playing beside me. At least that made my 3 hr night a 6 hr one. Then I helped my brother install a water line and medicine cabinet for the new 3 bdrm apartment. They had a few over for the evening meal.

Oh the blessing of a warm shower!

The temps here are at least 10 deg warmer than Bonne Fin.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Saturday Morning

We were up early enough to finish packing, loading and on the road by 5:10. We didn't lose any luggage so Noah did a great job packing the top of the truck. Traveling early morning is a difficult time of day. There are lots of people and donkeys on the road and dark skin is hard to see in the dark; common sense. But Sheila did a great job getting us there safely and on time-Thanks Sheila! We briefly stopped by the MEBESH compound on the way to the Les Cayes airport. Fortunately we were the first ones to the "terminal", took a few group photos with our Haitian photographer (hopefully everyone is in the photo) and then checked in. Sheila and I waved the plane off - ON TIME! Hope everyone has a safe journey today. I'll be anxious to hear travel updates.

Picture Sampling

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday (cont.)

Then about 9:30ish 3 more trauma patients came in via something. There was a bad motorcycle accident at a nearby market. I guess 2 motorcycles got together (probably head on). One young man died (has a young family) and 3 came here. One of the 3 (a young man) coded on them, he also lost his left eye (I think it's the same one?) and is a friend of one of our interpreters. So that kept the docs busier than Fridays normally are. They didn't get back to the house tonight till after 10 and Dr Rudolph had 2 more surgeries to go. Rudy said they did over 40 procedures this week.

Fortunately, incoming PT really slows up by the end of the week so Jennifer was able to help with the traumas. Today was more than they hoped for.

I started off by hooking up the generator in the guest house to turn the refrigerator on and then I took 2 of the maintenance guys and the swimmer back down to the reservoir to attempt the power restoration process. They rigged up a 25' piece of chain link fence rail with a pitch fork jammed in the end for our sea weed rake. Tossed it on top of the truck and off we were. They were not happy campers to be messing with this again, but they did because I was there. After about an hour of them dragging sea weed out, I hiked down to the hydro with the operator, and boy was that a hike! My grand canyon hike prepared me for this one (although this one was much shorter but more difficult). It's too bad the whole group wasn't able to go this afternoon because of the traumas that came in, since the scenery was awesome with huge white boulders in the valley. Unfortunately my camera broke yesterday :-( Anyway, the operator opened the main valve, threw the switch and walla, we had power. Not sure if the seaweed had anything to do with it or not, but it's on now.

Later in the afternoon some of the group played frisbee with a few of the staff/helpers in the courtyard. And I finally was able to put my cart of crutch parts away. Then around 5:45 we had some more fun outside in the courtyard. Hopefully the docs won't read this part, because we took 2 of the recovery patients and did a barrel race across the lawn. We had been trying to get them more active and outside all week for therapy. Somehow I don't think barrel racing is in the normal PT script. And I really hope they don't try that when we're gone...especially the one with the external fixator!

What do you know, but they didn't forget about my engagement testimony, so we did that after we ate. I guess I don't mind sharing it since one of my prayers was for a marriage of faith as a testimony to others. So I need to be willing now. Then the midwest girls and I went back to the hospital and sang 2 songs to baby David's family before heading back to the house to pack, shower (you just don't get use to those cold showers) and get ready for a 4:45 morning departure...boy am I envious, but being with family the next 2 days will help.