Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Medical visas

It has been very busy on the medical visa front since my return to Haiti. We are working actively on 5 cases at the moment: a boy with urinary obstruction, a baby with an imperforate anus, a little club foot boy, a severe case of scoliosis in one of Dorothy's children, and a congenital amputee named Whitney who is a little spitfire! She talked to me on the phone last night and commanded, "Miss Kez, don't you forget about me, OK?"

On Monday, I saw 12 patients here at the Shoebox. Some were not visa candidates but here are a few that were:

Emerson, a little cleft lip baby from the ravine

Widenico has a bowed leg

Nervens' scapula pops out of joint with any movement. I need to get a second opinion on him; with my limited expertise, I'm not sure if his problem could be repaired surgically.

Casimyr is another urinary obstruction. I don't think he wanted his photo taken :)

Mackencia was 9 days old when a candle fell on her mattress and caught it on fire. She was burned on both feet, so severely on the right foot that she now has a burn contracture that has deformed her foot and makes it very painful for her to walk. She will probably need orthopedic and plastic surgery.

Sendhie, Edjour, and I spend hours on each case here in Haiti getting together the necessary paperwork on each child, while Vanessa, Tami and the team in the US spend days finding doctors, hospitals, and host families. At the moment, our biggest obstacle is the Haitian passport office. It was closed for several months after the earthquake and though it is open now, it is working at a snail's pace. In a place of such corruption as Haiti, the options are to wait months for each passport or to slip money to someone and hope that they actually deliver. We don't want to do either. Currently, we have spoken with several employees at the National Archives, explaining what we do and how the children cannot wait months, and now we pray that sympathy and honesty will win over greed. Please join us in our prayer!

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