Updated: Aug 18, 2020
For those of you who have been to Haiti and/or are familiar with the lack of medical infrastructure, you will understand how difficult it is to get even basic care. This is unfortunately a common issue. One we have battled for years.
This time, we had a very sick 15-year-old boy, Lele, who is in unexpected kidney failure. After being rejected from one hospital, saying “there is nothing they can do,” we began the process of transferring him to another hospital in hopes they could help.
However, this transfer in itself was risky. It required our mLs medical staff, Lele, and his mother, to go through one of the most dangerous, barricaded and gang-ridden areas of Haiti. Furthermore, they’re riding in a small vehicle turned makeshift ambulance. No protection. No bullet-proof windows. Literally moving targets.
There was no guarantee they wouldn’t get stopped, robbed, and/or killed on the way to the hospital, let alone the odds that this next hospital could even help Lele.
Now Lele's LIFE wasn’t the only one at risk, everyone in that car’s LIFE was too.
So we did the only thing we knew to do, we prayed. Our staff being updated via our myLIFEspeaks group chat, prayed. You all, prayed. We prayed for protection of that vehicle and provision to get through the unpredictable.
By the Grace of God, we got through the barricades refusing to stop and got Lele safely to the hospital with help from our friends at HERO rescue ambulatory mission.
Simple things that we take for granted in the United States, like being admitted to a hospital or even getting safely TO the hospital is a gamble in Haiti.
A similar gamble, is getting reliable medical care once you get there.
Unfortunately for Lele, simple things like getting blood and dialysis, is a LIFE-threatening challenge.
And like every other time we deal with hospitals in Haiti, there are always more obstacles on the horizon.
At Haitian hospitals the family is responsible for buying and bringing the supplies needed for whatever procedure the doctor suggests. Because here, the needed supplies don’t just appear at the bedside in the hospital per doctors orders. There is no "treat first, pay later" mentality. Family members of the patient are forced to scramble to get the necessary supplies.
So once Lele finally got to the hospital and was seen by a doctor, his mom had no choice but to leave him there and scramble to get the supplies needed to help him. Unimaginable.
[ Clarification: myLIFEspeaks provided funding for all of Lele's necessary supplies and care. Money that we didn't really have due to our already skeleton crew and shoestring budget in the wake of 2020. But we REFUSED to let anyone suffer because they have less than others. We absolutely refused. So we carried on, trusting that God would provide.
We closely monitored Lele's care and communicated with his doctors and mother constantly. The hospital was too far away and too small for our staff to physically stay there with him. Haitian hospitals aren't like in the U.S. where there are hundreds of private rooms. In Haiti, they have around 10-15 beds with space for 1 person to be with the patient.]