Tuesday, August 16

Carrying on.

I'm back in the States.

I HATE leaving Haiti. There is never a good time to leave and I am never ready. There are still so many needs and so much to be done. Mackens is fighting hard for his life today and I'm not there.

Thankfully, there are some who have committed their life to this. Licia will fight alongside Mackens today. The rest of the staff will continue to fight everyday for their community in the clinic, the Rescue Center, the Cholera House, the Community Group, School Sponsorhips and more. From here we can join them in prayer and spirit. We can advocate for the poor and we can give our time and our resources so they may carry on. Let's carry on.

I'll leave you with this video I was unable to upload while in Haiti. This is about an hour after Jesula was born. Such a sweet sweet memory!

Untitled from Caroline Tigner on Vimeo.

And now back to my regularly scheduled un-blogworthy life. Until the next trip, y'all....

Sunday, August 14

Sunday Sewing

Yanick has the education of a 4th grader. And she can suture like a boss.

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*heel caught in the chain of a motor cycle

Saturday, August 13

critical kids, critical prayers.

WARNING: I don't have password protection capability on this blog, so I am telling you right now if you don't want to see a severe burn, please stop reading, move your mouse to the X box in the corner of this page and resume your normal web surfing activities....

Last week Licia and I were talking about how God has been so good to us because things have generally calmed down since Lori and all of the other volunteers left. We have had fewer patients and more help in the cholera house and virtually no critical kids. It was a blessing to have so many extra hands when we had lots and lots of sick kids a few weeks ago. Now don't get me wrong, God is still just as good to us as He was last week but we now have several very sick kids who require lots and lots of care. I am writing about them today to ask you to get on your knees on their behalf.

We have had several bad days with Macken, he won't eat anything and wouldn't drink anything at all so I (painstakingly) decided to put an NG tube in. He HATED it and he hated me for putting it in. I wanted to try and get some calories in and get his Kwash down and not let his sugar drop. Instead, he puked violently and could not get used to having the tube in. He got super dehydrated and I had to put an IV in his scalp because his limbs are so swollen from the Kwash. I took the tube out yesterday morning and he has done a little bit better, keeping down some liquids. He has also had high fevers off and on. Please pray specifically that Macken will start to eat.

He's kinda cute, huh?

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This is Rose Marie. She is a 7 month old who was in the Rescue Center and then got cholera 3 weeks ago. She recovered from the cholera and was back down in the RC, but got really sick on Thursday. We are really not sure what is going on with her except for high fevers and severe respiratory distress. She is on oxygen and is not doing well at all, I was really shocked she made it through the night last night. Please pray for that her fevers would stay down and her lungs wouldn't have to work so hard. Also, those are frozen water bottles next to her, to keep her temp down.

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Ludes was being treated at the cholera house and came down with something last weekend and is very very sick. He has had severe seizures and has basically been in a coma for the last week. His Mama and Papa have been close by his side all week. We are working with Dr. Jen on a plan for his care so will you pray for wisdom for us and pray that he would respond quickly to treatment.

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This little girl came to us on Thursday night. She lives very very far away and traveled 17 hours by foot, tap tap and moto with her mom and aunt to come see us. 6 Days before she was in her house and her older brother was playing with matches. He burned his finger on a match and threw it out of his hand. She was laying on the ground with her little sister on her stomach and the match landed on top of them. She threw her sister off and her dress caught on fire, she jumped up and tried to put it out with her hands. Her mom came running in and threw water on her but not until a large portion of her trunk had been burned. They tried to treat it with some homemade medication up in the mountains but heard about a place in Cazale that helps children who have been burned and decided to head our way. Praise God they did! This burn is very severe and is showing some signs of infection so we are getting her covered and will be glad to have Dr. Jen here next week to get us going on a long term plan for her. She is really doing fantastic considering and has the sweetest spirit. When she told us the story of what happened, she said "I saved my sister, you see she is so little she would have died. God chose me to burn and that is okay." Please pray for her recovery, pray for her pain to stay minimal and pray for no complications in her treatment.

The first night she came in.

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After her second dressing change. You can bet I wouldn't have a smile on my face.

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Thursday, August 11

one day last week when things had calmed down we went for a walk.

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I love being out here in the mountains where the people live such beautiful, organic lives.

Tuesday, August 9


I hate Kwashiorkor. I hate malnutrition and I hate the poverty that causes it.

Macken and his Papa came to the clinic today. Macken lives with his Papa, his parents are no longer together and Mamma has moved on. He was seen back in March in the clinic and had mild Kwash in his feet so as procedure goes, his Papa was given all the education about what to feed him and how to care for him. He was told to feed him foods high in protein, eggs, beans, peanut butter etc. He went home and he did what the nurse asked and Macken got better for a little while. In the last few weeks his Kwash got really bad and Papa tried some herbal medicines and then took him to see the voodoo doctor. The doctor gave him no answers so he carried Macken down from the mountains to his Mama, who declared that she didn't care what happened to Macken, she is now pregnant with another man's baby and doesn't want anything to do with him. Papa told us he brought him to Real Hope for Haiti today to "see what God could do."

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Macken is adorable and my heart aches for all of the pain he is going through. His arms and legs are so incredibly swollen and have open sores in many places. He was totally distraught when his Papa left today and kept walking around the clinic looking for him. I had to stop letting him walk in real fear that his feet were going to bust open.

Please, please pray with me tonight for little Macken. Pray for his little organs to recover from this severe disease. Please pray for his little heart, that he would know how much his Papa and all of us who are caring for him love him. Pray for his Papa, that his heart would be moved to know God more through this. And I'm going to pray to our big God who can do big things that his Mama would have a heart change.

Monday, August 8


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Saturday, August 6

Baby Jesula

Yesterday morning we said goodbye to baby Jesula and her Momma. I selfishly wanted them to stay another week just so I could hold her longer, but it was time for them to get settled back at home with their new family. We were able to print out all the photos of the birth and after for Mom who will always have them to remember God's goodness to us on that day.They made an appointment to come back to the clinic on Sept 1 for a check-up. As they were leaving mom said, "i'll come back next week if you want to, just so you can see the baby." She could tell we were a little obsessed...

I love this picture because Jesula is screaming her head off and let me tell you a scream from a baby never sounded so sweet to my ears.

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Grandma, Mom, Baby Jesula, and Momma's sister. Beautiful, beautiful women!

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Baby Jesula,

We love you and will always stand in awe of the way God miraculously brought you into our hands. I pray you come to know your Heavenly Father and grow into your namesake telling all the world, Jesus is here.

Thursday, August 4

Jesus is here.

Caution: this is graphic. If you were uncomfortable in your 9th grade Biology screening of "the Miracle of Life" let this be your warning….

At 3:00 yesterday afternoon I had a few problems. We were trying to prepare for Emily, stalking all the weather news, preparing the houses to hold all the extra people, storing enough clean water etc. Hannah (another volunteer) and I were having the hardest time covering a table in contact paper. Too many stinking air bubbles.

At 3:30 I heard Licia's yelling voice from the clinic yard, "CAROLINEEE" (a little panicky) and then I had a few more problems. Two specifically…

A mother in labor was being consulted by the momma and baby nurse, Bernita. She told Bernita that she had been having labor pains since 4 a.m. and started pushing without any progression. Her previous 3 children had come really fast so she was alarmed and had a midwife come who told her to go to a hospital. Mom and Grandma get on a moto and ride 3 hours (YES, I SAID 3 HOURS) down from the mountains. In labor. On a moto. They didn't get a hospital when they came to us, but they had nowhere else to go. It was clear by the time that she got here that her contractions are one on top of the other so Bernita puts her on the table to check her and when she does something doesn't feel right and the fluid mom was leaking was green. This is what Licia tells me as I'm running across the yard. Okay, hmm so that sounds interesting.

I like labor and delivery so I yell at Hannah to come down and help because we get to deliver another baby, yay! Let's get mom up on the table and see what's going on. I check her and sure enough baby has passed meconium (baby's first poop for all you 9th graders). And sure enough something didn't feel right. Babys pass meconium in utero most often when they are in distress. I am not a midwife yet. I am not an L&D nurse or an OB. I know enough to know that what I am feeling is not a head or a foot, but I can't tell you much more than that. Okay, so what are we going to do here? I have never delivered a breech baby. Lori is somewhere between Texas and California. Licia knows accounting really really well and has helped Lori birth some babies in the past. Yanick is the best non-nurse suterer and IV starter I know. Hannah is a very eager, very helpful college student. Bernita and I are technically the only trained medical professionals.

Momma's contractions are getting closer and stronger and she is looking like she is going to push. Our hearts beat a little harder and we breathe a little faster and Licia looks at me and says "we're in trouble here." Great, got that. Now what? The closest hospital is a two hour drive away. We both start to talk out loud, racking our brains for what to do. We finally get a glimpse as mom starts pushing and all we see is blue blue skin. And more meconium. The out loud rambling between me and Licia goes on, something like "okay calm your breathing, let's not freak out, what can we do?" Mom is pushing and hollering, grandma is crying waving her arms in the air. The name of Jesus is then envoked thousands of times over the next 2 hours. It is all sort of a blur but I will try to piece the next few minutes together.

Basically as mom is pushing out pops baby's blue butt. More meconium. None of us can get a finger around any other part of baby. We are stretching mom and yelling PUSH! PUSH! Out pops little girl part. She pees. PUSH! PUSH! Stuck, not budging. More stretching. More hands trying to get around any part of baby to help pull her out. Shoot, this is already taking way too long. PUSH! PUSH! Out pop's a very blue, very floppy leg. More stretching, more yelling, more Jesus. Licia screams out the door of the dressing room "everybody come pray!!!!" The entire staff crowds around the room, peeking through the window singing praise songs. PUSH! PUSH! Baby girl's abdomen comes out and we see her take a breath. PRAISE GOD! Now Jesus, get that baby out. More stretching, more pushing, and nothing. I try to reach in and grab an arm but can't get ahold of anything. Baby girl's shoulders were stuck with her arms above her head. JESUS! Mom has to rest between contractions and we are just losing time. JESUS! At one point, there were multiple hands inside momma trying to get a hold of her shoulders to pull her out. One very blue, very floppy arm is delivered. Another very blue, very floppy arm is delivered. I will never in my life forget the next few moments that seem to last for eternity. Baby girl's entire body was delivered except for her head, momma was exhausted and could hardly push anymore. We stood and watched baby girl's ribs rise and fall with every breath she tried to take. It has been minutes and we cannot get the head out. We try to turn baby around. We open mom's hips wider. Nothing. Licia looks at me and says "I can't do this." We were watching that baby die before our eyes and now have a mom who is at very high risk of losing her life. There would be no way to send mom in town if we were unable to deliver. JESUS. No signs of baby breathing anymore. Mom is starting to bleed. We have to get baby out. Let's get her up, let's get her squatting. It takes 4 people to get mom squatting on the bed. And with a few really good pushes the head comes out.

The little blue baby girl flops on the bed, nose and mouth full of fluid. My first breech and my first stillborn, I thought. We flip her upside down and I get underneath with a bulb syringe sucking as much out as possible. With the other hand we are slapping baby on the back trying any stimulation. Nothing. Thank God for the other women in the room because I completely forgot about mom. Nothing from baby. I probably said "come on little girl" 100 times. After a minute or so, we started CPR and had a good heartbeat but still no breathing. After 5 minute I was this close to saying "we're done" and then a tiny little gasp from baby girl. We stop and look at each other. Was that a breath? Licia yells "everybody pray for the baby." The voices singing praise rose and the rain came down hard. We could hardly hear each other's voice. We continued to give 2 breaths for a few minutes and she began to breathe every 20 seconds or so. We continued stimulation, warmed her up and got a the suction machine on. The gasps got closer together and before I knew it she had a steady respiratory rate. We put her on a little oxygen and though her limbs were still very blue and she had no tone, a little glimpse of hope stirred in our hearts.

Meanwhile, mom was bleeding pretty heavily. The other nurses gave her pitocin and started IV fluids and she began to regain her strength, eyes fixed on the baby between her legs God was saving. Licia had to run out the gate to give some medicine to someone and she came back with tears filled in her eyes. There were 75 people outside the clinic gate with their arms in the air praying for baby girl. They all wanted to know if she was alive. YES, JESUS she was alive. Over the next two hours we slowly watched her come into this world. With every faint cry there was a celebration. After an hour she opened her eyes and we all cried Jesus.

After a couple hours she was starting to pink up and gain a little more strength. Her cries became louder we decided to call our favorite and very available pedi guru, Dr. Jen. I had not been able to think past getting her to breathe so we wanted her help in knowing what to do next. She suggested an IV with some fluids with a little dextrose, since you know, little girl had been under a little bit of stress today. By 8 pm last night you would have never known what little girl had been through, she looked amazing and was even smacking her lips to get her momma's breast. I woke up every two hours last night to check on them and was continually amazed at how well she was doing. Mom was gently holding her and feeding her as she cried. A scene only hours before I thought was impossible.

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This is the beautiful, perfect, non-bruised face of a baby who did not come down the birth canal head first :) Instead she has tons of bruising on her butt and shoulders.

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All day I had been occupied by the impending storm and though the sky looked like this outside, inside the dressing room Jesus sweetly whispered to me "Child, I've got this."

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In all the madness yesterday, Yanick suggested that we name this little girl Jesula, which means Jesus is here. Because He is.

You can read Licia's version here.

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Wednesday, August 3

more calm, less storm please

I was thinking gosh, the last few days have really been calm, what should I write about? And then I remembered all the things I haven't told you yet.

On Sunday night, just after the sun went down, the heavens opened up and a big storm blew through. The thunder and lightning kind of storm. The only nurse who was working up at the cholera house called and yelled into the phone come quick, a 7.5 month pregnant lady is having pains and pushing already. Lori and I ran around like idiots trying to grab the necessities like shoes, a light and all the birthing stuff. The truck got stuck going up the road the night before because of rain so we knew we would have to hike. We threw on ponchos (which turned out to be kind of a joke) and set out across the river and up to the house. Before we got out the gate, the nurse called again and said the baby had come but to hurry because mom was bleeding a lot. We were hurrying as fast as we could but again with the jokes as it is raining so hard I can't see my hand in front of my face. Mudslides everywhere and guided by the light of a little headlamp. I laughed out loud several times thinking how can I actually be living this right now? I got up to the house first and found a crowd on the porch hovered over mom and baby. I was shocked because this woman had been in the cholera house for several days and was very very sick (on her 47th bag of IV fluids) and we had no idea she was even pregnant. I grabbed the clamp, cut the cord and started working on baby, who for only 7.5 months gestation looked to be decent sized, but had a very poor cry. Lori worked on mom to get her bleeding under control. We moved them into a small private hallway and got settled but the baby was not looking great. It was clear that his lungs were underdeveloped as he struggled to breathe. We made the very hard decision to not bring the baby down in the storm knowing his best chance was to be snuggled up close to mom. He would be freezing cold and wet and the most we could do would be to give oxygen that his little lungs wouldn't even be able to circulate. We left them peacefully resting and the baby died not long after in the arms of his mamma and pappa. It's pretty crappy that the severe dehydration brought on by cholera is causing all these moms to go into labor.

Monday was spent getting lots of work done in the office and caring for the little 4 pounder that was born up at the cholera house last week. He was not looking good and clearly have some GI problems, he died early Tuesday morning.

Erline, who I posted about here, had been released from the cholera house but was in 2 week quarantine before going back to the Rescue Center and she died suddenly this morning. We thought she was looking better, and although dehydrated, she was up drinking from a bottle this morning and then just died. The combination of the sever Kwashiorkor and cholera was too much for her little body.

I'm pretty much over you, cholera.

Anna and Lori left yesterday for California (where Lori is going to skydive!) Licia, Hannah and I are left to hold down the fort and so far, so good. Other than that whole Emily thing...

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Clearly, we need your prayers in the next 48 hours. We are far enough in from the coast so we have to worry more about flash flooding. Most of the mission's buildings are down in the valley, but only about 50 feet from the river. We have plans to have everyone moved upstairs tonight and we will move the Rescue Center kids, who are next door upstairs as needed. I am most worried about the cholera house that is across the river and higher up on the mountain. They are not protected from the wind, especially the 30 or so people who are out in the tent. We are trying to send as many people home today as possible and will put people on the floors in the house if we have to.

Licia has been trying to talk to the staff about the storm coming and they keep saying "oh, you silly white people, don't you know that God is going to send the storm away. Something else that bad cannot happen to us." Let's pray they are right.

Seriously, let's pray.

Monday, August 1

And this is why we press on.

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