Tuesday, February 01, 2011

House Calls in Haitian Barrio

In Munoz on Saturday, January 29th, the health care team encountered a young woman, whose baby's skin was mottled white & excoriating due to an allergic reaction to its milk-based formula. This child, who was brought to the team wrapped in a blanket... having no clothes or diapers, tugged at the hearts of team members. During lunch break, seven canisters of soy-based formula, two cases of diapers, three gallons of clean water & bottles & clothes were purchased.

As a few of the team wended their way through narrowing passageways between rough-board shacks, neighbors joined them... & it became a growing parade with children prancing with delight & shouting for everyone to come, see. We stepped over the small stream of sewer water that coursed between the rough-board buildings... trying to stay on the high ground where possible. On the way, we saw people who had appeared at the clinic in "church-going" clothing... greeting us from the doorways of their crude, small shanties. They were beautiful, blooming flowers emerging from the most meager of potting soils.

When we arrived at the young woman's home, Elaine Nau taught the mother how to make the soy formula with clean water... & the baby guzzled down that first bottle -- lickety split.

Greg Lawton, a pediatrician who had come on this baby/mom house call, was approached by a woman asking if he was a doctor, did he speak Spanish. Yes, he said. The woman took him and Rose Milano, a nurse practioner, to see a man who had been confined to a wheelchair for many years following an accident. Greg and Rose were able to examine and consult with the man and his family. The man, a paraplegic and diabetic, had run out of all of his blood pressure and diabetic medications. Fortunately, the team had the exact medicine he needed at the health care clinic in Munoz and Rose took him the medicine after the day's clinic was completed... an appreciated, unexpected house call. There were lots of hugs & kisses & 'gracias' from the patient & his family. Ole!


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