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First Days of Clinic

February 4, 2008

From Haiti, written by Sarah Case, Jan/Feb 2008 team:

It was a great joy for all of us to worship together with the community of Terre Blanche Sunday morning. There was plenty of soulful singing in Creole, mostly from the ranks of the locals, but we decided to learn a Creole song that we could contribute to the service to express our enthusiasm for being here.

After the noon meal and a brief time to rest, we opened the medical clinic for the second half of the day. We were happy to begin seeing patients (which is, after all, what we came here to do), and also glad for the opportunity to figure out the logistics of patient flow, pace and general operations of the clinic.

This morning we were very thankful we’d had some time Sunday to acclimate to the clinic operations because it was a very eventful morning! Between breakfast and lunch, amidst the normal slew of aches and pains, we treated two men who had been involved in a motorcycle accident and a woman who was semi-comatose. Another patient had a seizure in the clinic, and most importantly, a baby was born!

Earlier in the morning, team members had noticed a woman walking rather uncomfortably outside the clinic. Her belly wasn’t big enough to make it apparent that she was ready to give birth — in fact it wasn’t even obvious that she was pregnant. By the time it was her turn to be seen by Dr. Joe, she was crouched over as she walked toward his exam room. Once he got her on the table it was time to push! Dr. Joe called in Katie, a registered nurse, to assist him and after five minutes of pushing, a 5½ pound girl with a full head of hair was born.

Katie got to fulfill a lifelong dream of “delivering babies in the bush,” as under Dr. Joe’s supervision she guided the child into the world, tied off the umbilical cord and delivered the placenta. When Dr. Joe asked the child’s father what they would call the baby, he answered, “Katie.”

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