Jan 16, 2010

No Gift Too Small

I wasn't surprised when my 9 year olds school sent home a list requesting things needed by their Haitian sister church because we've been inundated with requests from various churches and organization's this week. At first I ignored this school request because we are already sending money to missionary friends who live in Haiti but the more I thought about it the more I realized this would be a perfect opportunity for all three children to physically go to a store, pick out items from the list and learn what each one is used for and why it is needed. Who knew hydrogen peroxide was so fascinating! I explained what it was and what it was used for as the kids helped put bottles in our shopping cart. My son, who has seen some of the graphic photos of the earthquake injuries, wondered out loud why Haitians couldn't just wash their wounds off with soap and water? How do you explain to a child born and raised in the USA that even before the 7.0 earthquake millions of Haitians already had no running water, no flush toilets, no refrigerators, no microwaves, no immunizations, no medical care, no fast food, and no shelter? I have vivid memories of a tough as nails nurse I knew who visited Cite' Soleil on one of our trips to Haiti. She walked a block or so in to the Port Au Prince shanty town with it's 300,000 occupants, vomited, fainted, stood her self up and weakly wobbled out. How do you even begin to explain this kind of misery and poverty to your children? When I was tucking my son into bed he asked, "Mommy do you really think the hydrogen peroxide will help ? It's not very much." I told him once when I was in Haiti working a medical clinic on a beach a dentist came to me for a styptic pencil or anything I had to help because he had two patients who were still bleeding badly after some extractions two days earlier. Dr. Richard's clinic consisted of a hard, straight backed chair under some dried palm fronds in the blazing sun. He lived several months out of the year with Mother Theresa's Brothers of Charity in Cite' Pele and was one of the most popular medical people there among the Haitians as dental care is basically non-existent. I told him about a trick I had learned years earlier when I was filling in for a recovery room nurse on ENT day at the OR and handed him two sample bottles of Neo-Snephrine nasal spray that I almost didn't bring with me because they only contained a few milliliters each. He drew up the medicine and squirted 0.5ml in each socket that was bleeding. 10 little drops from a country far away and the bleeding stopped on both patients. Yes, I really believe the hydrogen peroxide will help. No gift is too small.

1 comment:

Diane said...

After reading about the sorrow in Haiti today, this made me smile...Thomas your hydrogen peroxide, sent with love, will be a blessing!