Sunday, March 2, 2014

New Life Special Needs Kids Score an “A+”

This month, two pediatricians, a pediatric dentist and the top pediatric heart surgeon in the state of Mississippi, screened all of the children at New Life including our precious, special needs children. We were so happy when they said after thoroughly examining our handicapped kids, they could not be in any better shape than if they were here in the U.S.! They asked how we do such a good job, as there were no skin break downs nor frozen joints and were impressed with their overall health and well-being, down to the cleanliness of nails and toes!

These professionals were a part of three teams that arrived immediately after I returned to Haiti from a brief trip to the states. We held a dental clinic and heart clinic with both teams screening all of our children as well as some children in the tent cities, other orphanages and our own employees and their children. We were truly humbled at the reports from both the dentist and doctor. With the exception of just a few minor things, their teeth were in exceptionally good condition and most had no plaque as well. The dentist was shocked to see this and was extremely happy and surprised. He left us a list of who to follow up with for fillings and gave a slide presentation in the church. It was great!

One of our wonderful, frequent guests has taken a special interest in our handicapped. We appreciate so very much her heart for these special needs children. She is assisting us with the costs associated with hiring a quality physical therapist and we have finally determined who we feel is the best physical therapist for our children after scouting out the possibilities. In January, before leaving for the states, I had contacted several, and had asked our pediatrician for his recommendations. I found many who wanted a job, but didn’t really have a heart for the kids. No one really turned up that seemed to be what we were looking for. I had my mind on one I had heard of for sometime that lived close by and had a good reputation. We interviewed them this week and it seems to be a good possibility that this will be the person we are looking for. 

We had also revamped the special needs children’s schedule to include a full-time nurse, a schedule of more juice, snacks and water at regular intervals, a time under the mango tree walking them and also in the afternoon, laying them all on mats and doing range-of-motion exercises with them. The extra assistance from the wonderful team members has been a blessing, giving these children much needed one-on-one-time and lots and lots of love

We know we have to strive here to do better and better and are far from our goals, but it was a great week. Our Medical Director, Dr. Steve Schroering is coordinating the follow up with the medical teams and we also interviewed a local dentist that is able to do complete care here on our property. The pediatric dentist wants to bring more dental teams, allowing us to help the community around us and many poor children. 

In one week, other team members along with our construction boss and Haitian workers, put in a huge septic system and the bathroom addition to the toddler’s house. This progress is bringing us closer to placing the children there as it was impossible without the availability of water. A big thank you to all of them for their diligent, hard work!

The strategy is to complete the toddler’s house as soon as possible. This will enable us to place the handicapped kids in a bigger room while renovating their current rooms, keeping them as far as possible from the dust. We also must complete the boy’s showers that our construction boss has been working on, as the small bathroom for all the big and small boys is overrun and looks like a disaster!

Things are moving forward. It's a lot of work but a joy to see it getting done. I appreciate all of the help and love. I hope this progress report gives you a better picture how much of a difference you have made.

Thank you again, as your love and gifts are helping us to move forward in our vision to make the lives of all of these children better.