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Archive for the ‘Plastic surgery program’ Category

By Jennifer Browning

You may have remembered reading on the Project Medishare Blog about how 9-month old Julisa was toddling across her house and stumbled into a pot of boiling water causing serious burns on her right arm and left hand.

As her burns healed through the years, her right arm became contracted preventing her from being able to fully extend or bend her arm. This made it difficult for Julisa, who turned 12 this year, to perform simple tasks like feeding herself or washing her clothes.

Project Medishare nurse Rosemerline Pierre-Louise providing a home visit for Julisa in June to see how her arm was healing after surgery. Local staff through Project Medishare’s Community Health Program are seeing that those who have surgery at our hospital in Port-au-Prince have follow-up appointments.Photo by Jennifer Browning.

In May Rosemerlin Pierre-Louise, a community health nurse, arranged for Julisa to travel from her home in the Central Plateau to see plastic surgeons volunteering at our trauma and critical care hospital in Port-au-Prince through Project Medishare’s Specialty Surgery Program.

Today Julisa has almost full mobility in her right arm, and Project Medishare was able to help her because of the ongoing efforts and contributions from our supporters and volunteers.

“Before I couldn’t wash myself or feed myself because I couldn’t bend my arm and my left hand was deformed,” Julisa said. “I am happy that the doctors could help me.”

Ersile, Julisa’s mother, used to worry about her daughter’s future, but today she has peace of mind.

“I am happy because I see the improvement for her arm,”Ersile said. “I feel better knowing that if something should happen to me, that Julisa will be able to take care of herself when she gets older. That makes me happy most of all.”

Through complementary services provided by Project Medishare’s programs in both Port-au-Prince and the Central Plateau, today Julisa is able to perform basic tasks that her injuries denied her for over a decade.

Earlier this month, Haiti’s Ministry of Health reported that the cholera epidemic has taken over 2200 lives and infected 97,595 since the outbreak surfaced in the central Artibonite River valley in mid-October.

Project Medishare’s local doctors, nurses and health agents continue to battle this deadly disease in the Central Plateau through our community health program and at a Cholera Treatment Center in Mirebalais, which is managed jointly by Project Medishare and Partners in Health.

In addition to the Mirebalais center, Project Medishare is assisting in the cholera effort in the Upper Plateau city of Hinche by providing materials, supplies and technical assistance. The average hospitalization cost for an average patient is around $250. That is about one percent of what it costs here in the U.S. 

During this holiday season, please remember Project Medishare and the people of Haiti. Then please click here to give the most generous tax-deductible contribution you can to help us continue our life-saving work. Your support is critically needed in order for Project Medishare to not only continue providing healthcare, but also continue working to improve the healthcare infrastructure in Haiti.

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Yvens mother comforts him at their home in Casse, Haiti located in the very rural Central Plateau. Plastic surgeons from Miami who were volunteering through Project Medishare's Plastic Surgery Program corrected Yvens cleft lip. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

By Jennifer Browning

Almost three weeks ago, plastic surgeons from University of Miami Department of Plastic Surgery came to Port-au-Prince as part of Project Medishare’s Plastic Surgery program. Eleven-months-old Yvens Olsen was one of their patients.

Today,  Yvens, is already healing well from his cleft lip surgery.

Project Medishare nurse, Rosemerline Pierre-Louis, met Yvens and his mother at the clinic in Casse. Rosemerline informed her that there was a program that could help her son.

For Madame Olsen, she said she mostly worried about Yvens cleft lip, because the child looked different from his twin brother, Yvner.

“It was difficult because I have twin boys, and Yvens had this deformity on his lip, and Yvner looked normal,” she said. “I was sad for him, because if we could not get it fixed, then when they grew up people would see a difference between them.”

Project Medishare provides specialized plastic surgery to individuals living in Port-au-Prince as part of our specialty surgery program.

In addition to providing these surgeries (cleft lip & palates, burns, breast cancer reconstruction) local surgeons are trained on these specialized techniques enabling them to perform these procedures themselves.

Even though he was crying as he was waking up from the anesthesia, Yvens mother said he looked better after the surgery.

“I was so happy when I saw him after he came out of surgery,” she said. “I am happy that Rosemerlin found me and I am thankful to God that the doctors were able to fix Yvens lip.”

Madame Olsen now takes Yvens to the clinic in Casse so that Project Medishare doctors can follow-up on how the child’s lip is healing. The mother said she is so happy that there is a clinic in Casse. A few years ago, that wasn’t the case.

Local staff working with Project Medishare’s Community Health Program in Haiti’s Central Plateau assists in making sure the patients living in this rural area receive proper follow-up appointments after the surgery.

Before the clinic opened in Casse, people like Madame Olsen went to the clinic in Thomonde which not only included a journey, but cost more money for transportation.

“When I had to go to Thomonde to see the doctor, then I had to find money to rent a motorcycle or rent a horse to get there,” she said, “but now I can walk to the clinic and I don’t have to worry about having money for transportation.”

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By Jennifer Browning

At 9-months old, Julisa was toddling across their house with the support of small chair when she stumbled into a small pot of boiling water. She received serious burns on her right arm and left hand. Now at age 12, she experiences burn contractures on both limbs.

Project Medishare nurse Rose-merline Pierre Louis checks Julisa's arm to see how it is healing after surgery. Local staff through Project Medishare's Community Health Program are seeing that those who had plastic surgery two weeks ago have follow-up appointments. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

During a visit to a clinic, Rose-merline Pierre Louis, a Project Medishare nurse, found Julisa, who is now 12, and noticed her burn contractures, which are permanent, shortening of burn scar tissue that pulls joints out of position and results in physical impairment.

As the burns on her arm began to heal, Julisa’s right arm contracted so that she couldn’t straighten her arm. This made it difficult for Julisa to do simple tasks like eating, washing clothes, or doing other basic chores.

Rose-merlin thought that Julisa might be a good candidate for plastic surgery to correct her condition. Rose-merlin called, Project Medishare nurse liaison, Maguy Rochelin who informed her that a team of plastic surgeons were coming to Port-au-Prince as part of Project Medishare’s Plastic Surgery Program.

In mid-May, Julisa traveled to Haiti’s capital to hopefully get her burn contracture corrected so that she could one day soon begin doing simple tasks. The plastic surgery team from Miami felt Julisa was a good candidate and scheduled her for surgery.

While she is still recovering, Julisa said she could already tell the difference with her right arm.

“Before I couldn’t wash myself or feed myself because I couldn’t bend my arm and my hand was deformed,” Julisa said. “I am happy that the doctors could help me. It was painful the first week, but my arm is much better now.”

While Julisa’s arm could be corrected, not all of her fingers on her left hand were able to be relieved of the burn contracture. Julisa’s grandmother Ersile said she is a little disappointed that the hand could not be fully fixed, but she is happy to see improvement in her granddaughter’s arm.

“I am happy because I see the improvement for her arm,” Ersile said. “Before Julisa couldn’t help me cook and wash up after a meal, but now I know that if I have to go out that she can stay and help with the younger children.”

But even more important to Ersile is that Julisa will be capable of caring for herself, if necessary one day.

“Most of all, I feel better knowing that if something should happen to me, that Julisa will be able to take care of herself when she gets older,” Ersile said. “That makes me happy most of all.”

Julisa still has a long road ahead of her. For the next few weeks she still needs to follow-up at the clinic in Casse to change the bandage and check the progress of her healing.

In addition to receiving the surgery, Julisa is also a participant in the Presidential Emergency For AIDS Research (PEPFAR) Program.

As one of five organizations in the Cross Haiti Alliance, Project Medishare received a three-year PEPFAR NPI grant in December 2008. Project Medishare has been focusing activities in the very remote community of Casse/Lahoye located in the commune of Thomonde.

Program objectives are to enable indigenous NGOs to develop their capacity and capability to deliver orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) services at the community level; provide care and support services for HIV/AIDS OVC’s; prevent HIV infection among adolescent and youths; and provide access to palliative care for people living with HIV/AIDS and affected households.

Project Medishare’s local staff has agreed to live in this remote area. The community is also mobilized and participating, which has a positive impact on the community.

After Julisa was born, she never received a birth certificate. Through the PEPFAR grant, community health agents were able to assist Ersile in getting her granddaughter the proper documents.

The same grant also provides tuition so that Julisa can continue to go to school.

Julisa said that she loves attending school.

“I like geometry because I love working with shapes and tracing with the rulers,” she said, “and I love to draw. I hope that I will become better at drawing when my arm heals.”

Dorval, a community health agent standing next to her smiled.

“She is already a very good artist,” he said. “She makes beautiful drawings.

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By Jennifer Browning

Misonier Levenson, 16-months-old, arrived at Bernard Mevs today with his mother, Monique, for a follow-up after his cleft lip surgery last week. Doctors at the hospital gave Misonier a thumbs-up.

Monique will bring her son back in another week so doctors can see how Misonier’s lip is healing. While the stitches the doctors used during surgery are designed to dissolve, the medical team still requests that if possible, parents come back to the hospital for follow-up.

Project Medishare’s plastic surgery team performed 18 surgeries between May 21-24.

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