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Posts Tagged ‘orphanages’

Jean Michel is a 16 year-old boy who was admitted to Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare with abnormal narrowing of the aortic valve, known medically as aortic stenosis. He was very sick and placed in the Intensive Care Unit. An Echocardiography diagnostic test was performed. Jean Michel’s test found that he has an Ejection Fraction of 26%. To put this in perspective, generally, a normal Ejection Fraction is greater than 50%. The only treatment for Jean Michel’s condition is Cardiac Surgery.

After multiple attempts to find a hospital for Jean Michel he was accepted this past Wednesday to Mercy Medical Center St. Mary’s Hospital in Knoxville, TN. With the assistance of Clint Doiron, Michelle Roberts, Chris Keylon, John Swartz, The Chadasha Foundation, Mercy Hospital and the Haitian Parole department, Jean Michel was flown to Tennessee on Sunday.

Before being admitted to Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare  and subsequently flown to Mercy Hospital, Jean Michel had been living at Ophelinat Ministere Dieu Aime Tous les Enfants du Monde. With the help of his Aunt, the staff at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare arranged a surprise party for Jean Michel on Saturday with all of his friends from the orphanage. The children entered the hospital singing, dancing and playing instruments. Jean Michel was brought outside and his friends greeted him by placing flowers on and around him. They arranged a concert for him that lasted two hours. Before being hospitalized, he was in a singing group and also played the drum. When the children began to play, Jean Michel wheeled over, asked for a drum and began to play along with his friends.

After the concert, the staff at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare hosted a party for Jean Michel and all 30 children from the orphanage with cake, snacks and drinks. Prior to leaving, all of the children and staff prayed for Jean Michel. That evening, Jean Michel told Brittany Crush, Chief Nursing Officer, that he was so happy to see all of his friends again and that he had missed them. Before going to sleep on Saturday night, he told Brittany that he had a really good day and was excited that he was going to be able to get his heart fixed.

Below is a brief video of the uplifting surprise concert for Jean Michel.

Chief Nursing Officer, Brittany Crush and Jean Michel

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By P.J. Pitts

It’s funny how we sometimes end up exactly where we’re supposed to be, even if we don’t know we’re supposed to be there.  The other day while sitting in the logistics office, waiting for my caffeine to set in, and started talking to a couple of University of

Chief Pharmacy Officer for Bernard Mevs Project Medishare P.J. Pitts went to a nearby ophanage to "deworm" the children there. Malnutrition and worms are the most problematic health issues for children in Haiti. Photo by P.J. Pitts.

Miami students about their project.  They were here field testing a very interesting “tele-medicine” software developed by MIT.  Their plan was to head out to New Life Children’s Home to shoot some video footage and talk with Miriam, the Missions Director, about how the software might be useful in Haiti.  Janet (a teacher from Oregon whose “alter ego” is a warehouse pixie in Haiti) had brought a bunch of school supplies to donate, so was heading out with them.  One of the UM students, Sean, seemed a little disappointed that they weren’t able to do more for the orphanage they’d been working with, so I suggested we “de-worm” all of the kids.

Miriam estimates that approximately 90 percent of the children in the tent cities have some sort of intestinal worm.  The living conditions are filthy, with many people sleeping on the dirt, and there is really no way to have anything be “sanitary”.  When a worm infestation isn’t treated, the worms migrate out of the intestines and into other areas. Seeing a kid cough up worms that are 6-inches long is one of those things you never forget.  And in a country where so many of the children are already malnourished, parasitic worms are even more deadly.  Many organizations and school will periodically de-worm all of the children as a precaution.  Anti-helmintics (de-worming medicine) are worth their weight in gold in Haiti, and I’d just been gifted a few thousand mebendazole chewable tablets, and playing with orphans is always a fun way to spend half a day.

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