There are many words for today: hard, exhausting, emotional. But I would rather think of just one: hopeful.
The day before we arrived in Haiti, Maison (the orphanage where we are working on our rooftop project) was asked to come to the hospital for a baby by Haiti’s social services department [aka IBESR]. The little guy was found in the trash and was in bad shape. He needed to stay in the hospital, but it was important that there was someone assigned to the little guy to make decisions and provide care for him. So, the hospital cared for him until Wednesday (11/5).
On Wednesday, the orphanage was called and told to take Johnathan to a different hospital, one that they believed had a malnutrition unit. And so, they tried. But the hospital said they were full. So, it was off to yet another hopsital for baby Johnathan. This one kept him last night, but today they said the same thing: they didn’t have what was needed to care for the boy and someone needed to come get him.
So, Gary and I spent the morning calling, texting, and emailing trying to figure out a place for this little baby boy. Someone had recommended Real Hope for Haiti, but there was concern about the drive as it is over an hour from Port au Prince. Either way, we called and after some communication and pictures, they said that they would admit him.
Baby Johnathan was picked up from the hospital during all our reaching out, and he arrived at Maison. I held his precious little 10 lb body (did I mention that they think he is 2 years old?) in my arms and he squawed from the pain. I cradled him gently and began to sway until he fell asleep. We had to wait for certain papers to be printed and signed, and a few other things to be taken care of before we could get him transported.
And then the journey began! We made the trek up to this little village north of Port au Prince. The road became dirt, then rock. And eventually we could not get the van any farther. Fortunately, the man who started RHH with his late wife, Pastor Zach, was coming up not far behind us. He had a vehicle that could make it the rest of the way and we hopped in. It was a beautiful, but bumpy ride up the mountain, over a brigde that was partly out, and through a (thankfully low) river.
Finally, we arrived at Real Hope for Haiti and got him checked out and admitted. They have a fantastic facility that specifically cares for malnourished kids. Baby Johnathan is now safely in their ICU and has real hope for a future. We were told that his kind of malnourishment is the hardest to treat because his organs are failing and that has to be reversed first. Although we were told that he is very high risk and has a long way to go, now that he will be getting proper care he has a chance.
Gary says he smells like pepper and so little Johnathan now has the nickname Johnny Pepper. So, we ask that you please pray for little Johnny Pepper. We got to see what a smart little fighter he is (insert background music playing Jamie Grace’s song “Fighter”) and we have great hope that we’ll see him running around healthy and strong one day.