Always Smiling

Always Smiling
No matter what she has endured this smile never left her face

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Yesterday was a success with only a few bumps in the road. I woke up around 530 and rounded again with the pediatrician physician on the patients and learned the appropriate dressing changes for each child, wrote orders for the day and began my day. Overall, the patients were very stable and doing great. The child with nephrotic syndrome (renal/kidney disease) was transferred to a location that staffed a nephrologist (Kidney specialist)- which was FANTASTIC!! I was left with a few less acute patients- very managable. I brought toys and cloths out the kids and played during the afternoon with the children in the unit. I have a particular patient named Gabrile who is a very strong 5 year old boy who was burned by scolding hot water in a tent. He suffers from 2-3rd degree burns on his right hand/arm. He is doing great and loves to smile. I've been giving him lots of treats, he really enjoys the flavored water-I've put strawberry flavor in his water and he is loving it! We play with "machines" toy cars and he loves to color pictures.

During the early afternoon- around 245 I was called to another c-section of a baby who was 35 weeks gestation. This baby came out not breathing either but had a heart beat. We stimulated the baby and gave her oxygen and she came around nicely. Around 530 I was called again to another delivery- normal vaginal delivery of a full-term baby, this delivery went well only needed some oxygen afterward and minor stimulation to breath- however the mother spiked a fever during labor so we are now treating the baby with antibotics for a few days.... I ended up going back over to the adult side around 1130 to help out the other nurses and waiting for a young 8 year old boy to recover from surgery of a gun-shot wound to the chest and gut. The boy was doing ok..not great but breathing on his own. I went to bed around 1245-1am and found out this morning that the boy decompensated and ended up not breathing around 245. When I woke up this morning at 615 I found out the he was very sick and needed to be transferred to a hospital who could care for an intubated patient. He was transferred early this morning and hopefully is doing well! During the morning I rounded on my patients, performed the wound dressing changes, gave medications. New nurses and doctors came in today so I will have a good resource to help with cases I am not comfortable with.

I am working with a set of great pediatric nurses and an ER doctor. So far today, we participated in 1 delivery of a baby who was stuck inside the mother for a very long time. The baby was not able to clear the mom's pubic bone and wouldn't be delivered. We finally got the baby loose and began working on the baby. The baby was not breathing nor did he have a heart beat. We gave him medicine and O2 and finally he cried really loud!! We were all so happy to hear his tiny voice!! He is doing great- he is laying with his mother trying to eat..

I plan to work much into the night as we leave tomorrow to go to Paition ville to see Chachi and Yveline tomorrow. Eric Troyer also plans to come and visit with us!! Tomorrow will be a very exciting day.. Please continue to pray for all of us as we are working in very difficult conditions and don't have many of the same resources that we are used to working with.. We hope to deliver the best care we have available..

God Bless you all, Thank you for your prayers!!!


Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 2: Haiti

Today is my second day here in Haiti and I found out tonight that I am going to be acting as the person in charge of all pediatrics. This is very exciting news however it comes with a lot of responsibility and big shoes to fill. Tonight after waking up I went down to the pediatric unit to speak with the physician who was currently in charge of the unit and she was actively coding a 35 week premature baby. The baby unfortunately did not surivive even given our efforts. This was not a good start to my evening to say the least!! Then the physician informed me that the OB doc's were performing a crash c-section on a women whose baby was bradycardic and had very little amniotic fluid. The doc and I headed over to the OR and got situated with all our needed supplies and waited. The baby was delivered (very tiny.. maybe only 1.5kg) and wasn't breathing nor had a heart beat. We suctioned and stimulated the baby as fast as we could, and attempted to warm the baby the best we could. I gave IM epi and began bagging the baby and thank God the baby's color improved from a very light gray color to nice and pink. The baby began to make sounds and his tiny heart began to finally beat!! That was such a blessing!! The mother has been pregnant 3 times and each baby has died prior to the deliver due to complications she had. This is going to be her first living child! We worked on the baby for almost 30 minutes then decided that the baby needed to be transferred to a field hospital where neonatal ICU physicians and nurses would help to transition this new baby to the world outside his mommy. We transferred this tiny baby in the back of a "haitian ambulance'... talk about scary driving. We were driving so fast throughout the streets of Port-Au-Prince with the lights and sirens beaping about.. and it seemed like the fellow drivers on the street could have cared less. Not one care moved aside nor did the people walking in the streets move aside!! Definitely an experience I will never forget. As we drove my job was to listen to the babies heart and ensure that it continues to beat as well as keeping him breathing. We finally made it to the outside clinic and dropped the baby off in the hands of a team of nurses and doctors who are well prepared to help him!!

After returning back to the Adventist hospital the Pediatrican and I discussed the care of the other pediatric patients who remain in the hospital. I received report on the patients and just finished up re-educating myself on particular diseases including typhoid management, malaria management, infected wounds (pseudomonas), neonatal sepsis, pneumonia, TB, and other general pediatric complaints. My new job beginning in less than 5 hours will be to manage the pediatric hospital. I plan to work with the Haitian and American nurses to run that part of the hospital. I will finally put my skills as an Advanced Practice Nursing Student to use.. Lets hope the Lord prepares my brain for the next few days!!!

I have not been able to see Yveline-however I plan to see her on Sunday. I will meet with Chachi and Yveline's family at Chachi's house for the ending of my trip! I am very excited however my new job has me stressing a bit... Sunday couldn't come any faster!!!!

Please continue to pray as tomorrow will be a roller coaster of a ride!!

God Bless,

Monday, March 15, 2010

And the Packing Begins!!

Just wanted to post an update on Yveline and my up coming trip to PAP. I was able to speak to Yveline a few days ago and it seems she is doing quite well! I was very excited to hear her tiny voice on the other end of the phone repeating... "Hello Tiffany, Hello Tiffany.... then some French words... then Hello Tiffany- all while laughing". It is very funny how reassured I am by simply hearing her voice. The Lord has this young child in my life.. again one I am not able to verbally communicate with- yet to hear words (even words I do not understand them) helps my heart beat a little faster!! I spoke with an interpreter (one whose voice I believe matches a face I remember while in Haiti during my first trip) and asked him to tell Yveline (Y) that I miss her so much! He kindly told Y what I had said, then came back to the phone laughing.. I asked why are you laughing? He told me Y told him to tell me that she loved me and wanted me to come to Haiti that very day!!! I laughed and asked him to tell Y that I love her too and unfortunately I'm working so I can't come but I will be there in 2 weeks.. Thankfully, she understood and seemed OK with that response.

Yveline was assessed by a pediatric hand specialist (due to her crush injuries) and we found out that she doesn't seem to have nerve damage- that eventually through physical therapy she has great potential to regain the strength back in her arm and hand. She was asked to perform daily exercises to help regain the strength back (lets hope she sticks to her doctors orders)... The news from the specialist couldn't have made me any happier.. I am so grateful even though Yveline has endured so much she still seems to find a special place in her heart to always provide a smile! My friend Eric was able to video tap Y at her appointment with the specialist.. she looked at the camera and said HI Tiffany and shot me one of her amazing smiles...

These last 2 weeks have been very busy, Anne Marie and I have been shopping for toys, cloths, shoes, food etc for our Haiti trip- we plan to bring as much as we possibly can to the people in Haiti. I am also bringing a few special treats for Y- including a necklace she can wear each day and hopefully remember me, really cute clogs, a nice hat to protect her face from the sun, new cloths, and of course some toys... I am so thankful that the Lord has provided for me the ability to spend my resources on the people in Haiti. AM and I are also planning a fundraiser in order to raise money for our return as well. It has been amazing to see how giving people in our community truly are- we have been blessed with such great raffle prizes for our guests to win... That night should be a great time!!!

Thank you all for reading my blog about Yveline and I, I am so excited to be able to see her again in hopefully 1 short week.. Please continue to pray for the people in Haiti and as well as my return back to Haiti! I have a lot of loose ends including the fundraiser this weekend, then work and finally our departure on Tuesday night!!! God Bless you and hope to tell more stories soon,


Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Yesterday morning was filled with surprises. I woke up in the morning feeling very energized and ready to do God's work at U of C hospital in Chicago. As I walked into work I got an overwhelming feeling that the Lords plan in my life regarding my hopeful trip to Haiti on March 14th with CURE International was about to be revealed and it was going to be good!! I received report from another nurse and as she grumbled through report probably because she had one of "those" nights and worked extremely hard all night- then too top it off- she had a patient who didn't speak the "same" language as she. I looked at the patients name and it read: Charles, D (3weeks old). I automatically thought for some reason it looked Haitian. She looked up and said, "the family doesn't speak English... they only speak Creole/French". I immediately got a smile and said, "great- what room are they in?". She looked at me and said, "oh yea--- you love your Haitians.. she is in room 8". I ran into the room only to get a smiling face from her father and yet a very frantic mother speaking French to me. I looked at them and smiled back and kindly stated that I'm sorry but I only know one word in Creole and in English it means, 'No problem'. They laughed and said the phrase back to me in Creole. I sat next to the baby and looked at yet another unbelievably beautiful person.. and yet again she is Haitian. If you have never met a Haitian you are missing out at witnessing one of God's most beautiful creations. The physical appearance of a Haitian is unbelievably striking- their cheek bones are high set (Native American Indian feature), very dark eyes, with very dark chocolate colored skin (African decent). Absolutely breath-taking!!

-Around 8am my personal phone rang.. the number appeared 509........ I knew immediately it was from Haiti.. that is the beginning number "area code" from Haiti. I ran into a back room (since I was supposed to be working) and answered my phone. It was my friend Eric Troyer from Haiti. He said, "Tiffany, I have a surprise for you!" I laughed and said, "What?" Then after a few seconds I hear a tiny voice singing "happy birthday to you" in Creole. I knew immediately it was my Yveline. I sat in the back room alone with Yveline singing such a great song to me with tears streaming down my face. After she sang it in Creole, she then sang it again but in English this time. After she was finished I said, "thank you my Yveline.. thank you!... I miss you! I miss you!!" She couldn't respond.. she was unable to understand what I was saying. She then began to speak Creole/French to me.. Then there I sat not know what she was saying.. Frustration is the only thing that came to my mind!! I was frustrated that I couldn't understand what she was saying, yet it was ok! I knew she knew it was me, I knew it was her and we knew how much we care about each other. Tears kept streaming as she would repeat, "Hello Tiffany, hello Tiffany".. and laugh.. I would laugh too.. Its funny how the only word we know together is "Hello/Bonjour".. That is it!! But, in our hearts we know so much more... The Lord has brought us together to love each other in a way that cannot be vocalized..

That love is the love you know is only from God! I am so blessed to have met this special young person and her family! They have opening a side my me that has never been opened. I feel like Yveline was placed in my life for the purpose of understanding the passion of serving our God while doing mission work. Mission work isn't easy, it sounds "fun". That is what I thought it was prior to Haiti. Looking back on my experience in Haiti- it was fun, but it was just a small glimpse into what our God does everyday to us. I served with an open heart, loved everyone as much as my heart could handle, I rarely ate food, slept outside, never showered, and worked nearly 20 hours a day.. never to complain how my feet hurt, my legs were aching, my stomach was empty, or my bladder was going to bust! I knew the Lord what provide only the necessary things, and He did- He also provided me Yveline to show me how to love the people I serve!!!

-Yveline is going great, she appears to have a "good" grip on Eric's hand during a small embrace on the video (which is remarkable)! Her wounds are healing on her face, now she was remember to keep them covered from the sun so they do not become discolored from the sun!! I do not know an update on her condition related to diabetes, however that is my next mission! She and her family were all smiles yesterday... and so was I!!
God is GREAT!!!

God Bless You,

-The YouTube video can be viewed at

please give it a moment to load..

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Potential Return

Yesterday I received an email from Heather G. from CURE International telling me that CURE is sending another medical team back to Haiti March 14th and we were in their minds for this return. I immediately spoke with my friend Anne Marie, who also traveled with me on my first trip, and decided that CURE International is the team we both feel represents ourselves and our faith best. We plan to talk over details about the return today and hope to get the logistical matters figured in order to get us back! I plan to wait to tell Yveline and her family about my potential return just to be sure I don't keep telling her I am coming back then not actually going. I am so excited for this potential return- I feel like it comes at a great time... School will be done, work (hopefully can be figured out) and my friends and family know my heart is stuck in the destruction in Haiti. I had another dream last night about Haiti- I often dream about Haiti and what my return life will be like there. Last nights dream was more anxious than before.. I had forgotten my scrubs and all my cloths, forgot my personal supplies (shampoo, body wash, eye care, face wash etc). When I finally opened my luggage I noticed in my bag it was only filled with toys, little kid cloths and medical supplies and my bible. When I woke up I began thinking about the significance of that dreams and as I sit in my living room writing this blog- I realize that its because I know in my heart I don't "need" anything. The things I bring such as the items for the kids, medical supplies that will help to serve the affected and ill patients, and my bible is everything that will allow me to serve graciously while keeping the Lord at the forefront of my mission. The Lord will give me everything I need in my life. It is exciting to know I could survive in Haiti with only my bible in my bag if my dream were true!!

Anne Marie and I plan to hold a fundraiser for Haiti hoping to raise enough money in order to bring needed supplies, toys, cloths, shoes, soap.. basic needs to the kids in Haiti. At this point we don't have a location however we are talking with different locations hoping that one will volunteer to hold our fundraiser on March 6th, 2010. Please keep this in your prayers as we work to raise money and our return to our families in Haiti.

As far as an up date on Yveline.. She and her family are very difficult to get a hold of! I've tried endlessly everyday without actually connecting on the phone! It is hard for me to not talk with one of them reassuring me that Yveline is ok and happy.. My wonderful friends in Haiti still have tried their attempts at calling.. all with unsuccessful connections as well. I will up date her site as soon as I hear she is well!

Please keep your prayers heading toward Haiti and all the relief members helping assist the Haitians. My friend Dr. Eric Troyer has volunteered his time as a second mission down in Haiti for 3 months... he told me 2 days ago that during a sermon he prepared 2 people accepted Christ. After hearing this news I felt so excited that the Lord is so present in the hearts of those who are serving in Haiti. Please keep praying more and more people will find their salvation and accept Christ in their lives!! Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A New Day

This past week was much like a roller coaster ride... on my birthday (feb 8) I received a phone call from University of Chicago asking if I would like to join a medical team deploying for Haiti on Thursday Feb 11th. I quickly responded yes and began packing that day. I was very excited however, I knew that my trip would not be in the same location as I was last time- and there could be a small chance I wouldn't be able to see Yveline. I prepared my heart for that disappointment however the Lord comforted my heart and I knew if it were ment to be I would see her and her family! Tuesday was all about rushing around getting my needed vaccines and finishing up last minute shopping.

-Later Tuesday afternoon I received a phone call from UofC global outreaching telling me my paperwork was unable to be processed in time for departure. I was crushed!! I had already asked my friend to contact Yveline and her family about my return and I had prepared my heart for this new task. I felt angry, frustrated and very disappointed that I will not be deployed. I immediately emailed my friend in Haiti asking her to tell Yveline that I won't be coming, informed school and work about the changes and began working on comforting my own heart. I knew the Lord would comfort me and would protect me- so I could not argue that was would not be leaving.

The Lord is in complete control over my life and I know His plan is perfect!!! When it is His time I will be on the first plane back to Haiti. Until then I will continue to pray for His will in my life, along with His protection over Haiti. I will also continue to do His work here in Chicago waiting for my departure date.....

Friday, February 5, 2010


Today I've felt very anxious. I was told yesterday that Yveline would be discharged home today from Haiti Community Hosptial (HCH)- which is both very exciting but is also causing me some anxiety. I am anxious because I am not exactly sure where she will be living, and with whom she will be living. I am hoping her uncle Thony will take her and grandma in with him in his home- but I am not sure. I am also feeling a bit anxious because I haven't spoken with anyone from her family, although my friends in Haiti provide much relief- I would love to hear from her family.. especially Yveline herself. I had a dream last night about my return to Haiti. My dream was absolutely beautiful! I was with Yveline and we were playing in her uncle's house with her doll 'Tiffany'- although we don' t speak the same language we were able to enjoy each other's company. She also looked beautiful- her wounds on her face were healed, she had control over her right arm- able to use it functionally. I just pray that my dream is not only just a dream. I pray that I can return to Haiti and play with her and 'Tiffany' and see her use her arm how other little 8 year old girls use theirs.

Please continue to pray for Yveline and the others who have lost and suffered so much!! Please continue to pray that I am able to return to Haiti quickly and that the Lord will open the right doors in order for me to see my little angel again. Please keep these things in your thoughts and prayers..
I pray all this in Jesus's name... AMEN!!!

Have a wonderful evening!!
Love and Peace!