Every Day Brings New People and Situations to the Clinic

As I type this, many Americans are settling in to watch the NBC Red Nose Day Comedy Special. Great Britain has been observing Red Nose Day for several years, but this is the first one for the US. The purpose of Red Nose Day is to draw attention to children in poverty around the world, and since Haiti is the poorest country in the world, and FOTCOH’s mission is to provide free medical care to the impoverished people of Haiti, I felt that our team should observe Red Nose Day at clinic. So, we wore red noses!

I have been blessed to come to Haiti with FOTCOH six times now as a nonmedical volunteer. I have been doubly blessed to have one of my daughters return for her second mission, and another daughter come for the first time. I love experiencing what has become routine for me through eyes that are experiencing Haiti and the FOTCOH clinic for the first or second time!

While the overall operation of the clinic has become routine, every day brings new people and situations. I am privileged to work with the team leader who assesses patients in the crowds waiting and hoping to be seen each day, and to work in dossiers, where I get to greet the patients as they enter the clinic. Some of the patients have become familiar to me, as I now remember their faces and sometime even their names. I am sad when we hear of a patient whose case seems hopeless, and rejoice when a patient’s health improves.

On one of the first days at clinic, we saw a child who was only a month old and very underweight and malnourished. The physician who saw the child sent baby formula home with the mother, and told her to bring him back on Saturday. He later told the team that the baby very likely would not live until Saturday. When I went out into the crowd on Saturday morning, the mother and child were not there. I cried, because that meant that the child had probably died. Later, at the end of the morning, as we were winding up for the day, I looked up, and there were mom and baby! I cried again, this time thanking God for this tiny child that was still fighting to survive. His chances are still not good, but I’ll continue to pray for this little guy, and I am hoping to see him at clinic in November.

This is just one of the thousands of stories that play out at clinic. I look forward to continuing volunteering with FOTCOH, and to witnessing thousands more life stories!

Ken Kersey