The end of the year gives us a chance to look back on the challenges and unexpected joys of working in Haiti. 2022 was a hard year, from gas shortages to violence and a new cholera outbreak. Even so, have reason to hope and celebrate. All our clinic employees have made it through the year safely and they continue to serve patients every week. We are working to install a solar system at the temporary clinic location so that we can continue to work regardless of gas shortages, and this project should be done in early January.
We are deeply grateful to all our partners who make this work possible. Your generosity is a powerful expression of the call to love our neighbor, and we are humbled to count you as friends.
Below is a story that embodies the mix of emotions that so often surfaced in 2022 – sadness and grief, certainly, but also joy, new life, and hope for the future.
Juliette Mangat, a 40-year-old mother of seven, lives in the mountain village of Bouzi, north of Croix-des-Bouquets. She was eight months pregnant with her eighth child when her husband was tragically killed by gang members while on his way to work. She was left alone as the sole caregiver and provider for her children.
As the final month of her pregnancy went on, she developed severe pain in her abdomen. She called her local midwife, one of many trained and supported by the partnership of Lespwa Timoun and Light from Light.
Juliette’s midwife referred her to the Lespwa Timoun clinic. When she made it down the mountain, she was seen by two of our physicians. She was suffering from severe bleeding and her hemoglobin (a measure of anemia) had dropped precipitously to seven. Doctors were worried that the placenta was separating from the uterine wall, which is potentially fatal to both mother and child.
The clinic had one of their drivers transport the mother to a local hospital for an emergency C-section. One of the nurses accompanied the pair in the vehicle to continue to provide care. The first hospital did not have blood available, so our drivers took her to a second hospital. Because of the Lespwa Timoun team’s dedication, Juliette was able to have a safe and sterile surgery and give birth to a healthy, happy baby.
Our clinic saw her three weeks after delivery to remove the sutures, and both mother and baby were doing well. If the Lespwa Timoun chain of care—from midwives to doctors to drivers—had not been in place, this small family would not have survived.
Thank you for continuing to partner with our staff amid the turmoil of Haiti. Despite the many challenges and dangers, the clinic continues to work to serve their neighbors in the Port-au-Prince area. We hope you have a blessed New Year.