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Grateful For What We Have

Jan 24

Written by:
Friday, January 24, 2014 5:59 AM  RssIcon

Today the entire team packed up and spent the day at the batey. It was quickly apparent to those who spent Wednesday morning in the community that the atmosphere was drastically different. People were waving, smiling and very happy to see us! As they live with a high degree of insecurity in their daily lives, everyone was a bit unsure of us the first day, but Thursday they could not possibly have been more welcoming.

Setting up clinic in the small church was quite an adventure! Rich and the pharmacy team were on the small stage in the front of the room, with the waiting room outside. General medicine providers used benches and plastic tables and chairs along the walls too see patients. Dr. Lipinski and the specialists floated as needed to assist with diagnosis and treatment with the exception of Dr. Wilson, who was in a small, relatively airless side room. Triage was almost completely outside in the front of the church.

Speaking of triage, what an AMAZING job that team did! A group went ahead of the buses and by the time the rest of the team arrived, they had everyone signed up for appointments and in separate lines for general medicine, OB/GYN and the dentist. Heidie, Tracy, and the rest of the crew, you made today possible!

Our magician of a physical therapist, Frank Puc, had the best set-up of all. Behind the back wall of the church, around the corner from the side door pharmacy was using to distribute meds was a narrow dirt space. Frank was able to set up a table and chair and work with his patients quite successfully. As the majority of the employed residents of the batey work in the surrounding sugar cane fields, he addressed a lot of aches and pains, and was able to give lessons on proper body mechanics.

Dr. Paik ended up spending the majority of his day treating traumas. Just as Frank was seeing the inevitable aches and pains associated with working in the fields all day, Dr. Paik saw the inevitable machete injuries. One man had sliced off most of his thumb on Wednesday. Some of the men who came in with recent injuries had already been stitched up and given a prescription for antibiotics. Unfortunately they couldn’t afford to have the prescription filled. So Dr. Paik was able to clean and assess the injuries and make sure they went home with the appropriate medications to avoid infections.

We had loads of fun with the kids today, playing, dancing, laughing, talking and just hanging out. Their energy, smiles, enthusiasm and genuine enjoyment of the games we played was infectious.

In terms of patient care, the case that worried everyone the most was a 5 month old little girl in respiratory distress with a fever. The mom reported that she wasn’t sleeping or eating, just crying. According to Dr. Lipinski, she has a severe case of respiratory distress.  Even the non-medically trained members of the team could see how hard she was working to get a breath. They treated her with steroids, antibiotics and albuterol, and made sure the mom knew to come back in a few hours to check on her. While playing with the kids out by the road, Dhena saw the mom and baby, and noticed that her breathing had become very labored again. Our resident paramedic, Tommy Manion, brought out another albuterol treatment. Then Dhena held her for probably 2 hours so the mom could rest and get some work done around the house. That second treatment seemed to have done the trick, as the baby was able to doze for a little while and even ate some when mom came back. She was much calmer and her fever had gone down when we left. It was a dramatic change in just a few hours.

Thursday on the whole was a very sobering experience for the team. The isolation and poverty the people we treated live in their entire lives is pretty extreme. A simple round of antibiotics could be lifesaving for these people, and they just don’t have the means to access it. The pastor who hosted us reported that as many as 30 orphans live in the batey, cared for by family members and the community at large. Many of their parents died of “fevers.” What a stark contrast to the lives we lead every day in the States. In a way, it makes the smiles and laughter we shared with the residents of the batey even more precious.

A quick updated on the woman from Tuesday who had the severely infected finger: She was brought to our clinic site at the batey this afternoon for a follow-up with Dr. Paik. He said, “When I took the bandages off it smelled horrible, the pus was draining, and I couldn’t be happier!” The whole purpose of opening the finger was so that the infection could drain, and it was certainly draining! So thanks to his expert medical care, and that of the team, it appears the infection is moving in the right direction. It’s unlikely she will be able to afford any further professional care, but Dr. Paik left her with lots of supplies and antibiotics, and taught her daughter how to clean and bandage the area. The infection is still severe, so please keep praying for a complete healing for her!

On Friday we are visiting a small community called Cabeza del Toro. We anticipate spending half a day or so treating patients, then are off for some much needed rest and relaxation before heading home on Sunday. Thank you for your encouraging comments, thoughts and prayers!

30 comment(s) so far...


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Re: Grateful For What We Have

Good Morning (I imagine the wake up call on the Space Shuttle...) !

What you have done for the people makes me so proud...

You have touched so many hearts...... Hearts you may not even know! Imagine that!!!

I hope you all get the much needed rest you deserve.....I will pray for good weather for you travel home...

I can't wait to hear the stories of healing and heart... I look forward you your return with open arms as I know all of you and your loved ones do too!

Oh my God, You know my weakness and failings, and that without Your help I can accomplish nothing for the good of souls, my own and others’.


Grant me, therefore, the help of Your grace.

Grant it according to my particular needs this day. Enable me to see the task You will set before me in the daily routine of my life, and help me work hard at my appointed tasks. Teach me to bear patiently all the trials of suffering or failure that may come to me today. Amen.

Christ wants to give us the grace to offer Him up our troubles, just as he offered up His Passion to His Heavenly Father on the Cross. Indeed, our

Lord told St. Paul that His grace was sufficient for him in his own struggles (2 Cor 12:9).

The better we bear our crosses as an offering for the expiation of sins, the more the road to Calvary seems less of a detour and more of a path on the road to heaven.

Peace! xxxMary Brooks :::)))

By Mary Brooks :::))) on   Friday, January 24, 2014 6:22 AM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

To Dr.Paik & the Team,
Thank you for the daily updates! Praying for daily strength and protection as you serve each day as the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need. May Christ transform the lives of all the people that come to your clinic and give them spiritual hope and healing as you demonstrate the love of God in a tangible way. Blessings to you and your team, Charles! Proud of you guys!

Love,
the Ha Family

By The Ha Family on   Friday, January 24, 2014 6:35 AM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

Good Morning Team,
Today is the last day of clinics and I know you will each give 110% !
I'm so proud of everyone...what an amazing adventure

By Katrina O'Connor on   Friday, January 24, 2014 6:47 AM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

I was Truly moved by today's Blog and by what Tracy wrote to me last night - it sounds wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time...
It is amazing and beautiful what all of you are doing for these extremely less fortunate people - It Really is God's work being done on earth!
And to my beloved Tracy, I can only imagine the Love and caring and beauty and happiness (and sadness) that you are experiencing and bringing to all those around you.....You Are Special...and...I Love You and can't wait to see you on Sunday!

By Greg Gibson on   Friday, January 24, 2014 8:40 AM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

I was Truly moved by today's Blog and by what Tracy wrote to me last night - it sounds wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time...
It is amazing and beautiful what all of you are doing for these extremely less fortunate people - It Really is God's work being done on earth!
And to my beloved Tracy, I can only imagine the Love and caring and beauty and happiness (and sadness) that you are experiencing and bringing to all those around you.....You Are Special...and...I Love You and can't wait to see you on Sunday!

By Greg Gibson on   Friday, January 24, 2014 8:41 AM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

dhena!!!!!!

sounds like you have been busy. your dedication, compassion and ability to react to situations is always amazing to me. im proud of you...

referencing to Ivan's comment, if i were you i would totally tell Donovan the spider bit you...that would make you the best mom ever [a secret spider woman]

this morning, Katrina was asked to open the ER experience call with a patient experience story she shared...another example of "your" team extending the ministry of Christ"...you lead by example and should be proud of her recognition.

see you sooooooooooooooooon..................
please stay safe....

soto

By soto on   Friday, January 24, 2014 9:14 AM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

What great work you are all doing. Colleen, Sharon and Kinsey- how wonderful that you are there making a difference in people's lives!

By Patty on   Friday, January 24, 2014 9:18 AM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

Wow ! Amazing , How God uses this team to touch those needy ones . God will Reward by having all your names in his book. May God bless the entire team & praying for a safe return.

Hey Rudy, Geoff, Cindy, Amanda. Dr. Paik, our ABH SUPERSTARS
See you all soon.

By Joby Chirayil on   Friday, January 24, 2014 9:25 AM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

Tears came to my eyes as I read today's blog. Oh how much most of us take for granted while complaining about what, in perspective, seems like small inconveniences! On the other hand, there are those who are destitute and somehow manage to keep a smile on their faces and be thankful for each day of life. As you come to the end of your ministry in the Dominican Republic, may it be that you have demonstrated in word, thought and action that God loves each person and has blessings in abundance to share. May it be evident that the care you have shown for the people is a reflection of God's love, and the blessings your healing touch brought to them are an extension of who He is.

By Esther Jarrette on   Friday, January 24, 2014 9:29 AM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

Hello, team! You are in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for all you are doing and thank you for your amazing stories!! You are truly doing God's work. We miss you and wish you safe travels home!
-Erin Gerber, AGH

By Erin Gerber on   Friday, January 24, 2014 11:23 AM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

I've been following the blog all week and have to admit that your wonderful stories have melted even this cold, Patient Financial Services heart. You are truly champions and I'm proud to have you represent my AMH on this selfless journey.

Hurry home, travel safe, and God bless.

Pam

By Pam Cassidy on   Friday, January 24, 2014 11:32 AM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

We are so used to "having" in our culture and so many of us believe that our happiness is based on the things that we have. As a team and for those of us who are following your work, we have hopefully learned a new perspective on "having" and "owning" and will look more closely to our hearts and spirits for the real happiness that we need in our lives. Though so many of us could not be with you, we are learning the lessons that you have learned and made possible for us by your sacrificial work. I suspect, however, looking at the picture of "Dr. Love" today cradling the baby, that you are all wondering who has been more blessed - your patients or each of you! Many blessings for your rest and safe return home! V.+

By Chaplain Vicky on   Friday, January 24, 2014 11:48 AM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

Such amazing work! I prayed this week that the people of the DR would know the love of God through every encounter with the team and I sincerely believe they did. Thank you for your courage to step out of your comfort zones and make a difference in an area of the world that truly needed your care physically and spiritually.
Enjoy your time of rest. I look forward to hearing all of your stories in person.

Love to everyone especially my team (Rudy, Cindy, Geoff). Have a safe trip home.

Cecille

By Cecille Truver on   Friday, January 24, 2014 11:52 AM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

It is wonderful to read about how God is using each of you in such life-changing ways for His people! As a naturally overly emotional person, it is getting harder and harder each day as I read the blog. I just finished off a box of tissues. Sniff - sniff :-)

Indeed we need to be thankful for what God has blessed each of us with. What these folks must endure on a daily basis is something that is unfathomable to most and you are seeing and living it this week – unbelievable!

Thank you all again for the sacrifices you have made to be part of this mission!

Hope you get some much needed rest and relaxation for the many hours you have worked this week!

Safe travels home and God bless you all!!

XOX!!!
Michelle

By Michelle Hess on   Friday, January 24, 2014 12:27 PM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have (and do!)

Dear Mission Trip Team,

Not only grateful what we have, but also grateful for what we do and the ability to do it!

Thank you for all you are doing for our fellow human beings beyond the borders of our hospitals. Through these daily blogs (great job Emily!) I am inspired by the amazing "mission moments" you all are making.

To the awesome assembly of representatives from GlenOaks: Jill, Heidi, Emily, Jen, and Dr. Shanahan: When you are here at the hospital your positivity and warmth spreads through us all (friends, colleagues and patients). I can only imagine how much more magnified that is with the people you are with now. Please soak up as much of their returned warmth and bring some back to this chilly Chicagoland area!

To my fellow CIL and guide, AnnMarie, you once asked me if what we do makes a difference: without a doubt, YOU are making a difference not only here, but in all those lives you are caring for over there. Thank you for all you are doing! Take care and don't worry everything is running fine here, or at least as well as it can until you return! There will always be another change or go live coming soon...

Your friend,
David

By David Jafri on   Friday, January 24, 2014 12:41 PM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

What blessings you have been to the lives you've touched. Breaks my heart to read stories of conditions there, and especially the number of parent less children. The kindness and care you have shown this community will surely help them realize God's love.
Prayers for a safe return.
Rudy...miss u xoxoxo

By Robin Cortes on   Friday, January 24, 2014 12:43 PM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

We are so proud to work with such amazing people! Have a safe trip home!

Love,
Cristy, Rachel, and Susan (x-ray)

By xray on   Friday, January 24, 2014 1:22 PM
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MY HEART IS WITH ALL OF YOU

I KNOW YOU ARE ON YOUR LAST DAY. AS I LOOK AT THE PHOTOS MY HEART GOES OUT TO ALL OF YOU AND ALL THE PEOPLE WHO TOUCHED YOUR LIVES AS YOU ASSISTED THEM. BIG HUGS. VICKY

By VICKY on   Friday, January 24, 2014 1:33 PM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

It looks like it was another amazing day spreading the love of God. You ALL are amazing people with your special gifts and talents.
Dhena,
Hurry back safely before the snow hits on Friday........Saturday and Sunday!! Pot Roast nachos are on the horizon!!

By Clyde on   Friday, January 24, 2014 2:13 PM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

You have all been doing such AMAZING work!!! Enjoy the R&R, you deserve it!!!!

Emily, thank you so much for keeping us updated! These stories are so inspiritational, I just want to go help people here at home!!

Thank you for sharing your journey! Safe travels home!!!

By Cristina on   Friday, January 24, 2014 2:22 PM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

Dhena!

Star and I want to express of how proud we are of you of being such a spiritual leader and a role model for our team. You are a true inspiration and an angel to God's works and grace!

Upon request per Star, bring some kids home with you and she will take care of them all....haha!! j/k Oh and by the way, Spiderman is doing just fine!!!!

Continue to spread God's grace! We will see you soon and can't wait to hear your exciting experiences and more stories!

We miss you and take care! Be safe and God Bless!

Lynn, Star, & Lindsey

By Lynn, Star, & Lindsey on   Friday, January 24, 2014 2:23 PM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

Look at that awesome picture of Dr. Love holding the baby! It just warms my heart. I miss being on the trip collaborating on stories with you and holding babies too! And Dhena, I just knew it would be you who would care for the sick baby for two hours to help the mother out. She needed that break! What a gift! So proud to call you both my friends! Can't wait to hear many more stories when you return.

By Julie Busch on   Friday, January 24, 2014 2:26 PM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

How exciting to read all of your Blogs! So glad to know many of you and the wonderful work you are doing, A big shout out to Tracy and Ann Marie.
Hope one day I can join you too.

By Rita "the wound/ostomy nurse" Rusenas on   Friday, January 24, 2014 2:31 PM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

I am so proud to be a part of Adventist B.B. Hospital-the work you do is inspiring. You do so much to help those children of God. Our Lord has given you all a huge job and you've done it so well. God bless you and all the people you have helped this week May your trip home be warm and wonderful with the memories you bring.. See you soon-RUDY--

xxooo Marge

By Marge on   Friday, January 24, 2014 2:53 PM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

So incredible to hear about the life-changing work you are doing and the people you are serving. I pray blessings and safety over you as you finish up tomorrow and get some much needed rest and relaxation. Looking forward to seeing you, Kinsey, and hearing all the details of the trip!

Blessings,

Jessica, Hinsdale L&D

By Jessica Lamberson on   Friday, January 24, 2014 7:17 PM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

I am sure your last day was a memorable one!! I love the photos of Gianina teaching the kids dental care...priceless!!! So many beautiful little smiling faces and Pastor John with the baby is a great one too. BTW John, I heard The Beatles were making a come back today on the radio :-)
Thanks again to everyone for all the hard work and dedication you gave the less fortunate this week. Now rest up and get ready to embrace the mystery here in Chicago with the Polar Vortex that is still lingering.
Prayers for safe travels home to your loved ones!!!!!
-Kat

By Katrina O'Connor on   Friday, January 24, 2014 7:20 PM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

Hey Sharon!!
I've enjoyed reading the daily events of your trip! Brings back fond memories of our mission trips together --especially with the Haitians :) You might want to stay there when you hear how cold it is here. We're very proud of you and can't wait to get together to celebrate those birthdays! Miss you! Relax and have a safe trip back. Hi to Colleen, too!
--Susie Martinson

By Sue Martinson on   Friday, January 24, 2014 9:20 PM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

Dear Ann Marie, Colleen, Sharon, Kinsey and the entire Mission team, I have enjoyed reading your blog. Thank you all for bringing His light to the world. Have safe travels back to the tundra!

"His favor surrounds you like a shield."

God bless you all,
Catherine Lebert

By Catherine Lebert on   Saturday, January 25, 2014 10:21 AM
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Re: Grateful For What We Have

Welcome home... special prayer of thanks for all you have done and for your safe return. I look forward to hearing how my favorite missioners are doing.
Vicky

By vicky burns on   Sunday, January 26, 2014 11:16 PM
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re:

Thanks for putting an effort to publish this information and for sharing this with us.

Cathy
www.gofastek.com

By gofastek.com on   Saturday, March 08, 2014 1:44 AM

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