I just recently returned from a missionary trip to Haiti.  My friend, Rhonda, asked me to go with her to take a look at a little one that had been placed with the organization my LIFE speaks in the small village of Neply.  Rhonda and I went to Neply together in October of 2012.  She fell in love and she has continued to go back for 1 to 2 weeks every three months to provide PT services for the children that reside with my LIFE speaks and that reside within the community of Neply and the surrounding communities.  As Rhonda was preparing to go back she called me and requested that I go with her this time.

There was a new child in Neply.  She was almost two and she weighed less than 7 pounds.  By the time, we made it to Neply, Merdine had gained some weight.  She was up over 7 pounds.  This was AMAZING news!  However, she suffers from severe reflux.  Every feeding is a struggle and most of what goes in comes right back out.  She arches her back.  She turns her head.  She was hungry, but food made her miserable.  We had to do something.

Merdine with her Mom and Dad during her first NG tube feed.

It was decided by the team, that an NG tube for feeds was the best thing for Merdine.  Now, we are in Haiti.  It’s not like we can just make an appointment with our local GI doctor and schedule a procedure.  This was something that was going to have to be completed by one of us on campus.  The recommendation was for us to watch a YouTube video.  Rhonda and I both prayed, asking God to help us, to give us the strength to do what needed to be done.  God delivered.   We woke up the next morning and a new team had arrived.  On this team were four nurses, one of which had previous experience with putting NG tubes down her own child.  We spoke with Mom and Dad and went over the procedure and the family agreed and we put the NG tube down.  We then worked out the calories and the feeding schedule.  Merdine tolerated everything so very well and her parents are incredibly amazing.  I taught the family some oral motor exercises to help Merdine learn how to suck a bottle and to improve her lip and cheek strength.  I am not so patiently waiting at the moment to find out her weight for this week.  Last Monday when she was weighed, Merdine was right at 8 pounds.

Merdine hanging out on her front porch.
Merdine hanging out on her front porch.

Dear Lord, I am humbled by your grace and mercy.  You are good all the time.  You provide for all Your people according to our needs.  Please continue to guide those individuals involved in the care of Merdine.  Guide them to make the decisions that will best help her to continue to grow.  Merdine’s parents opened their home and they took in this sweet, precious girl and they love her as their own.  Pour Your grace and Your mercy and Your blessings on them so that they may continue to have the strength they need to meet her needs.  We are so grateful for all you have provided! Amen