Thursday, July 16, 2009


Thursday, July 16 at 4:00 PM
The little boy with burns on both legs has returned! The story from his Mother is that she took him home (no reason asked by me or stated by the Mother), and left him in the care of his father while she went to Port-au-Prince (again no reason asked or stated). His burned legs were left open to the air while she was gone. This remedy of letting a wound dry out is exquisitely painful for a burn. When she returned, she somehow realized that he needed more care and brought him to a clinic in Petite Riviere. His legs were bandaged there yesterday and the staff told the Mother to bring him back to the hospital and fortunately she did so this morning.

When I first went in to see him with my students, he was sleepy and I was afraid that he was really sick. However, later he was awake and eating a snack. His legs are contracted in about 45 degrees of flexion. Stretching them back out with Physical Therapy will be agonizing. Some of the areas of deep partial thickness (second degree) burn may have converted to third degree after being left open to the air; this will mean more extensive skin grafting.

But he is here! He has a chance. Thank goodness his little body was tough enough to HANG ON.

Moving at a tropical pace . . .
These last few days, I find myself moving more at a tropical pace. The heat has a cumulative effect. I am slowing down much below my usual speed of moving and doing. I wonder how this effect of the heat must affect the culture of a place like Haiti when it occurs for a lifetime.

There is still much to do and as time runs out, I realize that I need to start making a list of priorities. However, with any luck that list will be neglected this weekend and I will head for the beach. The determining factor will be transportation. There is no regular public transportation in Haiti, only tap taps and private arrangements. The hospital can no longer afford the luxury of taking people back and forth except when absolutely necessary. We will see what happens. If not the beach, then I will plow through my third book and hit the pool when it is shaded (the water is too hot in the sun).

Wireless access seems to be down on campus, so there are email messages just sitting in my outbox. I will try posting this blog on an old computer in the library. I hope it works! Until later. Judy


  1. Great Story JH! -Home a week from tomorrow! We will see you at the airport - P and J

  2. I'm so thankful the little boy was returned and sorry that his agony will now be extended. But now, a chance!

    I've also discovered that post spine surgery can = tropical pace.