Most of our children are in reasonably good health. However, during the month of March, Kervens and Oscar were tested for TB. Kervens developed a chronic cough and frequent fevers. He was taken to Grace Children’s, Hospital (GCH) to see his infectious disease doctor, and subsequently tested positive for TB. He was put on a TB prophylactic medication for one month, and the symptoms are now gone. In late June, Kervens developed a fungal infection on his head that was treated with an anti-fungal cream we have available in our medical supplies.
Baby Edison had an odorless discharge coming out of his left ear that created great concern from our staff. While drops were applied for his ear infection, his condition got progressively worse, creating a fever, an inability to eat, general malaise, and labored breathing. He was taken to GCH for examination, where a number of tests were performed, revealing that his viral load was over 500,000! He was hospitalized, until his viral load was under control and sent home after new ARVs were administered. On June 20th, this little guy returned home just in time to celebrate his one-year anniversary at CHOAIDS! We thank God and YOU for helping us save the lives of children like Edison. This sweet boy has achieved many milestones this past year. He was barely sitting up straight when he came to us. Now, he no longer possesses that chronic ear infection, no more red-fine hair (a tell-tale sign of malnutrition), and in recent months he began walking. We trust that YOU will continue to rally around CHOAIDS to support children like Edison, in the fight against AIDS, hunger, neglect and other social ills.
During the months of March and April, several of our other 25 children faced some health challenges - - Valentina, Gerline, Jennifer, Ruth C., and Cassandra all suffered stomach upset, with each given over-the-counter (OVC) medications for relief. When I was in Haiti last November, Ruth C. had severe belly cramps that kept her from eating for days. A pain reliever, given at GCH, helped her to return to health. Many of us know how popular soccer is in the Caribbean, and our children (whether or not they have the proper shoes, equipment, etc.), love to kick a soccer ball. Because of his passion for soccer, Jordany almost severed a toe on his right foot at school playing soccer. This condition created great discomfort for him. However, and thankfully, his condition has greatly improved, with the help of medications found at our home. (John carrying Guenson back on the way back from an x-ray)
In April, Joseph, Zachary, Valentina, Guenson had a fever. While all were given OVC medications to alleviate their symptoms, Joseph paid a visit to the doctor, because he developed a migraine and was not getting any better. He was prescribed some medications for the migraine, and a new antiretroviral (ARV) medications. Guenson developed a cold that lasted more than one month, but appears to be doing better now. His disability with his left leg has gotten to the point where he is in constant pain. We continue to believe that God has a plan for Guenson, possibly with surgical intervention? Among our children who had medical tests done in March and April, several (Ruth L. Oscar, Edison, Angela and Gerline) had tests for possible renal issues, viral loads, and chest x-rays. Gerline suffered from frequent fevers, malaise, a chronic cough and chest pain. Her viral load was found to be at the ‘acceptable’ level, and her ARV regimen were changed. We are hopeful that the health of all these children will improve vastly, and appreciate your thoughts and prayers on their behalf.
On school report cards: Ruth C., Rose-Michelle and Guenson were the only three children who did not do well in their report cards during the second trimester. However, Jordany, Stanley, and Jennifer’s progress were exceptional, being at the top of their respective classes! (Five of our children and their school principal Mme Carole in the above picture)
In March, we welcomed two new and passionate volunteers to our Board: Steve Hailer of Stow, OH, and Dr. Aimee Simpson of Kalamazoo, MI. Steve is married to Mary Hailer. Together they have four grown children and four grandchildren. He is a graduate of the Ohio Northern University and is now a retired bank CEO. He served on an advisory board for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and was a director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati for more than 17 years. Steve also served as president of the Kiwanis Club of Akron two times, president of the Summit Athletic Running Club, and a race director of 5K and greater road races for over thirty events. He loves playing the guitar and be active with running, golf, going to the gym, walking, and biking.
Dr. Aimee Simpson is from Galesburg, MI. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, medical school at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, and pediatric residency at Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies 2004-2007 (chief resident 2007). She is a board certified pediatrician who has been practicing since 2007. Dr. Simpson is married to Tim Simpson. Together they have two wonderful children. She enjoys traveling, soccer, time with family, and reading. In 1998, she traveled to Haiti as a college student; for the past 20 years she has continued to carry life-changing memories, and hope for the Haitian people. Dr. Simpson is ecstatic to be able to finally use her talents and energy to help serve these incredible children!
We thank God for those who give and spend the time to read about our work in Haiti. We hope, after reading this issue you will reach out with questions or comments about our children, staff and Board. Blessings, Marie