In Septemeber 2008, I traveled 6000 miles to Haiti's Kenscoff mountains. My mission: to care for some of the orphaned and abandoned, the sick, malnourished and premature infants of this beautiful but beleagured Caribbean nation.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Angels Watching Over Us

There was a sudden explosion of splintering glass behind me, and even before I turned around, I knew that something catastrophic had happened.

Vivianne, a much loved GLA employee who has lived here since she was a teenager, was on her hands and knees, bleeding heavily. There was broken glass all over the floor, and razor sharp shards still hanging from the sliding door that separates the computer room from the waiting area.

The scene seemed to play out in slow motion. As I advanced towards Vivianne, who was too stunned to to notice the shards above her head, she got up onto her feet. For some reason, she was (mercifully) unable to stand upright. She remained bent over at the waist, as though frozen. I reached her and gently guided out of the doorway. Out of harms way, she was immediately able to stand up straight.

Vivianne was badly hurt. She sustained three deep, jagged lacerations to her face, and another just millimetres the inner corner of her eye. She had several other lesions on her wrist, legs and foot. She had pierced 3 veins, and, one shard had struck a few inches from her carotid artery.

Steeve, the Bickel's 14 year old son, was also injured. Fractions of a second before Vivianne collided with the glass, he has seen what was about to happen. He instinctively reached forward, but of course could not pull her back. his head was sliced by a shard of glass in the doorway. I shuddered hearing that. Had the remaining glass come down on Vivianne and Steeve at that point, it would have sliced them like a guillotine.

It took a surgeon almost 3 hours to close their wounds. Ten stiches for Steeve, and dozens for Vivianne.

It was 3am in the morning before, cleaned up, dressings applied and medications given, Steeve and Vivianne were in their beds. Beyond exhaused, I posted a Staus update on Facebook.'

'Susan Westwood is thankful for the Angels that guarded those we love last night'.

Yes, today we are all thankful beyond the word, that this horrible accident did not end in tragedy. Had one of the shards severed an artery.....Had the remaining shards been dislodged while Vivianne and Steeve were in the doorway....

Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they heal. Pray specifically that Vivianne face will not be badly scarred, and that the sutures that were used to close the wound on her foot will hold - they are under a lot of stress because of the width of the wound and its location. Today, she had no sensation in her right foot. We are hoping that as the inflamation subsides, the sensation will return.