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.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

A Pita - Until Later

Over the past few weeks, I have done lots of thinking, and lots of praying, and lots of talking with the people close to me. Still, I can't seem to find the words for what I have to tell you.

Friends, I left Haiti at the beginning of July. With great sadness, I have to tell you it has been decided that I will not be returning to God's Littlest Angels, not because I don't want to return, but because it has been made impossible for me to do so. I know that this news will come as a surprise to a lot of people.

So many of you have such a stake in what I do in Haiti. Some of you have prayed for me and my sickest 'angels', some of you have given money and raised funds to provide supplies and equipment for the Neonatal  Unit, others provided specialist medical advice and therapies for the babies, and, when I was very ill earlier this year, some of you quietly donated to cover my medical expenses. Those expenses were covered in full. I am thankful, beyond words, for each one of you, however you have come alongside me.

Many of you tell me that you are so grateful for my blogs and for the stories and insights I have shared about my work in Haiti. Many of you recognise that I built something at the orphanage, specifically at their neonatal unit in the Kenscoff mountains - I built on the capabilities of the unit to provide excellent care to prematurely born and severely malnourished infants, that is true. The bigger truth though is that without all of you, and without God, none of it would have been possible.

There are two main concerns that the people seem to have when they hear my news: I would like to reassure you all that although I have had very significant health problems this year, I have had excellent medical care in Scotland. Although I have some ongoing medical, issues they are not serious enough to prevent me from returning to Haiti.

The second area of concern people have is whether I will continue my medical ministry elsewhere in Haiti.

Believe me, I am grieving the loss of  many many things. I have lost Haiti, my work there, and my relationships there. I would never have chosen to leave so abruptly, and I want nothing more than to be back in Haiti. My nursing expertise, though, is very specific, restricted to the care of infants and children, and, in Haiti, particularly to the care of very young, severely malnourished, sick and preterm babies in a very resource poor, but relatively privileged environment. Yes, I did a good job, but I did it with clinical haematology analysers and monitoring equipment. In another setting, I might well be lost. So you see, as much as you appreciate what I did near the mountain village of Fermathe, there won't be any non-governmental agencies beating my door down and bombarding me with offers of paid work.

I hope that one day, I will be in a position to return to overseas medical missions in a full time capacity. Maybe, short term opportunities will open up for me. For example if anyone wanted to introduce a low technology bubble CPAP to their neonatal or Paediatric unit, clinic, hospital, orphanage or medical centre in Haiti or elsewhere, I could certainly provide advice and ongoing support with that.

For now, I ask for your prayers as I continue to heal and adjust to some massive changes. Pray for me as I try to find a way forward that will strengthen my nursing capabilities. I fully believe that all babies and children, whether they are in Haiti, or in Scotland or anywhere in between deserve the very best nursing care. Excellence is what I have always aimed for. I will continue to actively pursue excellence, I promise you that.

A pita (until later) and with love and gratitude