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November 2011 Medical TeamWe just returned from our trip, and I think all of us are humbled by our experience. No matter how many times I travel to Haiti to help with the medical care I am always heartbroken and hopeful, sad and thankful,  exhausted and energized.  We had an amazing team of 27 from all over the country that came together to serve. During our clinics in the small villages of the Central Plateau region, we saw approximately 3,500 medical patients, 750 eye patients and 250 dental patients. We also held a clinic in a prison in Hinche.

There is too much to tell here, but I will highlight a few vivid memories:  A visit to a cholera tent center with horrible suffering, but with IV hydration they are surviving and recovering.  A young 15 year old girl with a severe life-threatening  abscess of the peritonsillar area. We treated her over a three day period and hope that she will continue to recover nicely. A 12 year old boy with a machete wound to his arm and with no use of his wrist, hand and elbow. This poor boy had nearly lost his arm and had inadequate before our arrival at his village. We brought him to the Adventist Hospital in Port au Prince for a 3 stage surgical treatment.  A one month old 2 pound premature baby who was dehydrated- we treated the baby in the village and then brought her back with us for admission to the local hospital with a pediatrician from Cuba.  A child with severe Hydrocephalus and her mother was comforted by our team. Roberto, with multiple severe deformities, who is blind, prayed for us on two occasions as we ministered to him.

Our dentist, Dr. Pat Wei and a dental student James Chao along with a Haitian dentist worked tirelessly. They extracted many severely infected teeth while patients lay on makeshift wooden benches.  Many are now smiling with relief from pain.

Dr. Pat Utnehmer was our optometrist and he got to have the most fun of us all! Along with dispensing hundreds of reading glasses, he saw many nearly blind adults and children. With his portable refractor unit, and with the many donated prescription glasses, he was able to see the joy on their faces when  they could see again! What a gift it is to donate your glasses you are no longer using. It changes a life.

Each member of our team was invaluable. It is amazing to see how God puts together a team of His choosing and how perfectly He works to bond everyone together into a family. Thanksgiving is here and I am thankful that God is able to use us to love others in Haiti. Please pray for those who will be receiving follow-up surgeries and for Ronnie from YWAM to recover from his infection. Thanks everyone!

Dr. Walt Combs

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