We were thrilled and blessed by a visit in March from Milwaukee dentist Dr. Dana Bott.  He was accompanied by long-time supporters Ray and Donna Moon who flawlessly worked out all the logistics of their travel and activities.  Ray is the Logistics Coordinator for FHH and he and Donna come down to visit and work with us every year.  We asked them to work out all the arrangements for travel, equipment and supplies with Dr. Bott and to work with him during the week as he did dental extractions.  They all did a wonderful job and we were grateful for this new service to our patients.  In addition, they brought with them a portable dental unit with an air compressor and suction, so in the future Dr. Bott and other dentists will be able to do some dental fillings as well as pull teeth!  Thanks to all the wonderful donors who contributed to the purchase of this valuable piece of equipment.

 

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Dr. Bott gets ready to anesthetize a patient as Donna assists

 

Pulling a tooth

Dr. Bott gives a final pull while extracting a tooth

 

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Portable dental unit that the team brought down and left with us.

 

We set up the two dental chairs (which had been donated to us by Dr. Maria Tammi) in our empty xray room, spreading out the dental supplies on a table.  The room had more space than our clinic exam rooms and worked well as Dr. Bott was able to go back and forth between patients.

 

Dental supplies

Dental supplies spread out on tables in the xray room.

 

Dental group

Dr. Bott, Donna, and interpreter James Gordon stand beside a happy patient.

 

Ray did behind-the-scenes work in sterilizing all the dental instruments in pressure cookers on the stove in the residence.  He went up and down the stairs several times each day, preparing instruments for the next patient.  We’re grateful to Ray and Donna for their wonderful assistance and we thank Dr. Bott for his willingness to come render dental services to our patients.

While the dental team was working hard, Cherlie and I and the other clinic nurses were dealing with a dilemma.  A couple came in to the clinic one afternoon with their infant daughter, having walked since the day before from their home up in the high mountains.  They said that the child had fallen off a bed onto the floor and cut her tongue two days prior to their arrival.  When I examined the infant, she did, indeed, have a deep laceration through the front of her tongue and it extended through more than half of the tongue!  This was a dilemma because with the length of time that had passed since the injury, the chances of healing were greatly reduced and the chance of infection was high.  In addition, we had doubts as to the truth of their story because there were no signs of other injuries to the infant that would suggest that she had actually fallen off a bed.

Couple with baby

Couple holding their infant daughter with a serious tongue laceration

 

The parents were insistent about the cause of the injury and we could tell that they did not want to go down to the government hospital in Jérémie to have a surgeon repair their daughter’s tongue.  They wanted to take their chances with us.  So, I mustered all my ER skills, said a few prayers, advised the parents that the laceration repair might not work and sewed up the little baby’s tongue.

 

Sutured tongue

Tongue with sutures in place.

The baby nursed right after the procedure and seemed to be quite happy, so we sent them home with instructions to return back in a week.  When they came back, the tongue was fully healed and there was no evidence of infection.

 

Repaired tongue

Tongue with sutures removed

 

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Infant girl after the sutures in her tongue were removed

Needless to say, there was a lot of rejoicing in the clinic that day and many prayers of thanks to the Lord for his healing mercies!