TO MY PARTNERS in MINISTRY
to the PEOPLE of HAITI
February 11, 2018
L I V I N G w i t h Z E S T
How is that a little boy who lived on this earth for less than 6 years could so impact my life in the few short months that I had the privilege to know him??? Ched (pronounced “Shed”) arrived at the orphanage in October 2016 and left to live with extended family members shortly before his October 2017 tuberculosis diagnosis. From the very first day that I met him I knew he was special. His under-his-breath little chuckle, his gigantic smile, his wit, his natural talent for working with his hands, and his quick-love and acceptance towards others all made him who he was. He made me want to be a better person!
(See Communiqué #123 for another piece of Ched’s story)
On the afternoon of February 1, 2018, we received an unexpected text message from Ched’s father. It simply said “Ched is dead.” I wanted to say “Tell me it is not true!”
Through a phone conversation we learned more of the details. This is the father’s version of what happened. Ched was admitted the day before to the General Hospital in LesCayes because he was having difficulty breathing. Because the father had records from the doctor who had treated Ched for TB, this record authorized a new doctor to treat him. The doctor said that Ched needed oxygen and told the father he needed to go out into the city to buy a battery-operated oxygen system. The father went out to perform the difficult task of finding this equipment in a place where such products are hard to find. Upon returning to the hospital with his purchase, he found Ched connected to an oxygen machine run on electricity that had been sitting at the hospital. Apparently, the doctor seeing how much Ched was struggling to breathe had authorized the connection of the device even though it was against hospital policy to start any treatment before the treatment was paid for in full. During the evening, Ched’s father stayed at his side. Feeling very fatigued, the father fell asleep sitting next to Cheds’ hospital bed. He awoke when he realized that the power had gone off sometime during his nap. He turned to look at Ched and found him lifeless. No nurse or doctor had come to check on him when the power went out. The electrical oxygen machine had failed Ched, when the battery-operated machine that the father had purchased sat unused and now useless beside the bed. His precious little Ched was gone!
In Haiti, you have 24 hours to bury someone who will not be embalmed. As embalming was much too costly for Ched’s father, he quickly made the necessary decisions to bury his son. He had to borrow a friend’s motorcycle to bring his son to the family burial plot. At 1AM, the father set off on this journey cradling his child while driving over 2 hours to his son’s final resting place. As a woodworker, Ched’s father has made many, many caskets. Little did he know that on this day, we would be buying the materials to make a casket for his own little son.
Having only the equivalent of only $10 US left to his name, the father needed to ask several friends if they could loan him money to pay for everything related to Ched’s medical care and his burial. Growing up in an orphanage himself, the father has no living parents and no immediate family who can help him. The events of Ched’s illness and his eventual death in itself was quite a burden to bear. The financial needs only magnified the father’s distress.
Sadly, this type of story is not unique for people living here. Life here is plain and simply … VERY difficult!
Please join me in praying for Ched’s father and all people everywhere who suffer so greatly!
If you are moved to help financially, please do so via the DONATE tab @ CaribbeanChildrensFoundation.org
or mail a check to Caribbean Children’s Foundation, PO Box 33, Jenison MI. 49429.0033 USA
Please place the words “CHED MEMORIAL” in the comment section!
R.I.P. little Ched!
May 9, 2012 to January 31, 2018
Missionary to Haiti & the Dominican Republic Until next time, God willing …