This Little Light of Mine

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tamaka Update: The Lord is on the move!

A little over 24 hours ago a phone call set me on a path that in all honesty I don't how prepared I was to take.  Much less take my family along with me.  Assumptions are frequently made that I have certain connections in the community to get things done and if you really knew me, you would laugh.  I'm not one to keep with the Jones and the politics around me.  Tackling the task at hand of persuading influential people to help with Tamaka was notably outside my comfort zone.  After much prayer last night, I just started calling, emailing, texting and messaging with Facebook.  With each note or email, a prayer was made that through my feeble communication attempts the Lord would accomplish something greater.  There was prayer for each word to land on the heart of just the right person to accomplish his will and plan for this.  It was comical too as most things are when the Lord uses me for his work.  Picture me sitting in bed with the laptop on my lap and cell phone lying by me.  There were conversations happening by text, phone, Facebook, Facebook chat, e-mail AND Gmail chat.  Not to mention one of my girls wanting to bend my ear about something.  That level of multitasking can ONLY come with the Lord's grace.  After many things were out in cyberspace stewing, I laid down for a little bit of rest.

I was awakened this morning by a surprising phone call from the chief medical officer for Huntsville Hospital, Dr. Robert Chappell, in response to the e-mail I had sent them.  WOW!  God was acting fast on this one.  An administrator calling me on a Saturday morning of a holiday weekend.  He explained that he would take the request to the CEO, David Spillers as well as the CFO and get back to me.  Yippee!  As that was pending, I was reached by Marshall Schreeder who offered help in contacting people.  This was a golden offer because confronting people is not my strength.  Marshall was able to contact Dr. Paul Israel who is the only local cardiologist here in Huntsville.  Dr. Israel was on board but expressed the concern we have all had. 

What if Tamaka gets all the way to Huntsville only for us to not have the level of resources from a cardiac standpoint that she would need?  This is the little cloud that would follow me all day...

With Dr. Israel on board at least to the extent of his resources locally, Dr. Chappell called back stating that Huntsville Hospital would be on board IF I got the Pediatric ICU doctors on board.  I'll admit that this is when I did realize the cart was in front of the proverbial horse.  In my mind, the administrative support was the "hard" part and I hadn't even gotten to assembling the medical team.  I promptly rushed up to the HH (Huntsville Hospital) pediatric ICU to discuss the issues with the physicians there.  All the way along the drive to the hospital I prayed fervently that the Lord would make me bold for this little girl.  Lord, guide my words and give me a strength to say just want needs to be said to convince these physicians to help us.  Gratefully, I was greeted with the familiar face of a mentor from med school & residency days, Dr. Barbara Richman.  I have always admired Dr. Richman and her passion for the children.  She is a strong patient advocate.  After explaining the craziness of the Tamaka's story and the needs request Dr. Richman along with her partner who was present Dr. Lyn Davidson began asking questions about Tamaka's medical condition.  This was the challenge as their questions were very reasonable regarding what possible conditions will have to be treated including infectious diseases, cardiac and more.  I struggled as I could not give much information as the workup was lacking which was in itself a large portion of the need to get Tamaka to the states.  When asking a doctor to accept a level of responsibility for a patient it isn't unreasonable that they would want to be sure that they had the appropriate resources.  All I could do was let them know that if the cardiac issues were greater than anticipated some how, some way we would find her further care.  My promise sounded hollow I knew, but I was sincere.  I was stepping on faith that my Lord would NOT leave us hanging when we were caring for the "lesser of these" in his name.  Dr. Richman agreed to help on the condition that we could find an Infectious Disease doctor to come on board as well to help.  I left the hospital with new tasks to do but a sense of hope and possibilities.  Driving home, all the plans of the day had to be shifted.  Again at the Lord's direction we were able to contact Dr. Richard Spera here locally who stepped right up agreeing to come on board with Dr. Richman.  He too expressed the overriding concern about our capabilities cardiovascularly, but he stepped up to the offer.  So the medical team had fleshed together.

Somewhere in this timeframe, my dear friend in Haiti Greg Roberts and asked that I get with Kari Smith in Nashville who had worked something similar for another Haitian patient.  He recommending that she could help with the paperwork. 

What?  Paperwork?  Huh?

In my little brain, I had convinced myself that getting this much pulled together was the hard part.  *Insert deep chuckle of God laughing at me....again.*  We (those on the stateside) would have to pull together all the letters and forms and affidavits for her visa.  ARGH!!!  Well, surely I can juggle rounding at the hospital this afternoon and running errands with my family while working this...who am I kidding?

Kari graciously responded to my frantic messages and has gotten us on the road.  So, as I sit here typing the stage is being set.  Now, we have to translate the verbal agreements to paper.  And, tackle one more hurdle acutely.  A big hurdle in mind...the immigration department requires an individual to complete a form/affidavit stating financial responsibility for Tamaka and her Mom.  Sounds easy huh?  No big deal huh?  I challenge you on this one friends.  We need someone to complete the form and submit a 1040 tax return, letter from their bank showing they're in good standing with good financial resource, and statements from employers attesting to the stability of their job.  That to me is a big deal even if I can back it up with incredible community support.  So that is what I have sent requests for.  An individual or family to feel led by God to step to the plate and do this.  They will NOT be alone for there are numerous people who will also be standing with Tamaka and her Mom.  If we cannot get someone else, it will most likely fall to my family to take this on and we will if that is where things fall.  My only struggle is that this will all have to be repeated for Melissa Hope (see previous blog notes for details) who we are trying to get here on Humanitarian Parole.  We will be signing up for the financial responsibilities of her medical issues as well.  We are leaning on the Lord's provision once again.   

That is where we stand.  Let me now mention there has also been an incredible amount of work through this by Paul Neier and others in the network toward other options and resources.  Though in this moment we will not need  these services, I am overwhelmingly appreciative to them all for the efforts that they made.  We also have hopefully a colleague in the Haitian mission work Simeon Nerelus to help with translation.

Please pray for the ongoing efforts for fulfillment of His plans...

Through God's grace and mercies abundant,
Dr. Jenny

1 comment:

  1. Jenny, I knew from our first conversation that you are a true blessing for this child. While I worked around various things today, I kept wondering where everything was today with this precious child. God had you going full speed ahead. You, Paul, Chris and everyone else are doing wonders. Please know I will do whatever I can to help from here or try to make arrangements for anything I can in Haiti.
    Thank you,