After months of fighting to get all of the paperwork necessary for our Respire Haiti student Caila to travel to the United States for surgery, she arrived in Long Island, NY on May 21, 2014.
Caila, who was 12 at the time, suffered from severe scoliosis and had a 107 degree curve in her spine. Through Global Relief Medical Fund we were able to connect to Shriner’s Medical Hospital in Philadelphia who agreed to do her surgery.
Her incredible host family, the Albanese’s brought her to numerous appointments and then we were finally given a surgery date of July 31, 2014.
Rita Noel, one of our staff members and Becky Harding flew to Philadelphia to be there for the surgery. After 12 long hours of surgery, doctors came out looking exhausted. In so many words we were told that her spine was more compressed than they thought. They were not very confident she would have movement again.
After hearing this my heart sank. I couldn’t understand what God was doing. Or why He was doing it this way. ALL of OUR plans were changed.
As we scurried trying to figure out how to accommodate for this new and discouraging situation, we realized we needed a transition place because it was worse than we thought. And then, God divinely brought in the Brown family. Molly Brown and her husband Justin along with their children are incredible. She is one of my hero’s.
As Caila continued to have no feeling in her legs, we realized that it was time for her to return and adjust to life in Haiti with her mom.
Caila returned to Gressier, Haiti on December 1st.
As she went back to school in January, our students saw her in her wheel chair. They saw Caila leave walking and come back in a wheelchair. My heart was a mess trying to sort this through with God. The kids, teachers and parents asked questions. But we continued trying to make the school accessible for her, and begun resonating with the fact that we needed to make Respire Haiti Christian School wheelchair accessible for her.
In February 2015 Caila headed back to Shriner’s Hospital in Philadelphia. We were expecting her to learn how to transfer herself from her wheelchair to bed, and from bed to her wheelchair.
Day one she stood.
Then a few days later she walked.
As I flew to Philadelphia to pick her up from therapy, I could not even comprehend what had happened. First, God brought an amazing Occupational Therapist, Ashley, into our life. For such a time as this. Ashley was sent for Caila and she is amazing.
They journeyed for two months together in Philadelphia as Caila improved her endurance and strength.
Returning to Haiti was surreal. Her classmates were elated to see her walk, our staff was ecstatic, and her mother….there are no words.
As I keep playing this 10 month process over in my head, I kept thinking about the Miracle that God did and why He did it the way He did.
If the surgery would have gone the way we “planned”, she would have left Haiti and gone to the states, gotten “fixed” and doctors would have been the “Healer”. But God.
He has special plans for Caila and our community to grow together.
Sometimes we get so focused on the end result that we don’t see what He’s doing in the process.
Even with ALL of the miracles I have seen God do, I still doubted in what He was doing with Caila.
Thank you so much for all of your encouragement and prayers throughout this endeavor. And thank you so much to the Albaneses, GMRF, Elissa, Becky Harding, Michelle Griffin, Ritha Belizaire, the Brown Family, the whole staff at Shriner’s Hospital, ALL of our Respire Haiti Staff and ALL of the others who have given us prayers, financial support and LOVE. Respire Haiti could not have done it without you guys.