Tabitha is a five month old baby that I met in Haiti last week. Tabitha's mom and grandparents are members of the church that our church visits every year. Tabitha's mom brought her to the church so we could pray for her.
When she was 15 days old, Tabitha began to develop hemangiomas on her face. A hemangioma is a red, raised birthmark. (I'm sure there is a more detailed explanation, but I don't know what that would be.) The hemangiomas spread across her chin, cheeks, throat and down her back. Her voice was raspy and she seemed to be laboring to breathe, as well. Her mom had taken her to doctors, but was told there was nothing they could do for her.
I sent a text to Todd to ask him about hemangiomas and what could be done about them. He responded with a few questions about where it was and asked if I could send him a picture. I asked her mom if I could take a picture of Tabitha and she said yes. I sent the picture to Todd and waited for a reply. While we waited, her mom let me hold her and we prayed for her...it is a moment that will forever be etched in my mind.
When Todd replied, it was not with good news. Hemangiomas like Tabitha's are known as a "bearded hemangioma". Babies with this are at an increased risk for airway involvement. This means they can grow in her throat and block her airway. He suggested that she see an ear, nose and throat specialist if one was available.
The next morning, we asked Benson, our leader in Haiti, if there was an ENT in Les Cayes, which is the largest town closest to Picot. He said there was and we did what was needed to make sure that Tabitha would be able to see him. Benson said that if there was any way possible, he would make sure that she saw the doctor the next day. The team left Picot that day and we waited to hear a report about the doctor appointment.
Today I got an email that was forwarded from Benson. Tabitha and her mom did indeed go to see the ENT the day after we left Picot. The doctors told Tabitha's mom that if they had come even one day later, she may not have survived. She will have to be in the hospital for a long time, but there is hope.
When I read that email, I was amazed at what God had done. The way He orchestrated the chain of events that lead to Tabitha being at the church, our team being there when she came, Benson knowing which doctor for her to see and all that it took for her to get to the doctor, is awe-inspiring...I can't believe that I got to play a part in this story.
Everyday there are people that are homeless, that go to bed hungry and little ones that don't have parents or die from preventable causes. It can be easy to get overwhelmed with the magnitude of the needs around us, and we can begin to get discouraged and think that what we do doesn't make a difference. But, everyday God makes a way for us to make a difference. I will always be grateful that He allowed me to be in the right place to make a difference in the life of this family and I pray that I never forget that.
I can't do EVERYthing, but I can do SOMEthing...we all can.