Today I saw the reason that Haiti draws me back. The sea of faces all needing something, whether it is medication or reassurance, always haunts me as the last day of clinic comes to a close. I felt the usual frustrations of people sneaking in long after the number of tickets (crowd control) have been given out, running out of medicine, being unable to help the "worried well". It makes the last day bittersweet.
The gates had been locked and we were taking inventory in the pharmacy when one of the translators asked me if I would see one more. It was a baby. The same baby with pneumonia at the beginning of the week. He had followed up on Wednesday with a continued high fever, retractions (an ominous sign of respiratory distress), and lethargic. I wasn't sure if he would survive the week. We gave him an antibiotic shot (ceftriaxone) in a Hail Mary attempt to save his life on Wednesday. He returned today alert and screaming as soon as I came near him (best sound on earth). We checked his temperature which was now normal at 98.0 degrees. He was breathing easily even with the continued rattling in his lungs. He had turned a corner. We gave one last shot today to help him through the remaining illness. As I looked at him, I thought "this is why I came". We saw hundreds of patients, but somewhere in the universe I felt this is the one I came for.
Tomorrow the team is going to have a little R&R on the beach before departing on Sunday. I'm still on the mend and a little sunshine, sand, and crashing waves sounds really good right now.