Heath moms partner for mission trip to Haiti

ROCKWALL/HEATH, TX (Nov. 21, 2014) It’s simply amazing all of the good that can stem from one simple little conversation amongst friends. At least, that’s what Rachael Ortiz discovered not too long ago while talking with a couple of other moms from Heath. The conversation topic: what they would like to do together someday in order to make a difference in the world.

Heath residents Janie Butler and Paige Beesley working in the pharmacy at Haiti Health Ministries.

Just a few years later, and the local ladies saw their plans come to fruition. The small group eventually grew much larger and consisted of 33 people – most of them moms from Heath – on a mission to travel to Haiti and provide medical and dental care to those in need. The group partnered with Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall to help them facilitate the mission trip, and formed three teams, with each specializing in a different form of health care.

“The first was a dental team with one dentist – Dr. Greg Kerbel of Heath – three hygienists, a dental assistant and then four ladies to clean instruments and organize patients,” Rachael said. “This small dental team in Haiti in just two days’ work was able to see 60 surgical patients, 90 surgical extractions and 310 perio/hygiene patients. Pretty amazing!”

Frank Butler of Lake Pointe led an eyeglasses team and trained all of the ladies on how to work the equipment in order to find and allocate patients’ prescriptions. The team was able to see roughly 225 Haitians and give 200 pairs of reading glasses and 150 pairs of eyeglasses, with most patients receiving both.

Rockwall resident Tracy Tuttle handing out candy to the kids at the health fair.

A medical team formed the third group – three certified nurses and eleven willing volunteers. The team put on a very successful children’s health fair at the Haiti Health Ministries clinic in Gessier, Haiti, where they met up and worked with fellow Rockwall resident and now permanent resident of Haiti Sally Todd, who works with the clinic overseeing the needs of Haitian families.

The medical team saw 200 children during its health fair, performing various medical procedures including deworming and checking for anemia and malnutrition. The team members were even able to educate the children and their parents about hand washing, proper nutrition, how to grow their own vegetables and what to do if their children fall ill.

“All in all it was a very productive trip,” Rachael said. “We met a lot of physical needs and more importantly we formed relationships and shared God’s love with others. That was our main purpose.”

Heath resident and nurse Shawna Robertson loving on the kids at the children's heath fair .

Haiti is a Caribbean country occupying the smaller western portion of the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antillean island chain. Over the course of the last 14 years, the country has been ravaged by multiple severe tropical storms and was hit by a magnitude-7.0 earthquake in 2010, the most severe earthquake in the country’s history over the past 200 years. The earthquake reportedly left between 46,000 to 85,000 people dead and 1.6 million homeless.

The Haiti mission trip group would like to encourage others to get involved in the work being done locally and around the world by the Lake Pointe Church and Haiti Health Ministries. To find out how to volunteer or donate to their cause, visit their websites at Lakepointe.org and Haitihealthministries.org.

By Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News staff writer and reporter. Photos submitted by Rachael Ortiz.

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