Saturday, March 30, 2013

Holy Saturday Night in Haiti

Sleeping with Mitral Stenosis in Port-au-Prince
(Photo by John Carroll, March 30, 2013)
This is how Marie has been trying to sleep for months. She cannot lie down because she cannot breathe.

Her exam today revealed a very tight mitral valve. The tissue is scarred down and does not let blood normally drain into her left ventricle which is her main pumping chamber. And fluid ends up in her lungs which has caused her right ventricle to become overloaded. And this causes fluid to engorge her liver and causes her abdomen to be painful.

And untreated strep throat caused all of this when Marie was 12 years old and she developed rheumatic fever.

And what really caused most of this is being poor.

What needs to be done?

Marie is on four types of heart medicine which is stopping her from tipping all the way over.  But the "cure" for Marie is heart surgery to replace her mitral valve.

John A. Carroll, MD

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday in Haiti

It is very early Good Friday morning.

Marie just texted me: "Dr mwn pa kapab respire bien ni donmi" ("Doctor I cannot breathe well or sleep.")

Jesus actual cause of death as He hung on His cross was suffocation. Marie is having fluid from her heart backing up into her lungs, which floods her alveoli and impairs oxygen transfer. Marie is suffocating on her cross like our Lord did on His.

Jesus could text no one. Marie can.

Jesus had to die. Marie doesn't.

Our response hasn't changed much in two thousand years.

John A. Carroll, MD

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sent Home

I sent Marie to a hospital in Port-au-Prince very early yesterday morning. I spoke with one of the hospital doctors on the phone and told him Marie's medical history. He told me that she would be evaluated but that they had no open inpatient beds for her.

Marie called me before noon and was despondent. She said the hospital did nothing for her and she was headed home on a tap tap. She said that "...if I lie down, I will die."

I asked Marie if she could go to the General Hospital in Port-au-Prince right then. She said their staff is on strike.

And OSF remains quiet about Marie in Peoria.

What to do now?


Short video from the New York Times. Could be a satire of all of us who are trying to "help" Haiti.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Archbishop Wenski and Pope Francis

Archbishop Wenski has always been a strong supporter of Haiti. Here are his words on our new pope.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"They are going to let me die..."

Early this morning Marie texted me: "They are going to let me die, Doctor Carroll."

I quickly called her on Skype. She does not sound good. Marie cannot breathe well or sleep well. She seems to be dying of congestive heart failure due to her mitral valve which has been destroyed.

I have e mailed multiple people in the States and in Haiti requesting help for Marie. She needs to be hospitalized for oxygen and aggressive diuresis. And then she needs valve replacement.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sounds Like Peoria to Me

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pope Francis

Clearly defining his vision of his own role, he quoted from scriptural texts to say that as Bishop of Rome, he was endowed with “a certain power.”
But he went on: “Let us never forget that authentic power is service and that the pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross.”
“He must be inspired by the lowly, concrete and faithful service which marked St. Joseph and, like him, he must open his arms to protect all of God’s people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison.”
New York Times--19 March 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

Social Sin

"We live in the most unequal part of the world, which has grown the most yet reduced misery the least. The unjust distribution of goods persists, creating a situation of social sin that cries out to Heaven and limits the possibilities of a fuller life for so many of our brothers."

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Tuesday, March 05, 2013

With the Greatest Care and Love

OSF-Saint Francis Medical Center (OSF-SFMC) is the largest medical center in Illinois south of Chicago. It used to be called St. Francis Hospital.

OSF's bills are sent to patients from OSF HealthCare Patient and Accounts and Access Center from 7134 Solution Center in Chicago.

After you read what your "total amount due" is there is a statement that says:

"Thank you for choosing OSF HealthCare and OSF Saint Francis Medical Center as your health care provider where we serve persons with the greatest care and love. The balance on this statement is now your responsibility."

When OSF-SFMC was St. Francis Hospital it did serve patients with the greatest care and love.

Monday, March 04, 2013


“The breed of the hesitant and the weak ...of those ...who believe in telling the truth but rather than tell a distinguished painter that his paintings are daubs will praise him politely,” he wrote, “this breed of the inconsistent is still one of the main hopes for the continued survival of the human race.” If the goal of being confronted with one’s own inconsistency is to make us more consistent, then there is little to celebrate here.

Leszek Kolakowski
"In Praise of Inconsistency"