His skin has a sallow color, his lips dry. He is extremely weak, dehydrated, and unbelievably thin. The odor of death, sweet and it stains my nostrils.

Somehow watching him struggle to breathe, robs me of my own breath. Read more

I am livid. My mind whirling. How can this be called medical treatment?

Her mother is hysterical. The grandmother’s face swollen from crying. The grandfather sounding his own cries of unbelief and distress. In the chaos, I struggle to understand the whole story and I am distracted by Crystal… she doesn’t stop whimpering. Read more

We thought it was a rescue…

The grandmother begging me to help get her sick grandson out of the hospital where no one was paying any attention to him.

He had been there for 2 weeks… and got worse every day.

Now, she didn’t know where to turn. The doctors wouldn’t tell them anything… they had no money f Read more

I laid down beside her as the bed shook with her sobs. My arms enveloped her and she snuggled close. I was surprised to be called down at this late hour. She should have been asleep long ago.
As I pressed her to talk, she said she just wanted her mom. “But I can’t go there cuz my dad might find me. He doesn’t know your house so he can’t get me here. He wants me at his house but I don’t want to go. So my mom put me here…”

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He laughs and giggles at “peek-a-boo”.  He colors with his healed hand. He eats crackers non-stop. He points and makes all kinds of cute little noises. And finally, yes, he smiles.

We have a long way since the first critical day when J.R. was burned in a fire. He arrived at our house at 5 am, the hospital he was initially brought to, having done nothing for him. His skin hung in burnt ribbons, his head already beginning to swell from the trauma. I truly had no idea how serious this burn was or I may never have thought I could handle it… Read more

We are watching God do a miracle before our eyes. No, our patients are not totally well, but I am watching new skin grow. I am watching infection die little by little. I am literally seeing new pink skin form under the black, layers of charcoaled skin.

Picture 32

One evening, I came in for my night shift, and Kuya Martin was laying in the dark crying in his pillow. Oh, dear Kuya. How many times have I told you that God is bigger than any plan of the devil. God will take this and turn it for good if you trust Him. God has a plan for your life, for your family. Read more

His bandages are changed twice a day, sometimes three times. Both legs, his head, both hands and his entire right arm. That comes to 50% of his body when you add it up. The places where infection has set in must be “debrided”, or cleaned. As the days  passed, his little hand and arm began to swell. It seemed the skin would burst but for the thick layer of infection that seemed to hold it all in… Knowing this was the most painful part of his burn, we cleaned gently. His cries tugged at all of our hearts… he would whimper for hours even after his pain medication… Read more

It is Day 5 after the fire in Escopa. We have been so busy here at Gentle Hands after the Christmas Day fire under the bridge.

My morning shift over, its 2am. I gently woke Mandy who had grabbed 5 hours of sleep between shifts. Each hour of sleep is precious. Tonight, little JR won’t sleep… he whimpers and cries.

Picture 22 Read more

I was sleeping soundly. It had been a long day, but wonderful. There had been food and presents this Christmas Day. I was so very tired. Outside, my dad was in a drunken stupor screaming at my mom. How many times in the last week had he been drunk? Last week, when my mom took me to get medicine from Ate Cher, he was drunk then too… I remember cuz she really yelled at him. Read more