In Septemeber 2008, I traveled 6000 miles to Haiti's Kenscoff mountains. My mission: to care for some of the orphaned and abandoned, the sick, malnourished and premature infants of this beautiful but beleagured Caribbean nation.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

This little man has been with us for a week. At 3 and a 1/2 months old he weighs just over 6lb. He has a severe dermatitis and although he is very thin, his face and feet are swollen. These are signs of severe malnutrition.

The baby also has special needs. His airway is restricted. He has difficulty feeding. He is unable to close his mouth or his eyes, his eyelids often turn inside out and his hips don't move as they should.

A local hospital refused to admit this little man. His desperate Mother heard about our orphanage and came seeking help. At GLA, the baby is getting the very best care we are able to offer. We have started him a special milk formula and various multi-vitamin and mineral supplements. With good nutrition and expensive ointments his skin condition has improved.

This is good to see, however, our new boy faces significant health challenges and he does not have access to the expert care that medically fragile children in North America and Europe enjoy. We don't know at this point what has caused his health problems and we don't know what his potential might be, or even if he will live.

We do know that our new angel likes to be held close and rocked and sang to. It is difficult to put into words how we felt in the NICU a few days ago when the baby reached up and touched my face. 'He plays!' one of the nannies said in wonder, and as the two tiny hands brushed over my mouth and cheeks, I asked God to give us the wisdom we need to nurture this very special baby.

Update: Today, on the 7th of November 2012, I learned that Doubidson Junior probably had congenital Ichthyosis, a rare and often severe congenital skin condition, characterised by overgrowth of a tough, protective protein called keratin.The skin becomes so thick and tough that it forms scales that have been described as being like body armour. As a result of their very tight skin, babies with this condition develop deformities and are often unable to breath because their rib cages are constricted. Without meticulous skin care, deep cracks form in the skin. Babies with Ichthyosis overheat quickly,  dehydrate readily and have very high energy needs. They often die from severe skin infections or respiratory problems.


Catherine said...

All my thoughts and prayers are going to that little man.....
Catherine (Mommy to Nad├Ęge)

kay said...

God Bless all the little children.
The world should have more like you.