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, 1 February 2009

Ti Marasa

You might remember this little man. He came with his twin brother on New Years Eve. Last Sunday, he was giving me cause for concern. He had profuse diarrhoea and he looked dehydrated.

The week before, he had been moved to the high care nursery where we started IV fluids and antibiotics. I have been watching Ti Marasa (the little twin) very closely since the New Year, because he is profoundly anaemic, and that makes him very vulnerable to infection. On Sunday of last week, the pale skinned baby with white gums had dropped from almost 14lb to 12lb 2oz. Despite the best efforts of a dedicated nanny, he was refusing to drink. He was very tired and his eyes we sunken. We had hoped to avoid having him bounce back to the NICU but it was clear that he needed another IV.

We rehydrated him and started him on another course of antibiotics. Three days later, the diarrhoea was as bad as ever and our paediatrician changed his medications. We were really struggling to get nutrition into him. He wanted cheese puffs (the highly processed kind) and nothing else. We were bringing his brother in to visit throughout the day, in the hope that this would lift Ti Marasa's spirits. It was touching to see Gwo Marasa (the big twin) offer his little brother little pieces of bread. The tiny boy would smile when he saw his brother, but he wasn't making any progress.

I would sit for 40 minutes at a time, trying to get him to drink. He would roll his eyes like he was dying (he was not) and he could let everything dribble out of his mouth. By the end of the 40 minutes (I really couldn't cope with him playing dead for any longer), he would have taken 3-4oz and he would keep it down. We couldn't be sure whether he was feeling nauseated or whether he just didn't feel hungry. It was clear though, that we were dealing with a very strong personality!

He was starting to show signs of zink and B vitamin deficiency on Friday and by that time, he was pursing his lips tightly and absolutely refusing to eat. I strongly felt that he needed nutrition to heal, and we all knew that he would need a blood transfusion before long, if he didn't start eating. Reluctantly, I put a Naso-gastric (NG) feeding tube down and started feeding him an enriched milk formula. His protests about the tube were loud, and his wailing could be heard down in the office and on the third floor balcony for over 1/2 an hour.

He is doing better today and is beginning to eat on his own but he still needs prayers for a healing. I would like to see him catch-up with his brother and I dearly hope that he will not fight all of our efforts to make that happen!

1 comment:

nicnacpaddywac said...

This little man is in my thoughts and prayers.

I have to smile at his very strong personality through it all though!