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.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

More Precious than Gold

Most of the babies at GLA have been relinquished by their birth families, making the orphanage staff their sole care-givers. When one of our tiny charges becomes sick, they are allready more than patients to us.

Two weeks ago, I returned from Petion-ville, to find this little man so dehydrated that he had lapsed into unconsciousness.The baby had developed diarrhoea that morning, but he had been taking approapriate amounts of oral rehydration solution and he smiled and cooed at me from his crib.

Over the next few hours, the diarrhoea had become profuse and watery. Seeing the problem, the head nurse had tried to site an IV line to rehydrate him, but she couldn't find a vein.

Seeing him now, my heart rippled, but it could not show.

Respirations a little deep. Heart rate fast. Peripheries cold. Blood Pressure (mercifully) good. Core temperature normal. Baby unresponive. No hypoglycaemia....

Time was of the essence. I passed a naso-gastric feeding tube and began rehydrating the baby through it. I had heard that this was possible but I had never seen it done. We hoped that after he received some fluid, his veins would show up.

An hour later, the baby opened his eyes. A few hours on, he was looking much brighter.

And by the time the sunset faded, he was fully rehydrated and drinking a lactose free formula from his bottle.

I can't begin to describe the joy these bright eyes hold for me, or how I treasure his smile; more precious than gold.


Anonymous said...

Hi Susan! I have really enjoyed reading you blog, and I am glad you returned home safely. I travel to GLA for two weeks beginning on March 11th and reading about your experiences has been very helpful as I plan for my first trip to Haiti. Thanks! Kim

Cécile said...

Hello Susan, would you accept me to translate a part of your articles "stupid cupid" on my blog ? I would of course explain where they come from. i am interested in what you said about relationship between men and women in Haïti and I think that it has an interst for our children adopted from this country... Please just tell me. Thank you.