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.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Seeing Jesus

Baby J arrived at GLA at 11 am this morning in a critical condition. He was born 15 days ago at a hospital in Port-au-Prince.

'They said this would sort itself out,' his Mother told me, pointing to the gaping holes where her baby's nostrils should have been.' J's Mum is very young, very petite and softly spoken. In a barely audible voice, she explained that this was her fist child, and that he had only been able to take drops of breast milk since he had been born, two weeks ago. It was immediately obvious to Dixie Bickel and myself, that this little one was not be able to suck.
He has a severe bilateral cleft lip and palate; there are abnormal openings - gaps - between his nostrils, lips and palate. He was born this way- the bones and tissues of his face did not fuse properly when he was developing in the womb, and the results, for him, have been catastrophic. When he got here, his life was slipping away. His oxygen saturation (measured across the skin surface) were just 60%, his heart rate was irregular, and he was very cold.
'What are you thinking?' I asked our director.

Dixie barely paused. 'She [the baby's Mother] has come for help. I think we need to take him,' she replied. We both knew that while his chances of survival were poor, he would certainly die if we turned him away.

And so Baby J is upstairs in our NICU. He is on oxygen and we have put a feeding tube down to hydrate him. He has warmed up now and his heart is beating strong. He is tolerating milk feeds and cries when we disturb him.

J's lungs are clear but he has lots of secretions in his upper airway and his heart sounds are not normal. He has six fingers on his left hand. The fifth and sixth are abnormal and the fifth finger on his right hand is also abnormal. It is highly likely that he has other abnormalities that we can't see. The obvious issues are enough to kill him.

Honestly, I don't know if this little man will live, but one thing is for sure; we will do all that we can for him. Baby J is suffering less tonight than he was this morning. It is our privilege to be able to tend to him, because Jesus said that what ever we do for the least of the least, the poor and the weak, we do to him. Jesus was born for this baby, he is with him and he is in him. I see that and I feel it.

Please pray for the NICU staff and for Dixie as they care for J over the Christmas holidays.

1 comment:

nicnacpaddywac said...

J is in my thoughts and prayers. X