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.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


Late this morning, our social worker came up to the NICU with good news. We have been caring for a little boy, who is thought to be around ten years old. He was admitted to General Hiospital in Port-au-Prince after his house collapsed around him during the earthquake of January the 12th. The Hospital was ovewhelmed and Harry was transferred to the Comfort Ship. At that point he became separated from his Mother.

'My Father died, but Mummy did not,' he told me through tears. I promised him that we would do our very best to find his Mummy. For over a week, our adoption staff have been doing just that.

Well this morning, Harry's mother saw his face on one of the posters that our Director had put up on the walls of the General Hopsital. When Harry, who has soft tissue injuries affecting his left arm and foot, returned from a check up at the local mission Hospital, a wide grin spread across his face. His Mummy was right there, waiting for him!

We sent Harry and his Mother home with medications for pain and swelling and a relief pack containing food, blankets, a tarpaulin and hygeine items. A delighted Harry kissed me good bye, as his Mother promised to visit in three weeks time; Harry will attend the Baptist Mission Hospital in Fermathe to be reviewed by an orthopaedic surgeon later this month.

God's Littlest Angels Director, Dixie Bickel, explains to Harry that his Mother called us after seeing his face on one of the many posters that GLA staff put up in Port-au-Prince.
This was the happiest of goodbye's - a mother and son reunited. Dixie and all the staff at God's Littlest Angles would like to make family re-unification our new mission, in post earthquake Haiti.

Tonight, we said another goodbye. This time, with tears of sorrow welling in our eyes. Shortly after 6pm, the NICU nannies called me to see our premature baby, Judeline. When I got upstairs, she was blue and she wasn't breathing. We tried to resucitate her but we were unsuccessful.

On Sunday night, I shared that I would not place my hope in Judeline being a miracle baby. Experience is a hard teacher, and I have learned in my short time in Haiti, that premature babies who are hypothermic (very cold) for long periods of time, usually stabilize for a few days after we warm them up, and then become very sick. The 'cold stress' damages their immature organs.This morning, Judeline's abdomen was swollen; it was an ominous sign.

We did what we could to support her frail little body, but in the end, the best medical care Haiti could offer just was not enough to save this beautiful, and perfect baby, who was just born too soon, and in the wrong place. I do not doubt that had she been born in a developed country, she would have lived. The sad fact of the matter is that many Haitian babies are born prematurely and with low birth weights, mainly due to lack of pre-natal care. There are very few Neonatal Intensive Care beds, and so many tiny lives are lost needlessly.

Judeline is just one of the thousands of Haitian babies who will die this year, in a country in which 20% of infants do not live to see their first birthday.

I know the statistics, and I protected my heart, but I still would have liked a miracle - the kind you can see and hear and touch.

1 comment:

WaGer said...

Are you able to pursue getting in touch with this organization? I saw a presentation they did last year at a competition for funding. I'm sure a few of these would help immensely.