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.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

A Special Delivery

I have just received a special Delivery, and no, I don't mean a baby!

The Mothers Milk Bank of Ohio recently dispatched donated Breast Milk to a premature infant in Les Cayes. Sadly, the baby did not survive, but the people caring for him wanted to make sure that other babies might benefit from the superior nutrition, and the immune boosting antibodies that mothers' milk provides. They called God's Littlest Angels to ask whether they could transport the milk could to us. The answer; an enthusiastic yes!

It is a very rare thing for orphaned infants to receive breast milk in Haiti. The travesty is that these babies are extremely fragile, and desperately need excellent nutrition. This is a country in which the majority of expectant mothers are poorly nourished, and babies are often born prematurely, underweight and anaemic.

At God's Littlest Angels, we see the effects of poor nutrition every day. Last month, Donley, a baby who weighed 4lb, died after he developed gastroenteritis. Another infant, Luc, became extremely ill after contracting the same virus and was unable to tolerate feeds for a full two weeks. Three month old Jude, who arrived at GLA at the end of January and at two weeks of age, was extremely malnourished. Although he has thrived in our care, he also became very ill after he developed diarrhoea and vomiting. It is only today that he found the strength to hold his head up again. The effects of malnutrition can persist for several months after a baby is admitted to us. Minor ilnesses are extremely debilitating to our Haitian babies.

So when our delivery arrived, and I unpacked the boxes to find dozens of bottles of donated breast milk, I was delighted.

Some of the milk had thawed in transit, so a few very lucky babies will benefit from this precious milk right away. Beni is one of them. He weighs 5lb and has had watery diarrhoea for several days. I am hopeful that breast milk will help him to recover quickly.


nicnacpaddywac said...

Oh wow! YOu know how amazing i think this is - i have such a massive grin on my face! I've so often desperately wished it was realistic to ship milk from Scotland to Haiti.

Anonymous said...

how is it possible to ship breast milk from the US to Haiti?

Lish said...

brownswissmomma: frozen breast milk packed in dry ice will remain frozen for up to a couple days, from what I've read fed ex has experience shipping frozen milk internationally, it can also be carried in with someone who's flying in!

Susan,I've donated to the Mother's Milk Bank of Ohio and privately to a needy family and have often thought of the babies at GLA and how breast milk may help them! I'm so happy to hear of this special delivery and so happy for the little ones who will get this extra special gift! I've emailed Dixie (via Tom V) a couple weeks ago about the possibility of donating starting in August/September after our newest baby is born just awaiting her response and praying for God's will in this! As always we pray for you all! You're angels on earth!