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.





Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Holding My Breath

A Knock at my door at 6:30am brought worrying news. By the time I reached the NICU to see why Sophie's oxygen saturation monitor was alarming, her oxygen levels had dipped to 45%. The oxygen had become disconnected from her CPAP. The colour had drained from her body, her mouth was open, her eyes were staring and she was gasping.

The night nurse documented in Sophie's chart that she had cried a lot during the night. She seemed to be in pain, the nurse thought. Her heart rate was high and her breathing was laboured. As of mid-day today, Sophie was still working hard to breath. Her heart rate continued to race. She had not cried. When I did a heel prick to check the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in her blood, she barely even grimaced.
As the days pass, Sophie's heart rate climbs, and her blood gasses deteriorate. As I continue to pray for a miracle, I prepare my heart for the ever more likely possibility, that Sophie will not survive. This morning's episode is a stark reminder of just how fragile this baby is. Please continue to pray.

3 comments:

Wendy said...

Hi Susan, My family and I are flying into Los Angeles next week, and we have been given some left over and "expired" supplies from our newborn unit to take/send to you. (it will be sent to Colorado Springs). -eg O2 sats monitor probes that wrap around a baby's foot. what sort of monitor do you have? -So I can check they will be of use.
Thanks, Wendy. (New Zealand)

Serdan said...

Thanks so much for sharing these stories and needs. I am praying--for them and for you. Thank you so much for being there for these babies.

Susan Westwood said...

Hi Wendy,

We are mostly using a criticare O2 sat/comfort cuff BP monitor.

Thank you for thinking of us. Have a great holiday!