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.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Celebration and Mourning

Sarah came off of oxygen on Thursday Morning. She is thriving and she is a beautiful baby, everyone says so! I tend to reply that while my babies often don't look pretty from the outset, they always become beautiful! I am very attached to Sarah. She has needed such intense nursing care since she arrived at GLA three weeks ago that we have ended up spending a lot of time together. This gorgeous little girl has faced and overcome so many medical challenges in her first month of life. I am excited to see what will become of her.

As I look forward to the upcoming week though, not all of the emotions I feel are positive. On Tuesday, the nursery staff and I will wave goodbye to four of our Angels. Three came from a christian mission in Cazale:

Remember Clercineau who arrived in February 2010? He was 12 months old and weighed just over 5lb. His chances of survival were very poor. He is now a 20lb two-year old - gentle, affectionate, sensitive and comical. He comes from a desperately poor family, that will struggle to provide for him. Clercineau's 10 year old sister has been admitted 4 times to Real Hope For Haiti's inpatient malnutrition programme in Cazale. She is the height of the average haitian five year old. It hurts to think of Clercineau struggling with malnutrition all his life, just as his sister has.

Junes arrived the a few weeks after Clercineau, from the mountains overlooking Cazale. He weighed 2lb 10 Oz and and although we had a hard time getting him to grow and gain weight at first, he is thriving now. His Mother was seriously ill after giving birth to him. She loves and adores Junes. I am pleased that he will be reunited with her.

These two boys have been here such a long time. They have long since forgotten their birth families and that makes me sad. We kept them here until we felt confident that they had a good chance of surviving at home. Up until now, the clinic that referred them to us have been overwhelmed with earthquake and cholera victims. The length of time that Junes and Clercineau have been separated from their biological families, though, will make the adjustment to life in rural Haiti hard, especially for Clercineau.

With that in mind, Dixie and I have decided to transfer Sarafina back to Real Hope For Haiti, along with Clercineau and Junes. Sarafina was born prematurely to a Mother who died soon afterwards. Sarafina was very tiny and malnourished when she was send to GLA three months ago for special care. Today, she is healthy and growing fast, weighing over 9lb. Returning to Cazale will allow her birth family to visit her at Real Hope For Hait's rescue centre. Sarafina will probably stay there until she is fully weaned and walking.

The Fourth child to return home will be Wadley. I have absolutely no peace about that. His brother left two weeks ago. We pleaded with his Mother to allow Wadley to stay until his ear infection had gotten better. Wadly has gained 11 lb in three months. He is a handsome, huggable little man, who has marked developmental delays from chronic, severe malnutrition. He has made such excellent progress here at GLA, even since we implemented a special developmental care plan for him just a few weeks ago. When I walked into the nursery this morning, Wadley was eating a bowl of scrambled eggs. 'Look!' he said to me,'they are yummy,' I was stunned and delighted, and overwhelmed by a duality of emotions, the joy, the pride, the sorrow, the dread.

The upcoming week will be like that, It will be all change. We will celebrate some changes, we will mourn others......

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