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, 11 September 2011

Two Sick Babies

GLA's NICU has been busy this week.There is a nasty viral infection going around the nurseries that is making some of the babies very miserable with sore throats, and congestion in their lungs.

On Tuesday, Miss Sonia was struggling with this cold and had to be started on oxygen. Sonia, though, was not sick enough to stay out of trouble trouble - chewing on the oxygen cannula (it was supposed to stay in her nostrils!), tearing the oxygen probe off of her toe (she ate that too), pulling the tubing off of her oxygen machine and detaching the cord from her pulse ox probe. Although I made a great show of admonishing her, I was secretly pleased that she was feeling well enough to cause trouble.

'Young lady, if you don't leave those tubes and wires, I'm sending you down to the office on portable oxygen for a time-out!' I told her in what I think was a fairly convincing tone. I didn't want to scare her, but I did wag my finger for effect ;-) Sonia seemed to consider my words very seriously for a few seconds.....and then her face lit up a smile and she extended her arms for a hug! She got a hug but she was also told that she was not off the hook. Sonia has a stubborn streak and a lots of winning ways. She quickly winds the nannies and nurses here around her little finger!

Before her heart surgery, simple colds lasted for up to a month, and lead to pneumonia, heart failure and several weeks on CPAP and oxygen. This time, after a short course of steroids, Sonia was off of her oxygen in two and a half days. Heart surgery really has changed the course of her life.

On Wednesday, Bobo, our 12 month old baby who weighs around 7lb and who has several birth defects, returned to the NICU severely dehydrated and needed IV fluids. He is a very frail infant, who quickly destabalizes. Although he is recovering well from his current illness, I see signs that his condition is deteriorating. He is very delayed in his development, and seems to be regressing in some areas. He has the virus that is going around the nursery and he sometimes needs suction to clear secretions that get stuck in his throat.

The great thing about having medical capabilities is that we are able to treat children right away, at the orphanage instead of sending them to a hospital in the city. Our medical programme is expensive but it pays dividends for our children, who get the care they need, provided by staff that they know, in a familiar environment where they feel safe and loved. If you have access to medical supplies and would like to help keep us stalked with essential items, please visit this page on main GLA blog for an updated list of the things we need.

Please forgive any 'typo's'. GLA's internet is telling blogger and other websites that they are being pulled up in Germany. As a result, the spell checks on those sites are German!

1 comment:

Katie said...

Hi Susan,

My name is Katie, & I'm from Sydney, Australia. I'm so excited to meet you when I come to GLA in November! I'll be bringing with me two big bags of medical supplies...I'm a nurse at a great children's hospital here in Sydney, so I've been raiding all the storerooms for 'expired' stock. So happy to be able to bring it to you :)

Would so love to spend some time with you and the bubs in the nursery when I come. You do such an amazing job.

God bless,