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.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Because I Promised

Charilson is critically ill tonight.

Last night, his nurse documented that he was absorbing his feeds well. This morning, Mme Bernard, the head Haitian nurse found Charilson extremely dehydrated and profoundly hypothermic, with a very distended abdomen.

The drop in Charilson's body temperature was the first sign of a severe infection that made his gut stop working. Charilson deteriorated rapidly. The Haitian nurses were not able to start an IV. Charilson stopped breathing several times as they tired. There was one more thing left to try, but I was sure I couldn't do it.....

I sited a needle in the baby's thigh and began infusing fluid into his bone marrow. It was a radical measure, only used in neonates in dire emergencies, but Charilson was on the point of death. I had never inserted a needle into the bone and I have always felt physically ill whenever I have seen broken bones, or heard the broken ends grating. I didn't think I could overcome that physical reaction. I knew that I could not stand in front of his bereaved Daddy unless I was able to say that I had been true to my promise. I did it because 4 days earlier, I had told his grieving father that I would do everything I could, to restore his son, strong and healthy to him.

We have managed to rehydrate this precious boy. He is stabilizing, but he needs a nurse by his side constantly. Katie, an Australian nurse-volunteer is with him now. Our staff and volunteers are devastated by the sudden deterioration in Charilson. He captured our hearts fast - such a tiny elfin baby.

His father desperately wants him to live and we desperately want that too. I think if we can get him through the next 48 hours, he might survive this. Pray for him.


Anonymous said...

Susan, as a father myself I understand and empathise with Charlison's dad. I pray that God will grant this man some of the many blessings which I have received through my own children. I pray and trust that HE will continue to empower you in your efforts for this precious child.

God bless you in your work.

signed by one of your many appreciative anonymous readers.

Marie said...

So sorry to hear that and yet so very thankful that you were able to do what you did! Bravo! Praying!