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, 4 December 2011

A Job Well Done

As I wrapped up the week yesterday, I took stock.

Alaine, was off of her nasal cannula. She'd had a sudden growth spurt, and was now stable without the constant flow of compressed air. We will continue to observe her carefully. The nannies will be pleased to do that. Alaine is ridiculously cute - her face is so round that I call her my cabbage patch doll. Her  eyes cross badly whenever she tries to focus on us. That only makes the Haitian staff all the more fond of her. 'You have to send a photograph of Alaine for her mother, Susan. Maybe if she sees how fat the child is, her mother will have hope.' Alaine's Mother has lost 17 infants. We wonder if these babies had a genetic syndrome. Alaine has had airway problems and her ears are small and set very low on her head. God knows. We just enjoy this sweet girl and stay watchful for any health problems. Alaine's mother deserves to have one child, this side of heaven.

Bianka is going from strength to strength. She came to us severely malnourished, with swollen hands, feet and eyes. We almost lost her to renal failure, and she went on to develop heart failure and seizures as she stabilised. She was severely anaemic and her protein deficiency was so severe that she had very few immune cells. I was afraid that infection would claim her life. She had an ethereal, waxen pallor and her skin was coming off in sheets. The Haitian nurses were convinced that she had been burned. Her skin was so thin and raw that we had trouble keeping this baby warm and hydrated. I treated her like a very premature baby. Today, Bianka is recovering from her malnutrition, filling out, and tipping the scales at almost 6lb. Her survival is a work of God, and I am blessed to be a witness to her healing.

Want to see another miracle? Charilson is a premature baby who was transferred to our care by Real Hope for Haiti, a Christian mission run by our friends in Cazale. Charilson was very small for his gestational age when he was born last month.. He became malnourished when his mother fell ill and died. His grieving father dearly wanted this frail boy to live and in his sorrow, he gave thanks to God that there was someone who could nurture Charilson through the fragile newborn period, in which so many Haitian babies die. Touched by his gratitude, I promised his father that I would do all I could to ensure that Charilson grew strong and healthy. Charilson had mild diarrhoea and was very anaemic when he arrived. He contracted an intestinal infection and overnight, became severely dehydrated. When Mme Bernard reported for duty at 7am in the morning, Charilson's gut had shut down and dehydration and infection had sent his body into shock. He almost died.

Charilson was not doing well last night. The night nurse said that she couldn't get him to feed. He has mild diarrhoea and a swelling at the site his IV line was placed. He is now back on antibiotics and he has been started on Elecare, an expensive milk formula with pre-digested protein and fats and sugars that are easier for him to digest. He is sucking better today. Please pray that he and Bianka will receive a full healing.

Rivens, who was born 6 weeks early is off of CPAP and  no longer needs a feeding tube. He is a beautiful baby, who is growing and thriving and very active in his incubator.

'Celia', came from an orphanage up the road, suffering from severe diarrhoea and protein-energy malnutrition. She is also on the mend today. Her admission weight was 14lb 7 ounces. We rehydrated Celia and then began treating her infection and renourishing her. We gave Celia medical peanut butter and a specific blend of minerals to help her absorb protein. Her weight dropped to 12lb 14 ounces at it's lowest point. Believe it or not, this was progress - a sign that celia had metabolised the protein in her diet, and that the fluid in her tissues had been pulled into her bloodstream and left her body. Celia is regaining her appetite. We hope that she will lay down fat and build muscle as she recovers. She smiles and waves at the NICU staff now. If Celia continues to do well, she will return to her orphanage later in the week.

 Anyone walking into the NICU now, seeing it so calm, without a CPAP system or an oxygen cannula or even a feeding tube in sight, would have trouble believing that just 2 weeks ago, we had five critically ill babies and that the room was full to bursting, with medical equipment and  monitors alarming all over the place.

That's a good thing: a sign, I think, of a job well done.


Anonymous said...

very well done indeed!!
thank you for your work on behalf of all the babies, parents, readers.

Marie said...

A job well done by all! Thank God for such talented, dedicated people and for miracles!

Colleen and Jussi said...

“Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” (Acts 14:3) God has blessed you and your amazing team to be His hands here on earth, because you stay a long time, long after everyone else is in bed, speaking boldly to the Lord, declaring His promises, and giving Him all the glory for the incredible miracles...He will continue to grant signs and wonders to be done with your hands! I love being a witness to His amazing love for each one of these wee babes.

Anonymous said...

So happy to hear all the little ones are doing well!! It was crazy to walk in and see all the little ones so sick and all the machines, luckily God put you exactly where you are supposed to be, and that makes me really happy!!!

Anonymous said...

I feel the spirit so strongly as I read your blog. The Lord has brought me to this site for a reason. Please point me in a dirrection of adopting the children of this area.