Wednesday, May 27

Last Sunday afternoon Lori, Licia and I were sitting in the office chatting when the gatekeeper told us there was a sick child outside the gate. Sunday is not a normal clinic day, but the doors at Real Hope for Haiti are always open for urgent care. When Lori and Licia went to the gate, they found a small group of people on their knees praying for a very fragile baby. They took one look at the baby who was pale and breathless and ran back with it to the dressing room and yelled to me to come, "the baby is almost dead." We immediately starting working to get an IV, raise his glucose and put him on oxygen. He had to be stimulated just to breathe every 5 seconds. The baby's mother sat outside the door praying and terrified that her baby was dead. None of us would have believed that 11 days later he is still with us.

Over the next couple hours we sat close, helping him to breathe and learned more about their story. Mom had been to church Sunday morning and some people at her church saw how ill her child was and had heard of a clinic in Cazale that helps sick children. Jolicoeur was born in late January at full term, but has always been small. Mom breastfed religiously but says he has never grown and began to have swelling just a few weeks after he was born. In the week before they came to us, the baby became very sick and stopped taking breastmilk and Mom knew it was time to get help. She spent several days going around to different pediatric hospitals in Haiti, only to be turned away because there were no beds. On his first day with us he weighed 4.1 pounds at almost 4 months old. He was severely dehydrated but his hands and feet were shiny due to serious swelling from malnutrition. He was obviously extremely anemic and has a severe heart murmor. Since that day, he has been stable with oxygen on and continues to breastfeed with supplements through an NG tube. His glucose and fluid balance is constantly monitored and he is up to 4.8 lbs with a decrease in swelling. We are hoping we can continue to get him well so we can send him in for a referral in the coming weeks. 

His mama has stayed very close by his side since the moment they came. She is steadfast and loyal and loves this baby boy so well. We have enjoyed getting to know her and hear more of her story. She is a single mother to 4 other children, her oldest is 16 and the youngest is 2 1/2. They live in a small house in a part of Port au Prince called Canaan. This area was originally a tent city after the Earthquake in 2010 but more permanent houses have been built there now. Since she has been here with Jolicoeur, her 16 year old has been taking care of the other children. On Monday afternoon she called her family and heard that the wind from the storms had blown the tin off the roof of their house and her kids were having to stay with neighbors. She was very upset by this and had to leave Tuesday for the day to go in and check on them. They are all in school at this time so it is important for them to stay there, but she obviously feels the pull of needing to be here with Jolicoeur, as the breastfeeding is crucial if he is going to have any chance of surviving. We have no idea how long they will need to be with us.

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I am so amazed by this mother's sacrifice and her fight to do what she can to care for her kids. I would love to be able to bless her with the funds to repair her roof and make sure her other children have a safe place to stay in while she is away. We are in need of $300 for the materials, labor and transportation to cover this for her. I'd love for you to pray for this family and if you are in a position to give money, I know this mama will be overjoyed. 

You can click this link below and give via Paypal to Real Hope for Haiti and your donation will automatically go toward this need specifically.