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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Haitian medicine

Today we took care of a 7 month old baby who was born at 28 weeks in a Haitian hospital.  She had a colostomy and urostomy at birth done by Haitian doctors due to complications and her anatomy.  She was seen at the Lifeline clinic in september on the brink of death and given fluids and antibiotics after the Haiti hospital discharged her.  Patients can't stay at the clinic overnight because it isn't a licensed hospital, so she had to go home every night. After a week of daily love and IV fluids, the team left not knowing if she would live or not.  The mom is only 16 years old, but deeply loved her baby.  After 5 months and much prayer, the baby came in to see us today.  The nurse who took care of her was back on this trip and extremely happy to see her.  She was born at 2 pounds and SEVEN months later is only 4.5 pounds.  She had a fever and has not been eating very well.  After questioning the mom further, we found out she has been hospitalized at the local hospital since November 17!  The hospital can't do much for her, or they don't know how!  The baby can barely eat from a bottle, so the mom has been spoon feeding her every 3 hours the last five months.  Her temperature was 103 and she was screaming nonstop.  She still has her ostomy open to air and not covered.  They don't have any supplies for that in Haiti.  She has a cataract over one eye and is most likely blind.  We gave her some ibuprofen and tylenol which made her feel a lot better.  We taught the mom how to feed through an NG tube and gave her some preemie formula to take back to the hospital for tonight.  Who knows what kind of treatment she is getting.  We will see her again tomorrow, but then we have to leave Haiti!  There is nobody else to help care for this poor tiny baby.  I can't help but think of the care we get in the US and cry about the future of this mom and baby.  To have to tell a 16 year old mother that her baby will never see and probably never walk and be a normal child is one of the hardest things a doctor has to do.  Especially when, in my mind, I was thinking this wouldn't have happened if she lived in the US.  We are truly a blessed people!  God chose us to be born and live in the USA-not because we are more important or more worth it or sin less or anything else you can think of-just because.  Let us never forget that and CHOOSE to give back to those less fortunate than us!

For Him,
Jeremy

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