Frances in the Paediatric unit
Treating children effectively is rarely simple so when complicated paediatric cases come into the hospital providing not only high quality emergency care, but all the neccessary follow up services is vital to ensure children have the best chance of returning to normality. This was certainly the case when a four year old girl named Frances was admitted to the hospital this spring.
She had been having seizures since 10 o’clock that morning, and it was already late afternoon. her blood sugar levels were incredibly low upon her admission, and she was clearly a very poorly little girl. The staff were a little puzzled about her symptoms, but after questioning the parents about the day’s events, they realised that the child was suffering from poisoning of a toxic fruit. The fruit in question is called “ackee”. This tropical fruit is popular in some Caribbean cuisine, however if eaten when raw or unripe, or the wrong parts consumed, it can be very dangerous as it contains high levels of toxins hypoglycin A and B.
Frances fell into a coma following her reaction to the toxic substance and she stayed in a comatose state for twelve days in the paediatric unit under the watchful care of the staff. They never gave up hope, and her parents and staff were delighted when she awoke. She was suffering from neurological problems with her balance and motor skills so after being discharged from the hospital, she was referred to the onsite rehab unit where she continued to attend daily physiotherapy sessions for three months.
She will have lasting cerebral damage from the ackee poisoning, but thanks to the quick actions of the staff at the paediatric unit, and the follow-up care from the rehab staff, she not only survived but is able to live a relatively normal life back with her family, something that her parents thought may never again be possible.
This kind of holistic care is incredibly rare in Haiti and Frances was lucky to have been taken to us. But we are passionate about bettering healthcare in the what is still one of the poorest countries in the world. Through your ongoing support we are constantly developing these high quality services so that more children like Frances can survive and recover from life threatening situations. Thank you so much for making this possible!
Poisonous Ackee fruit