| Nov 14, 2017
Hope for a little girl
As we approach Christmas, we always focus our attention on our neonatal work to ensure we raise enough funds to continue and develop this vital service. Since 2012 our Neonatal Unit (NICU) has been the best place in the north of Haiti for a baby to receive care. Because of this the number of babies being brought to us increases every year meaning the amazing staff are pushed to their capacity day in day out. But what they can achieve with limited resources is incredible.
I wanted to tell you about the story of a baby girl born on 17th September 2017 at our hospital. She was born by caesarean section and weighed just 1.6kg. She was immediately hospitalised at the NICU the same day as she was a premature baby, born at 33 weeks.
Her mother was an adolescent girl, aged 16, who came from the north east of Haiti. She was living with a man (not married) and did not receive pre-natal care as she was too poor. Tragically, she died some hours after giving birth following complications caused by severe eclampsia.
2 days later, the father of the baby left, leaving the baby abandoned at the hospital. The extreme poverty that occurs in Haiti can make parents feel they cannot care for their children with their only option being to abandon them. It’s a very sad but real situation the hospital staff face all too regularly.
The baby was very sick and needed the full care of all the staff at the NICU and the focus and direction of the hospital was mobilised to save her. As a consequence, the baby was able to receive all the necessary care including medication, oxygen, breathing support, phototherapy, blood transfusions, full laboratory tests and investigations. She was given formula baby milk, nappies, clothing and all the love and affection of personal care.
The baby is now 54 days old. She weighs 2.63kg and is in good health. As for the father, the hospital has had no news of him since. The baby was first nicknamed Mal-pou-gras meaning “hard to gain weight”, because although she fed a lot, she didn’t seem to gain much weight. She is a beautiful baby and has been named Annabelle.
Despite Annabelle’s tragic start in life, the care she receives at the hospital means there is hope for her. She has the chance of a healthy life and the hospital staff will do everything in their power to ensure she is looked after by a loving family. It is not uncommon for hospital staff themselves to adopt abandoned children, such is their love and dedication for those they work to help.
This Christmas we have hope for Annabelle and it’s thanks to your support that this hope exists. Thank you and we wish you the very best for the coming festive season.