Saturday, August 6, 2011

More HEARTBREAK in HAITI... Brittany in Haiti

Yesterday a desperate mother brought her 8 day old baby to our doorstep. Mya led her to our small clinic where Emily, our nurse, was working. We all stared in horror at the tiny newborn baby, blue in color, struggling to breath. She was in respiratory failure, and hadn’t had breast milk in 3 days. Severe dehydration and pneumonia was making it impossible for her tiny, little lungs to work. After taking her to the local clinic, where they couldn’t do anything for her, we rushed her 30 minutes away to a clinic that has better health care.

Dodging motorcycles, goats, and cows, we drove 110 miles per hour to the hospital. The mother was vomiting in the front seat while I was praying in the back. I kept checking the tiny baby’s breathing every couple of minutes, just to see if she was still alive. She was barely hanging on. As we got to the hospital we ran inside with the baby, where they put her on oxygen and got an IV in her limp, little arm.

As the doctor prescribed antibiotics and IV fluid, the Pastor I was with, and I ran (on foot) around the entire city looking for the medications. In Haiti they will not administer a medication until you purchase it yourself, and often times the hospitals don't carry the medication the child needs. Even in a life or death situation, you have to buy it first. If you do not have money, you are out of luck. We visited 5 pharmacies, which were actually just small, one-room shacks, run by civilians, that sold various medications. Some had what we needed, some didn’t. No pharmacy in that town had a certain IV fluid the baby needed, so Pastor Daniel had to drive back to our home town to find it.

Much to our amazement, baby Loudrige kept hanging on. I carefully and prayerfully watched her take each breath. The baby seemed to respond well to the fluids and oxygen, but she would often stop breathing for a minute and a half at a time. As she turned blue, Emily and I would call out to her or shake her little foot, just trying to get her to breath again. Many times we thought it was over, but she’d surprise us all by taking another breath.

For hours we watched this baby take each one of her breaths, and pleaded with her to take one more. I couldn't take my eyes off her chest, afraid that if I did she would stop breathing. I kept praying "God have mercy on her. God have mercy on her."

Baby Loudrige, or Mercy, as I had started calling her, took her last breath around midnight. With many people fighting for her and loving her, she died in the arms of her mother late last night.

I write her story because I don't think any child should go unseen in this world. I want to acknowledge the life she lived, no matter how short it was. I want the world to see this baby's face. I want her story to compel you to do your part in changing the injustice we see here every day... An 8 day old baby girl cannot speak for herself. She cannot change the country in which she was born. She cannot change her circumstances. Let her face be a reminder to carry out the verse in Proverbs 31:8-9 that says "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."
"This will be the group I would love to go and volunteer with next trip!!"
Sincerely sadden, Debby

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