Our NICU has served as a temporary home to some of Haiti’s smallest and sickest babies. We have had the great joy of seeing twenty-four babies graduate from our NICU this year alone and have rejoiced as we see them go home to strong and loving families. Although our resources here at GLA allow us to provide excellent care for premature babies, we are sometimes met with circumstances beyond our control. Our nursing staff fight tirelessly for each and every life here, but this year we have once again encountered the great pain, challenge and absolute privilege it is to hold the body of a little one as they come face to face with their Creator.
My name is Dani and I serve as the Head Nurse here at GLA, Haiti. It is our hope to use this space to provide you with more detailed updates on the babies in our NICU, in addition to prayer requests, day-to-day activities and recent discharges. For those joining for the first time, our NICU here in Haiti has the ability to house eight babies at one time; with currently equipment for four babies requiring an incubator. We have the capabilities to provide oxygen, CPAP, IV fluids and medications, blood transfusions and cardiac monitoring, in addition to the daily needs of complex, critical premature babies.
August started off as a busy month for us here in Fort Jacques. Twin girls Baby R and Baby R had joined us in July with malnutrition, and after being placed on a scheduled feeding plan in addition to vitamin supplementation, we were able to discharge them home with their parents.
Whilst care for premature infants remains our speciality here at GLA and accounts for majority of our intakes, we never cease to provide care for older babies when we have the skills, equipment and beds they need to recover. One-year old J joined us at GLA this month after being transferred from Middle Ground; an inpatient facility specializing in the care of malnourished infants. Little J was suffering from Kwashiorkor’s malnutrition and was brought to us in desperate need of a blood transfusion. Babies or children requiring a blood transfusion in Haiti can often be rejected by a hospital due to underlying complex medical conditions, lack of resources or lack of access to safe and fresh blood. Here at GLA we have the training and capabilities to perform life-saving direct donor to baby blood transfusions, so without hesitation we accepted little J to our NICU. The work of performing blood transfusions is complex, yet calculated and we performed daily transfusions on little J until his body had stabilized. It was a great privilege to work collaboratively with Middle Ground and Hero Ambulance Service to see this little one regain the strength he so desperately needed to keep up his fight for life.
Premature twins baby M (girl) and baby M (boy) joined us at GLA mid-August with severe and complicated physical deformities. Whilst the cause was unknown at the time of intake, these two were provided with extreme intensive care interventions. We know that not every baby that is born prematurely here in Haiti will survive, but the nursing staff and I believe that every child has a right to live. Despite the internal and external deformities alongside complex medical conditions, we faithfully fought with all we had to keep these babies alive and trusted that God’s will would be done. At the end of last week we laid little baby M (girl) to rest in her Mother’s arms as she went to be with Jesus.
While her brother remains here we us, we are both grieving the loss of his sister and rejoicing with God as he once again leads us, and his mother, into a place of complete trust and reliance on him. We are not always called to have the answers, we are called to be faithful.
Ansanm an nou bati kay Seyè a; Together we build the Lord’s house
Specific prayer points for this week:
- Baby M’s condition will stabilize. Pray for his heart rate to improve and regulate and for his dependence on respiratory stimulants to decrease.
- Pray for Baby J (admitted to our NICU in Feb 2019) to be able to have an XRAY and ECHO done to identify the cause of his oxygen dependency and that treatment will be available in Haiti.
- Pray for Baby H; a 4 lbs. baby boy currently in our NICU under phototherapy lights. Pray for his jaundice to regulate and his weight to increase.
- Pray for Baby L; a new 1 lb. 13oz baby boy admitted this week. Pray for his condition to improve as he currently remains dependent on CPAP, respiratory stimulants and antibiotics. Pray that his Mom will be well enough to join us here at GLA soon.