This has been a difficult season here at GLA. We are struggling with finding funds to care for the children. We have also let 18 of our trusted nannies and workers go because of having fewer children right now and not needing as many workers after combining the main house with the Toddler House, and we have less funds to pay everyone.
Then on Christmas Eve, one of our nannies became ill and died. When the children went to bed on the 23rd, she was there. When they woke up, they had to learn what “died” meant.
Berlanta was 34 years old. She was married with two children: 10 and 9 years old. She had not been feeling well for some weeks, but had seen the doctor and they could not find the problem. (This was according to her.) She started vomiting and complaining of a stomach ache on Friday afternoon. By evening, they called me and were going to take her home thinking it was the flu. I decided to run some IV fluids first and give her some medication for vomiting. By 11 PM, her condition was worse and her abdomen was swelling and getting firm. She then told us that the pain was really in her lower abdomen and not stomach area. Immediately, I made the decision that she needed to go to the hospital and be examined there. She told us that it was impossible for her to be pregnant when we asked, but something just wasn’t right. The suggestion of ectopic pregnancy came up as she was getting her into the truck to leave GLA. That diagnosis just felt right even though she denied the possibility.
Joel and Ingrid Rockemann, our Children’s home directors, along with one of our nurses and several nannies went with Berlanta to the local hospital in Fermathe. The doctor there suggested a sonogram and suggested a hospital down by the airport, so at almost midnight, everyone was back in the car and headed down the mountain. (Fermathe had no technician to do a sonogram at that late hour.)
From 11:00 PM to 3 AM, they visited 8 hospitals who all turned them away! They would not take her. They didn’t have the staff or the technician to do a sonogram. Finally, the last hospital grudgingly accepted her when our staff insisted that she needed to be seen!
After lab work and examination by the doctor, an ectopic pregnancy was diagnosed but by this time, she had lost so much blood that when they took her into surgery at 5:30 AM, her chances of survival were small. She died in surgery.
In Haiti, getting blood which might have helped save her life, is so difficult. You have to travel to the Red Cross and get the blood yourself. Nothing is done quickly at the Red Cross. It was impossible to get the needed blood in time to save her. And by that time, blood might not have been enough.
We could not reach her family for them to come and be with her. We called her brother but he refused to wake up Berlanta’s mother until morning. The husband’s phone was not charged and they did not send anyone to his house until after Berlanta had died.
I find these type of things the most frustrating things about working in a country like Haiti. It’s these kind of things that make me want to scream and tear my hair out!
Berlanta loved her work at GLA. She was surrounded by her GLA family and was talking to everyone as she left to go into surgery.
Her family is very poor. They cannot afford the cost of her funeral and the cost of the hospital. We are searching for funds to help her family with these costs.
Would you consider making a small donation to help Berlanta’s husband and children pay for the hospital and funeral? The cost for the hospital and the funeral combined is $3000 USD.
Could you help us take this burden off her family’s shoulders? Could you make a small donation today so that Berlanta can be laid to rest this Sunday and the hospital bill can be paid? Please go below and make a donation toward Berlanta’s expenses. (In remarks put for Berlanta, Nanny, or Hospital. Write anything so that we know this is for Berlanta)
Pray for Berlanta’s family, GLA nannies and children, and everyone who has had the pleasure of knowing Berlanta here at GLA. She was a beautiful person inside and out and loved her children here at GLA.