Beginning the Battle May Admits
This month ended up being one of the busiest that we have ever faced at Middle Ground. We served 22 individual children throughout the month, 12 of whom were new admissions. The little ones you will “meet” today are fighting the greatest fights of their little lives. They are warriors. Most of them are already getting stronger and healing, and a few are still very fragile and need your prayers.
Meet the tiniest and mightiest who came to us for healing.
Our first admission of the month was on May 4th when 7-day-old “R” was referred to us. His mother had just died the day before and the family was scrambling to figure out how to care for such a fragile new baby, at one week only he weighed just 5lbs 14oz. R will spend a few more weeks in our inpatient program, while his caregivers learn all about how to help him grow and thrive. When he is ready to go home he will be enrolled in our formula program, ensuring he has the milk he needs to grow at home.
On May 6th we were surprised when a group arrived outside of our gates with 5 severely ill children among them. A pastor who received information from one of our nurses had gathered a group of kids who all had the symptoms that our nurse had described, and they traveled over 8 hours to get to our gates. The group was made up of 3-year-old “K” who was swollen with kwashiorkor and weighed 23lbs 5oz. Unfortunately, K’s mother decided against treatment for her daughter, and they left against the advice of our medical staff after just a week of treatment.
Next in the group were brothers, 4-year-old “K” who weighed 26lbs 12oz, and his 1.5-year-old brother “G” who weighed. 23lbs. Both of the boys are being treated for kwashiorkor and their mama “Marie-Josue” is staying with them at our facilities.
Another 18-month-old baby boy with kwashiorkor, “O” was also a part of the group. O was very sick and swollen when he arrived, weighing 20lbs 13oz. He had a very rough beginning, but after treatment with f75 milk, O was able to shed his swelling and has now graduated to our Medika Mamba treatment. O’s mama Nadege is already impressing our staff with the way she is taking in all the information she can about her son and his treatment.
Finally, rounding out the group is vivacious, spunky 11-year-old “M”. M is severely stunted and small for her age and suffering from kwashiorkor. At 37lbs 12oz on admission, she is the size of an average 4-year-old toddler. M may be tiny but she is mighty. She has the personality of a fighter and her spirit has kept her alive through the greatest of odds. M’s auntie Mikerline is staying with her at Middle Ground, and we are looking forward to pouring into both of them during their time with us.
On the same day we admitted the group of children from Berly, we also admitted 14-month-old “M” who lives in a neighborhood just a few miles from our property. M was suffering from marasmus (wasting) malnutrition and upon his admission, he weighed only 16lbs. M’s main caregiver is his Grandma Rachelle and she is staying right by his side and cheering him on during his recovery. We hope that during Grandma Rachelle’s time with us she will learn a lot from our staff on how to best care for her sweet grandson.
We spent the next several days getting all these little warriors settled, and our next admission wasn’t until May 11th when a swollen little boy named “A” was brought to our gates by his mama Sherline. A is 11 months old and on the day of his admission, he weighed 14lbs 8oz. He and his mama had traveled several hours to find help, and A was immediately put on F75 milk to stabilize him and slowly reintroduce proper nutrition to his starving body. A is doing well and has now graduated to our medika mamba treatment program.
On the 14th of May, we accepted a referral from one of our partner programs of 6-month-old “MC” This beautiful baby girl has a severe cleft lip and palate which has affected her ability to eat properly. As a result, MC weighed only 7lbs. We are working with MC and her mama Roselaure to provide the supplies that MC needs to be able to gain weight. We are hopeful that as soon as she is a bit bigger and stronger she will be able to have surgery to repair her mouth and allow her to eat normally.
3 days later, on May 17th our triage nurse was shocked when a sweet mama named Jenny placed her 2-week-old baby on our scale, Tiny little “S” had been born prematurely at a local hospital after Jenny has faced blood pressure problems. The same day that he was born they were released from the hospital and sent home, even though S weighed only 2lbs 9oz. This tiny boy is officially the smallest baby to ever be admitted into our programs, but he is an absolute fighter. He has already gained over 1lb and we are so proud of his young mama and the way she cares for her little boy. We are working with S and Jenny to help them establish a strong breastfeeding relationship so that when they go home we know S will have access to the kind of milk he needs to continue to grow and develop.
On the 26th of May, we admitted 8-month-old “D” who was critically sick with kwashiorkor and swollen, weighing 13lbs 13oz. D’s grandmother Mireille is his primary caregiver and loves him deeply, but without access to proper infant milk, and living deep in one of the harshest areas of the capital, D became very ill. Our medical staff is carefully treating D, and right now he is on f75 milk, which we hope will allow his body to stabilize and begin to heal.
Finally, on May 27th we admitted 20 month old “W” who was referred to us by one of our community advocates. W and her mama Solene live in the city about an hour away from where we are located, and traveled to us via taptap, to find help for “W”. This sweet little girl is almost 2 years old, but only weighs 16lbs. We are working hard to get her well, and her mama is by her side, determined, and dedicated to her daughter.
We are honored to be known and trusted by so many to provide care for their little ones. Please pray with me for these families who are just beginning their battles, and please say a special prayer for little K, whose mother chose to decline treatment for her, pray that somehow she would find the help that she needs to recover, and her mother finds someone who can connect with, and help her and her family. Please also pray for MC, as she prepares to undergo surgery to allow her to eat and breathe more comfortably.
Though the days are busy, we are strong and firm in our dedication to alleviating the suffering of those around us, and continue standing on middle ground.