Beginning the Battle July Admits
It was another month of young admissions at Middle Ground. All of the little ones admitted in July were babies 2 years or younger. The assassination of president Moïse at the beginning of the month meant that things were very quiet for a few weeks. Most people were afraid to leave their homes, even to travel to see a doctor. We know that just because we didn’t see them outside our gates does not mean that children in Haiti aren’t suffering from malnutrition, simply that their access to treatment and recovery has become even more difficult.
Being unable to go out for days at a time is devastating to families who survive day-to-day, and have no means to stock up necessities like food and water. Sickness is rampant. Dirty water means diarrhea, which can take a child who is already struggling to the brink of death in just hours. Please pray with us for those who need help but have not yet been able to get to a clinic or hospital. Pray for parents who are just trying to feed their babies and little ones who are fighting to survive. Pray for relief from the suffering and easing of pain and above all pray for the peace and comfort of Jesus would envelop each and every family who is crying out for help tonight.
Of the 7 children admitted last month first came 12-month-old “P”. P was admitted on July 2nd weighing 14lbs 9oz. He was referred by a neighbor who attended our community advocacy program. Before he was admitted “P” had been sick for about 6 months with fevers and diarrhea. On the day before he was admitted he had only a plate of plantain with bean sauce to eat. P and his mama Lovely traveled about 3 hours by motorcycle taxi and taptap to get from their home to Middle Ground. P is his mama and daddy’s first child.
The next day 2-year-old “M” arrived at Middle Ground. M is from a neighborhood very close to Middle Ground. M weighed 16lbs 8oz and was suffering from marasmus malnutrition. On the day that he was admitted M had a bowl of broth, the day before he had a cup of juice. M’s mama Louisa brought him to Middle Ground at the urging of a neighbor who knew about our services. M had been sick for about a week when he was admitted. He is the youngest of his parent’s 3 children.
For several weeks we didn’t admit any new children because everything in the country was shut down, but on July 25th 1.5-year-old “L” was brought by her mama, Gladys to Middle Ground to be seen by our nurses. L's 2 older siblings had been treated at Middle Ground in 2017, so Gladys knew where to go when she started showing the same concerning symptoms that her brother and sister had. L been sick for 4 weeks and was swollen with kwashiorkor, she weighed 18lbs 14oz. L and Gladys traveled about 45 minutes by tap-tap to reach Middle Ground from their home. On the day before L was admitted she had a glass of orange juice and a hot dog, but on the day of her admission, he had not eaten. L is the youngest of Gladys’ 7 children.
July 28th brought us 2 little ones, the first 2-month-old baby girl, “N”. N had been born premature and at 6 weeks old she weighed a shocking 4lbs 6oz. N was breastfeeding but because she was so tiny she was unable to eat enough to keep her growing. Her mama brought her to Middle Ground by tap-tap on a journey that took about an hour. N has 3 living siblings and 2 who have passed away. Her mama Nadine is staying with her during treatment.
Our second admission of the 28th was 14-month-old “NV”. Baby NV was brought to Middle Ground by her mother Francelia. Francelia’s granddaughter, Mia had been treated at Middle Ground just a few months before, so the family was familiar with our programs. When they recognized that NV had a lot of the symptoms that they had been taught about at Middle Ground they brought her to be seen. On the afternoon of her admission, NV had not eaten anything, on the day before she had a bowl of soup and coffee. NV weighed 13lbs 8oz. To get to Middle Ground Francelia and NV traveled about 2 hours by tap-tap and motorcycle taxi. NV is one of Francelia’s 6 living children, she had 3 other children who died of malnutrition.
On July 29th, 1.5-year-old “C”, who had traveled 2.5 hours from his home in Bonga, arrived. C is his parent’s youngest child and had been sick for about one month with fevers and a cough before one of his neighbors (who had been trained as a community advocate through our program) recognized his weight loss and told his family to bring him to Middle Ground. The evening that C arrived he weighed 17lbs 7oz he hadn’t had anything to eat that day, the day before he had boiled plantains and coffee. C’s mama, Mona is staying with him for his treatment.
Finally, On July 30th 20-month-old “G” was brought to Middle Ground by his mother Nadia. Three of Nadia’s siblings had been treated for malnutrition at Middle Ground so when her son got sick, she knew where to go for help. On the day of their arrival, G had not eaten anything, on the day before he had a bowl of broth. When he was examined by our staff G was found to have swelling in his feet, and he weighed 18lbs 3oz that day. He was diagnosed with kwashiorkor. To get to Middle Ground Nadia and G traveled 45 minutes by tap-tap and motorcycle taxi. K is Nadia’s only child.
Our beds are full.
Our hearts break for the suffering we are witnessing and the dramatic increase we have seen in children requiring our services in the past few weeks. We cannot fix this crisis but we can remain strong and steadfast, doing our little part to ease the suffering in our little corner on the map. Please pray with us for these children and their families.
We said goodbye to July with heavy hearts. It was a month none of us could have imagined and the repercussions will only begin to show in the weeks to come.
Through the heartbreak and the unknown we at Middle Ground remain committed to the calling to serve these precious children and their families. It's been an honor to walk alongside miracles of healing for over 5 years, and we pray that we will continue to be equipped to do so for many more. Please pray with us for these children and their families.