Beginning the Battle October, November, and December Admits
The end of 2021 felt like a whirlwind. While some of our foreign staff evacuated the country for several weeks due to extreme unrest, we were so blessed to be able to rely confidently on the skills of our national staff to keep things running despite the extreme circumstances they faced. For several weeks the entire country was without fuel, shutting down transportation systems and most hospitals in the capital.
The transportation problems meant that in October and November we saw our admissions slow considerably, but we still ended up admitting a total of 23 children in the past 3 months.
Sadly, the first child who was admitted way back in October is still being treated in our inpatient program. Little “O” was first admitted on October 6th with severe marasmus malnutrition. He was 13 months old and weighed just 11lbs. During his first phase of treatment, O developed a severe allergic reaction that required him to be transferred to the local children’s hospital for more advanced care. He spent nearly eight weeks in the hospital with his mama, Marie Kencie, before he was finally stable enough to return to Middle Ground. O has been healing incredibly, and he now weighs over 15lbs. We expect he will be ready to return home any day!
On October 23rd, 3.5-year-old Rosenerson was brought to Middle Ground by his mother Jacquiline. He was fragile, very swollen with kwashiorkor, and he weighed 24lbs 6oz. The next day, Rosenersons 2-year-old brother was also admitted for treatment, and he was also swollen. Rosenerson spent 55 days in our inpatient unit and consumed 83 saches of medika mamba, while Tchelet stayed 54 days and ate 121 sachets before this family was ready to graduate and go home. On the day of their graduation, Rosenerson weighed 28lbs 10oz, and Tchelet weighed 22lbs 5oz!
The 27th of October brought us 6-year-old Jackson, who weighed 26lbs. He was incredibly thin with almost no body fat left. Jackson was brought to Middle Ground by his aunt, Marie Marte, who lives just a few blocks away from our building. She knew of our programs from living in the area and recognized that her nephew needed our help. In 51 days, Jackson ate 125 saches of medika mamba and gained an incredible 8lbs! The child who left our gates on December 17th was unrecognizable from the one who came seeking help just a few months before.
On the 29th of October, a 14lbs 9oz baby boy named “D” was admitted for treatment of kwashiorkor. He was 11 months old. D spent seven days at Middle Ground before being transferred to a local hospital for a higher level of care. One week later, a 7-month-old baby, who also had severe kwashiorkor, was admitted and then transferred for higher care. We hope to welcome both D and little “A” back into our programs once discharged from the hospital.
On November 10th, we welcomed a tiny 6lb 15oz baby boy named M, who was just one month old. M’s mama Kattiana had some considerable challenges with breastfeeding and had almost no milk left by the time she and M were sent to Middle Ground by one of their neighbors. Kattiana and M will be spending their time in our inpatient program relearning to breastfeed and building up a solid milk supply so that when they return home, M will get the nutrition he needs from his mama’s milk.
On November 12th, we accepted the referral of a 6-month-old baby boy who weighed a devastating 9lbs. Our friends at Partner Haiti arranged for sweet Youvensky to be flown from his rural mountain village to our center via helicopter because he was too sick to make the journey by vehicle. Our medical staff worked tirelessly for Youvensky, and he fought as hard as any warrior ever has. Still, sadly just 24 hours after his admission, Youvensky died of complications of severe malnutrition. We remember his family in our prayers as they grieve the loss of their baby boy.
All of the babies admitted in October and early November were little boys, but finally, on the 17th of November, we got to welcome two little princesses. 6-month-old “B” weighed 11lbs and 18-month-old “E” weighed 15lbs 9oz. Both little girls were diagnosed with Marasmus and are currently enrolled in our medika mamba program. B’s mama Dumonica and E’s mama Edline are both staying with their little girls for the duration of their treatment.
On November 19th, another tiny boy came our way. 8-month-old “RF” weighed only 8lbs when he was brought to Middle Ground by his mother Guerna. RF is her 10th child, but only the 6th to live past birth. By the time RF found us, he was severely malnourished, but in his first few days, we saw a spark of fight in his that could not be denied. RF has fought incredibly hard, and he is on his way to a full recovery, thanks to our incredible medical staff and medika mamba!
November 25th, 26th, and 27th brought us three little ones in a row. 11-month-old “P,” 6-month-old R, and 11-month-old AM. P weighed 13lbs 14oz and was accompanied by his mama Bertha. R weighed 9lbs 10oz and had been brought to us by his mama Genese, while 11-month-old AM was referred by our friends at Partner Haiti, weighing 9lbs 8oz and accompanied by her mama Ismene. Admissions 3 days in a row isn’t unheard of, but it sure is a challenge for our staff. We are so thankful to have such incredible men and women dedicated to healing these little ones.
December 6th was another busy day with the admissions of 3 little ones. The first was a 5-week-old baby boy “R” who was teeny tiny, 18.5 inches long, and weighed in at just 4lbs 5oz. R was tiny but so strong! He and his mama had a rough start at breastfeeding, leaving her with no milk supply, but with access to high-calorie formula and the expert guidance of our staff, Schmidana (R’s mama) learned to care for her son in ways that allowed him to thrive. Just this afternoon, R was strong enough to transfer to our formula program and go home with his mama!
The second and third addition of the day was an aunt/nephew combo, 3-year-old “DK” and her 2.5-year-old nephew “S”. DK’s mama passed away, leaving her in the care of her sister, who also had a son of her own. The family struggled a lot to have enough to eat, and both of the toddlers in the home soon became sick with kwashiorkor. On the day of their admission, DK weighed 15lbs 5oz, and S weighed 20lbs.
On December 10th we readmitted a little girl, “L” who had been treated in our program last March. L’s mama Alta Grace had brought her to follow-up appointments each month, but L never really gained any weight at home as the months went on. When they arrived for their checkup on the 10th, our medical staff determined that it would be best for L to spend a few weeks back in inpatient care to catch up to the weight she should be at. We expect that L and her mama will be ready to return home very soon.
Also, on the 10th, we admitted the prettiest baby girl, “J” who was 8-months-old and weighed 12lbs 14oz. While considered “moderately” malnourished rather than “severe,” our staff thought that a few weeks of inpatient care would do wonders for both J and her mama Sofonie. J is already thriving and enjoying her daily dose of medika mamba.
On December 14th, with a tiny 8lb bundle in her arms, a woman named Rogilere entered our gates. Imagine our surprise when she opened the blanket to reveal not one but two tiny newborn babies. CJ and CD were 12 days old, and each weighed under 4lbs. Rogilere was their aunt, and she had been caring for them since their mother died several days earlier. The babies were dehydrated and having a hard time managing their body temperatures, but for their size and what they had endured, they were miraculously strong. We have already watched them start to grow and change in just a few days they have been at Middle Ground, receiving the proper milk they need.
Finally, on December 24th, we admitted our last patient of the year. Sadly this little guy was familiar to us, as 14-month-old “JR” had previously been treated in our inpatient unit last April. Unfortunately, JR had not done well after returning home and was once again swollen from kwashiorkor. This time he weighed 19lbs. He was treated with F75 formula for ten days before graduating to medika mamba protocol. JR’s mama Nathalie is staying with him at Middle Ground.
Please join us in a special prayer for Youvensky's family as we know their pain and grief are devastating. The loss of a child isn't something that anyone ever gets over, pray with us that pockets of peace would fill their days and spirits as they are missing their baby boy.
Please also pray with us for the 14 children who remain in our inpatient program today. Pray for healing for their bodies and for their caregivers as they soak in all they can during their time at The Center.
The lifesaving care that we offer at Middle Ground is only possible because of the support of partners like you. Consider giving a gift today to help us care for fragile babies in Haiti.