In 2018 we met a set of twins and their precious mama when one of our partner organizations came across them at a mobile clinic. At the time, the girls were almost two years old, and both weighed under 16lbs.
Dieunie and Dienuca and their mama, Elie, stayed for over 100 days in our inpatient treatment program. While Dieunie began to recover quickly, Dieunica experienced one complication after another, and it became clear to our medical staff that she had underlying conditions that were causing her body to struggle. Through our connections with specialists in the capital, we able to send Dieunica for testing, where she was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. This was the missing piece of the puzzle to her struggles to gain weight and control her oxygen saturation.
Once we knew about Dieunica's heart condition, we set out on a mission to find the treatment that she needed to allow her to not only heal from malnutrition but ensure that she would be well enough to return to her home in their rural village.
We had help from some incredible groups here in Haiti to figure out the best course of action for Dieunica. It was decided that she would need to travel from Haiti to the Dominican Republic to see a doctor there. We were able to help the family with the entire process, from passports to visas and travel arrangements, and in the fall of 2019, Elie and Deiuncia went to Santiago to see the cardiologist.
In the Dominican Republic, Dieunica was able to receive a formal diagnosis of Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) more commonly referred to as a hole in her heart. We were relieved to find out that the doctors determined that she didn't need serious surgery. She had a cath procedure done and was given very specific instructions for her ongoing care through the children's hospital in Port Au Prince. When Elie and Dieuncia returned to Haiti, we were thrilled to see how much she had grown while away. She was so strong and happy, a complete change from the sad and sick little girl we had known.
Soon after their return to Haiti, we were thrilled to offer both Dieunie and Dieuncia spots in our school sponsorship program. Now that they were healthy, they were eager to learn! In 2020 they started kindergarten at their local school, supported by a sponsor through our program.
The girls have now been enrolled in school sponsorship for three years, and every time they come back for a visit, everyone gathers around to greet them. They used to be shy and scared returning to our building; it was a place that held memories of painful and scary days, but now when they come through the gate, they grin and greet everyone by name. They love showing off the new things they are learning and performing little songs and poems from school. The nurses who once gathered around their bedsides, praying fervently for their lives to be spared, now watch in awe as they run and jump and play with strong, healthy bodies.
It is an absolute joy for us to build long-lasting connections with the children that we serve through our programs, and this family is an incredible example of that.
When you support Middle Ground, you support a mission with deep and meaningful relationships that encourage and empower families in Haiti. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to help in this way!