Warriors Of Victory - March 2022 Graduates
Each month the transformations of children at Middle Ground seem to get more and more precious to watch. As we continue to develop our programs to meet the evolving needs of those we serve, we get to know these families on a deeper level than ever before. Seeing a baby who was once on the brink of death come charging back in our gates full of life during a follow-up or school sponsorship appointment is the greatest reward we could imagine.
Today I invite you to a front-row seat to meet the mighty warriors who beat malnutrition in our programs in March...
*all photos and stories shared with permission
6-year-old Loudjanie was first admitted to our inpatient program on September 30th, 2021; on that day, she weighed only 29lbs. Loudjanie and her mama, Ismolene spent 56 days at Middle Ground before being transferred to our outpatient program for an additional 15 weeks of treatment. In total, Loudjanie consumed 359 saches of Medika Mamba, equaling nearly 180,000 calories, and, as a result, gained an incredible 12lbs! We have fallen in love with this spunky little girl and can’t wait to continue to build our relationship with her through our school sponsorship program.
On January 14th, a woman named Francine brought her son, Sadrack, to Middle Ground. Sadrack was severely malnourished and suffering from uncontrollable seizures. At 2.5 years old, he weighed under 12lbs! During the 57 days that Francine and Sadrack spent in our inpatient program, our staff spent a lot of time with Francine, explaining to her how her son would function once returning home and how his life would look. Sadrack also spent many hours during his treatment visiting the local children's hospital, trying to get to the bottom of his neurological struggles. Finally, after lots of testing, Sadrack received an official diagnosis and was prescribed a medication that gave him relief from his seizures. Sadrack gained almost 3lbs during his treatment at Middle Ground. He will continue to receive ongoing treatment at the children's hospital through one of their pediatric neurology programs.
On February 2nd, we welcomed a family from one of the areas known for the worst cases of pediatric malnutrition in Haiti, called Bel Fontaine. A mother named Maceline arrived at our gate with her 14-month-old son, Wilio. We could see right away that he was very sick. Wilio’s hair had an orange tint, and his skin wrinkled and sunk where he should have had been rolls of baby fat. Wilio was examined by our triage nurse, where he was weighed (13lbs) and had his upper arm measured (122mm). He was diagnosed with moderate malnutrition, but our doctor requested that he be treated in an inpatient setting because he also had some additional underlying complications. Wilio was treated for malnutrition for 38 days, during which he gained almost 3lbs! Our staff also assisted in getting him enrolled in a program at a local hospital to address his ongoing medical needs not related to his malnutrition. When he graduated on March 11th, he was unrecognizable. His (and Maceline’s) transformation was breathtaking.
Guervensme was first treated in our inpatient program last spring, after he was referred by one of our community advocates who knew his mother, Bernadette. Guervensme was initially diagnosed with kwashiorkor and spent 40 days recovering before returning home. Unfortunately, during a follow-up consultation our nurses determined that Guervensme was once again showing signs of malnutrition. Guervensme and Bernadette were immediately readmitted for inpatient care where Guervensme spent an additional 48 days at Middle Ground. When he graduated on March 17th Guervensme had gained just over a pound, and an incredible 18mm in his upper arm measurement.
On January 19th, siblings Christnie and Elevenson arrived at Middle Ground with their mother, Ylusse. They came from an area not too far from the clinic and traveled by motorcycle taxi to get to us. 2.5 year old Christnie was swollen and diagnosed with Kwashiorkor. 8-month-old Elevenson was moderately malnourished and was also admitted in a bed beside his sister so that Ylusse could care for both of them. In 58 days, Ylusse’s babies ate a combined total of 158 saches of Medika Mamba, leading to a 4lb weight gain for Christnie and an increase of 2lbs in baby Elevenson. On March 18th Christnie and Elevenson were declared fully recovered, and Ylusse was given the green light to take her children home. We can’t wait to follow this family’s success in our follow-up program.
Teeny tiny Marlie was two months old and weighed 5lbs 12oz when she was admitted to Middle Ground so that she and her mama could receive breastfeeding support. Marlie had never fed well, and her mama, Roseline, had resorted to giving her things like crackers crushed in water and flour porridge. Because she was so tiny, Marlie struggled to eat enough to grow, but with a ton of encouragement and patience, Roseline learned ways to help her daughter. As a result, her milk supply increased, and she was able to fully feed Marlie with no need to supplement. In the 32 days that they spent in inpatient care, Marlie gained over 3lbs and left our program healthy and happy.
Richcardson and his mama Nadine were referred to Middle Ground from an outpatient malnutrition program in the capital. Richcardson was only one month and, but he was already critically malnourished. He weighed 6lbs and was so severely swollen that he lost over 16% of his body weight as his edema subsided during the first few days of treatment. After reaching his lowest weight of 4lbs 10oz, Richcardson’s little body finally found the strength to begin to fight back. Richcardson started his treatment with F75 milk, but what really healed his malnutrition was the education, support, and encouragement that were given to his mama. Once he was initially stabilized with therapeutic milk, our staff was determined to help Nadine figure out how to breastfeed her son. Through tons of hard work on everyone’s part, Richcardson was slowly able to start getting enough calories from his mama’s milk to sustain his body and allow him to grow. As the days passed, Nadine’s milk supply continued to increase along with Richcardson’s needs. After 33 days of support and observation by our staff, it was clear that Nadine and Richcardson were ready to return home. During their month (Feb 21st to March 25th) at Middle Ground, Richcardson gained nearly 2lbs while Nadine gained hours of education on caring for her baby. By the time they left, Nadine had all the tools she needed (including a full supply of milk) to keep Richcardson healthy and growing for a very long time.
These families's stories were drastically changed through their time at Middle Ground. Within our walls they transformed from barely surviving to thriving.
Today Haiti is facing the worst malnutrition crisis they have seen in over 20 years, and there is no way we would be able to keep up with the growing demand for our services without a strong collaboration of donors behind us.
There is nothing on earth more rewarding than the feeling of extending genuine help to another person and knowing that you have changed their life for the better. When you partner with Middle Ground by becoming a monthly donor, you get to feel that feeling every day, knowing that your gift is being used to save and change the lives of children in Haiti.
Expirence it yourself by joining The Coalition today.