Sunday, November 17, 2013
Just the Right Thing can be a Miracle
We arrived in Port au Prince with the most civilized, NOT-screaming and chaotic episode of baggage collection and transfer to a vehicle that I have ever had! (That's a miracle I wasn't even counting!) We went directly to Heartline Maternity Center, and Beth McHoul just about teared up that we had brought the 2 most needed professionals for the gravely ill young woman they had as a patient:a High-risk OB nurse (Alicia) to help monitor this lady, and a Lactation consultant (Jen) to try to help her make milk for her baby. 18-year old Wilna had an emergency c/section 4 weeks ago, and ever since that time, has suffered from HELLP syndrome (for the medical readers) as well as possibly a pulmonary embolus, pneumonia, or other latent infection. Fevers, pain, weakness, 4 hospitalizations that eventually sent her home un-fixed, and of course, milk is gone now.
I think this young girl is beginning to turn a corner, and in the day and half we spent there, she was up and walking around, requesting favorite foods, holding and putting her baby to breast, and pumping to help make milk. Jen did some wonderful teaching with the maternity center staff, and had this baby to breast over and over, with a supplemental feeder. She just happened to bring in her backpack some Dom Peridone, a difficult-to-obtain medicine that is the best for stimulating lactation. Alicia gave the lady a new IV site, meticulous nursing care, assessments that we eventually emailed to the American physician who is managing her, and I just hung around and gave some Depo Provera on Family Planning day. All of this is just adjunct to the amazing work of the Heartline midwives and staff, who have kept this baby and mama alive when any where else, they would have died. (Miracles.) These ladies work 24 hours to care for the women in their program, and do whatever it takes. They are the true stars of this show. Oh, and all the Haitian women who were in the program with Wilna...they pump and share their milk with this little baby, so she doesn't get much formula-- just the perfect food to save a baby's life in Haiti. Heartline rocks, and we had a wonderful, wonderful stay.
Thank you, Heartline.
Then, we met the jeep at the airport and headed into the beautiful central plateau, for Hinche. Stay tuned!