Today I witnessed a miracle. My role in the clinic has been to work in the pharmacy and to record the medications distributed and patients treated to allow both the GIVE/HFL team and the local doctors to have records that are easily accessible and useful.
The team moved from New Jerusalem to a bayette near La Romana this morning. About a third of the way through the clinic, I was working through a small stack of patient records when I heard Elaine exclaim “No No NO”.
She was consulting with a mother who had brought in her one-month old baby who was clearly emaciated. The mother had difficulty breastfeedingthe baby and had been feeding him tea, cornmeal porridge and had managed to give him Nestogen formula 2 oz. twice daily (FYI a newborn starts at 3-4 oz. every four hours). Learning this was what had caused Elaine’s reaction as the baby had been starving for a month. Dr. Galicia estimated the baby could have gone into a sudden cardiac arrest within a week if nothing was done due to malnutrition.
Jason went to look for a wet nurse among the remaining patients; as he walked to the door, the next patient in line was a mother with a healthy young baby of her own (she needed treatment for her older daughter). She was asked if she would be willing to assist and she quickly agreed – as she was from the same village as the first mother. The baby was able to eat a full meal for the first time in its life and shortly after the family was connected with community health workers who will be able to check in and support her moving forward.The wet-nurse had tried previously but there is a strong stigma surrounding this in the community due to a lot of HIV in the community (and it can spread via breastmilk)
It was a slower day today – but God brought us all here for a purpose. It has been an amazing experience to see the incredible impact that the medical team has been able to have both on larger groups (155 and 131 patients in the first todays) and on individual patients. In that moment, God worked to bring the exact right group of people together at exactly His timing to save a life and I will always count it a privilege that He allowed me to witness it.