DAY OF THE DEAD

Posted: November 2, 2009 in Uncategorized
It’s a national holiday today – The Day of the Dead.  
Not
much traffic on the Day of the Dead so I got up thinking it would be a
great day to run hills.  Not as much foot traffic and vehicles to
navigate around would make for a better run.  Just as I was crawling to
the coffee pot and swallowing Excedrin for a brewing headache I noticed
John had visitors.  One of them was Oriel, a guard at the girl’s home. 
He is our contact into Simone Pele
where we do monthly prenatals.  Simone Pele is an inner-city ghetto. 
From time to time folks from this area connect with us and we have had
several adoptive kids from that area and a few that come for an
occasional clinic we have.
One little guy and his mom that showed up at a clinic
was 9 month
old Jean Peter and his mom Eugenie.  He was skin and bones, failure to
thrive and in respiratory distress.  We had 3 doctors on site that gave
him wonderful care.  Mom and baby would come back and forth to our child development clinic
and each week he would have another infection of some sort.  Troy and
Tara got him on medika mamba which in his case was a failure.  Mom did
not seem to be consistent in giving it to him.  Mom just didn’t know
how to parent. 
He ended up at Sisters of Charity
I searched for him there hoping to get him one on one care in a family
situation.  The sisters told me he had been discharged and was on
outpatient care for TB.  Good I thought – he is getting care.  I’ll see
mom at Simon Pele and work out a plan.
This morning, around my
table, Oriel said "Ti Swazo" (Little Bird) had died.  Matter of fact,
such is life and death in a country that celebrates the "Day of the
Dead".  A baby gone.  A teen mom who never knew how to be a mom.


Jean Peter

This is why our child development program is crucial.  We teach moms to breastfeed, get medical care early, feed their families nutritious foods on their budgets, hygiene, and so on.  
He
was cute, he responded to love, he hung on but died shortly after his first birthday.    I cried through much of my
run.  I counted 13 trash piles on my run, a few of them had grown men
picking through them. 
Our ambulance vehicle will take us into Simone Pele monthly.  We will continue to teach pregnant women and young women how to better care for their bodies and families. 
We
want to work to prevent these kinds of situations where babies  end up
dying after being sick for most of their short lives. 
Jean Peter,
"Ti Swazo" touched several lives but in the end he died.  We loved him,
we tried to make a difference but it wasn’t enough.  We’ll keep trying,
we’ll keep teaching, maybe preventing the next death.  That’s why we
are here.

To see more pictures of Jean Peter, and to read about how you can help Heartline obtain the emergency transport vehicle, click here.

Beth McHoul

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