This was my fourth year traveling to Haiti with West Hills Friends Medical Mission Team. In April of each year, I’ve worked as a nurse in Mountain Top Ministry’s extremely busy rural clinic pharmacy in a small village named Gramothe. Processing prescriptions and teaching health care has become fairly routine to me. What has not been routine, are some of the profound experiences I have brought back with me from Haiti!
This year’s trip included a journey to an orphanage. While visiting the orphanage, I saw 12 children, mostly babies with a few toddlers. I really enjoyed holding and playing with the children. The house and gardens were very clean and the children looked well cared for. I observed a mother in a corner caring for her twin infants. It must have been very hard for her knowing that she could not continue caring for the infants and that they would soon be up for adoption.
My eyes fell upon an infant who had just been admitted to the orphanage. It was very sad to see that she was listless, malnourished and had lost her nursing reflex. Her skin was wrinkled indicating severe dehydration. The staff seemed resigned to the fact that this baby would die by morning. Luckily, we had a neonatal intensive care nurse, Dianna, in our group that day. This nurse, at first, was overcome emotionally as she assessed the condition of the baby, but she knew what to do. We encouraged her. She got a large syringe and took the rubber nipple off a baby bottle. Then, she inserted the tip of the syringe into the rubber nipple and gently pushed fluid into the baby’s mouth. We continued to encourage and assist her. After many tries, the baby finally started nursing and swallowing the fluid. We were overjoyed because now the baby had a chance to live! This experience was very moving to me. I realized that life is so fragile, but so precious at the same time. I felt a Divine, Holy Presence, helping us with this baby. We were the instruments. I was overcome by the synchronicity of it all. I had just seen the miracle of life.