St. Damien Pediatric Hospital maternity and neonatology units worked together to save the life of baby Sofia. Born five weeks early with serious complications, today she thrives and grows stronger by the day. November 11, 2019 - Haiti
Sofia pictured before and after. She is still being treated at St. Damien.
Staff at NPH Haiti had their hearts in their mouths when baby Sofia was born. Her mother Silvain was just 35 weeks pregnant when she gave birth to her daughter in January 2019.
Weighing just 2.7 pounds (1.2 kg), doctors immediately admitted the baby for respiratory care. Sofia was neither crying nor breathing well, and doctors soon discovered that she had multiple infections and a heart murmur. Sofia was transferred to the neonatology program where she spent seven weeks under special care, monitored day and night.
NPH Haiti ensures that all premature babies are fit and healthy before they are discharged from the hospital, meaning they must attain their goal weight and be fully responsive. There was a cheer of joy when Sofia left the neonatology program weighing 1.5 kg.
“I am a not new mother—I have an 11-year-old son," says Sofia's mother, Silvain, "but that did not stop me being afraid for Sofia because she was so tiny. My family was so happy when she eventually came home. She was welcomed by family and friends."
In May, the hospital had the opportunity to meet baby Sofia once again. Hospital staff were pleased to see that at four-and-a half months Sofia was improving day-by-day and breastfeeding well. Her lab tests showed everything was normal and the healthy baby weighed in at 4.9 kg. The hospital also provided her with iron and multivitamins, which is standard for all premature babies.
"All premature babies born at fewer than 34 weeks’ gestation get regular checkups until they are 12 months old," says Dr. Saintilus. "We are still watching Sofia’s heart murmur. A recent echocardiogram showed the murmur is getting much better, with the treatment of effective medications and the quality care delivered by our staff.”
Silvain congratulates all the staff at St. Damien Pediatric Hospital for the love and care they gave her daughter, Sofia.
"They do whatever they can to save children who have little hope of survival elsewhere [in Haiti]," she says. "In fact, the dedication and participation that this hospital puts into supporting mothers cannot be compared to anywhere else. They do not ask for fees or payments. If one day this hospital stops providing this generous care, it would be a huge problem for Haiti."
"I want to thank your international supporters for their generous contributions to make this kind of work possible in Haiti," she adds.
Fr. Rick Frechette, CP, DO, says, “Finally, of course, I admire all of you. As I kneel at my bed for a final prayer before sleep, I pray for you, that God rewards your goodness to all these children, who are so lucky to have you, like unseen guardian angels, supporting them at every turn.
"Thank you for helping the vast numbers of children resurrected from illness and, in many cases, from near death because of your love and help.”
Interested in learning about the different medical services provided by NPH Haiti St. Damien Hospital? Visit nph.org.
Children’s names have been changed to protect their privacy.
Denso Gay Communication Officer
You may be only one person in the world, but you may be all the world to one child.
—Fr. William Wasson