Hope and Encouragement

Categories Medical, Niger

I could write for days about the hard stories I’ve encountered at Galmi Hospital. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the reality of life and death here. Yet, in the midst of suffering there is hope. This is a story of hope and encouragement.

Last year in Galmi, a tiny wriggling baby was born, way too early. This little person weighed just a tick over a kilogram, and came into the world about three months before the due date. Her mother had already lost three other babies because of premature birth. This one though was a fighter from the start. She faced one challenge after another – sepsis, jaundice, slow weight gain. Due to her prematurity she would frequently stop breathing completely and need resuscitation.

A tiny fighter

Her mother was so patient with this precious girl – expressing breastmilk, helping care for the baby, dealing with the news of problems. It must have been so frustrating that every time we tried to let the baby sleep next to her there were further setbacks and she would be back in the “special care nursery”, shaking her tiny fist at the overhead heater.

A patient mother

This mother and her baby stayed in the hospital for most of the time I was in Galmi last year, and for considerable time after I left. The maternity staff developed a strong bond with her during her stay.

It was such a joyful surprise this week to see this little family return to greet the maternity ward staff. And what a change! This tiny baby who once was struggling to grow is now chubby as can be. It was a privilege to be able to hold her – she had some uncertain smiles in my direction but saved big dimply grins for her mum.

All grown up

What a special encouragement in the midst of a tough week!

Andy is a GP obstetrician living in remote Northern Territory, Australia. He is totally outnumbered by girls in his family - one wife, 3 daughters, 2 chooks.

3 thoughts on “Hope and Encouragement

  1. Hello Cathy,Andy and the kidlets,

    How wonderful to see those photos and read the account of the baby and mum. What a real joy to see such a wonderful outcome for the little baby and family and a wonderful reminder that you all(staff)are making a difference in the lives of the people you serve. What a gift to be able to help

    We are thinking of you all and thanks heaps for your posts. This amazing technology we have does have it’s good points. Love and God bless,The Hov’s

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