Friday, August 12, 2011

Prayers for Mama Luc

For about a week I had planned to write a post about baby Luc, a two month old baby in my formula program who was desperately in need of prayers.  It's been busy and I haven't had a chance to write about him.  This happens often.  I have had tons of blog post ideas that never get written because I run out of time.  Even this post here has taken me about a week to write.  I started it and never got back to it until now.  But this one, I can't move on from.  It needs to be posted.  So here we go.


About six weeks ago a Mom and Dad came to our gate with their newborn son Luc.  Mom was unable to breastfeed and asked if we would take the child.  This family has already made the tough decision to put Luc's older sister up for adoption as she had severe medical needs and almost didn't even make it once she was in the States.

After talking to them more, Amy and I decided it would be better to enroll Luc into our formula program so that the family didn't have to be separated.  They were very excited to hear that we were going to be to keep him in their care and not have to worry about whether or not they'd be able to provide for his nutritional needs.

 Mom and Luc came on time each week and patiently waited for me to see them and give them their share of formula.  Luc was gaining weight and developing really well.  I kept praising Mom for how well she was doing with her son.  Her loved for him showed.  We talked about his nutritional needs and she was fully aware of what he did and didn't need for his age.  She was doing a great job caring for her baby.

Then about 2 weeks ago she showed up at our gate and told me that Luc was really sick.  I could tell by her voice that she was scared.  Luc had an incredibly swollen belly and testicles.  Unfortunately our nurse was gone and couldn't do a consult (not that she would have been able to do much for something like this).  I told her I was unable to help her and she needed to go to the hospital.  She almost started crying at this news and told me she didn't even have enough money to get there.  I gave her a little bit and told her to go straight there as I thought it was something serious.

A few days later I was at the hospital with one of our kids when all of the sudden I heard my name being called.  There sat Luc and his Mom.  Luc's stomach was still the size of a basketball and he was clearly in pain as he wouldn't stop crying.  His Mom was so sweet that day.  I was getting the run around about how to get approved for free care since my child was under 3.  Honestly I would have rather paid the few dollars than have to go through all the steps to get that dang stamp.  Any ways, she helped show me where I needed to go which I might not have found without her help.

She asked me to talk to Luc's doctor so that he could tell me what was going on.  He explained that he believed something was blocked and that was what was causing the swelling.  Unfortunately this hospital doesn't have the technology to do the sonography he needs, so Luc and his Mom needed to either travel to Port au Prince or to the Domincian Republic to get this done.  He told me it was time sensitive and was hoping we could help pay for it as she couldn't.

I asked for more details about where she needed to go and what needed to be done.  He said he would look more into it and write it down for her to bring on Tuesday to formula program.  It was Saturday.

Nick approved me to pay for it out of our community aid fund.  Mama Luc came on Tuesday as always for formula.  She told me that Luc hadn't been sleeping because he was into much pain.  The entire time we talked he was crying.  His Mom sat there patiently rocking her baby.  She didn't appear stressed but calm and doing what she needed for her little baby.

I asked her for the info from the doctor.  He hadn't yet given it to her, but she had an appointment the next day.  She told me she couldn't go because she didn't have money for transport.  I gave her a little more and told her to come right back after she found out what she needed so I could talk to her about it more.

I didn't see her again until Friday.  I didn't even recognize her at first because she had a hat pulled down low covering her face.  She told me that Luc had passed away.

I asked her if she wanted a picture of her son.  She said yes and lit up a little.  Each week we take pictures of the kids in the program.  I was able to print off a picture of just Luc, one of Luc and Mom, and one of Luc Mom and Dad for her to take  home.  Haitians treasure pictures.  She will likely always have these.  If I was to go to her house 5 years from now, she would pull them out and show me pictures of her little baby Luc.

Before she left I prayed with her.  I hate praying in Creole, in fact this is the first time I've actually had the guts to do it.

Please pray for Mama Luc as she goes through this incredible difficult time in her life.  She so deeply loved her son and was so patient with him.  She did all she could for him.  Please pray for Luc's 6 older siblings that still live with his parents.  Please pray that Luc's life helped change them and I and will make us better people for knowing  him.

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