Project Stories:

The story behind the picture

by Henriette Hauser/LKO, 2016/02/13

Certain moments in live engrave in our memory. These images influence us and stimulate reflection - either in a pleasing or distressing way.

People setting out for an intervention with humedica often find themselves confronted with scenarios of disasters or disturbing poverty. After they have returned home, often a special image stays in their mind, which illustrates particularly well a certain experience or story they witnessed.

We would like to present you one of these pictures. The story behind it comes from our voluntary caretaker Henriette Hauser. In the course of her ten-week assignment in our Indian partner hospital Duncan she witnessed a small miracle, which had much to do with an extraordinarily strong will to survive.

The double rescue of the baby of Reena

„I would like to tell of the fate of a small premature baby, whose life was saved virtually twice in the Duncan hospital. Due to many high-risk pregnancies, infections as well as as deficient or even completely lacking prenatal care many children are born much too early in the Duncan hospital just like in other regions of India.

On account of problematic circumstances such as the lack of incubators or no prospect of parenteral nutrition their chances of survival depend too often on the fighting spirit of the newbprns or small miracles. Therefore the babies often are not given names in the first postnatal weeks and are called “baby of ….”.

That was also the case for the baby of Reena, who was born much too early in the 30th week of pregnancy. Weighing barely more than one kilogram it could be stabilised by keeping it in a warmed bed and by feeding it via a tube until it put on some weight. Luckily its respiration was mostly stable, so that the little human survived its first few days of life outside the womb´s protection quite well.

Due to the fact that they could or would no longer pay for the bills, the family decided to take the baby home way too early and against medical advice. So the small baby left its second secure environment in the hospital for an unsecure future outside.

Only two weeks later the parents and their little one were back in the emergency room. The baby had strongly decreased, was suffering from an infection and was cold, which consequently lead repeatedly to longer respiratory failures. It was a small miracle that this small being survived. By applying again the warmed bed, oxygen, nutrition via tubes and a blood transfusion the baby of Reena could be stabilised once more.

Slowly the baby put on weight again so that it could be discharged home to its originally planned date of birth. Luckily the Duncan hospital could take care of half of the treatment costs thanks to the humedica support and was therefore able to relieve the family significantly.

During my time in India I was once and again astonished to watch how premature babies were able to survive without our Western high tech medicine, only by means that may seem very basic to us. It is good to know that the Duncan hospital is a place, where small children like Reena´s baby get a chance to live.

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