I have created this blog for anyone that wants regular updates about my time here in Malawi. I am currently volunteering my time to the Ministry of Hope Crisis Nursery and Orphan Feeding Centers.  I am a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse helping to care for the orphaned, abandoned and ill babies of Malawi.  I will try to post updates as often as I can. I thank you all for your support and prayers. Please send them to the babies, children, and people of Africa too. I hope in the pictures you are able to get a small idea of what life is like here for me, but mainly the people of Malawi.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Life at the Nursery

Last night, right after I finished posting "Summer Days", I had a knock on my window. It was the clinical officer of the nursery. She had a baby that needed to go to the hospital. I had started an IV on the baby earlier in the day and had been giving antibiotics. She had become severely dehydrated, septic and was now breathing with great difficulty. I got in the car, took the baby to the hospital where I called the doctor to come in. Well...his wife had just had a baby 30 minutes earlier, so he told me to take it and run with it. In the US I would be terrified of this responsibility, but here I almost welcome it. The resources are so minimal, I am the best person for the job. So, we took Chisomo off his oxygen and gave it to this baby, Ruth. Chisomo is looking much better by the way. So Ruth was grunting and retracting with every respiration and I knew she needed more than oxygen alone but that is all we had. I started 2 IV's in the event one stopped working, gave more antibiotics, gave 2 fluid boluses, and started her on continuous IV fluids. I also put a tube down into her stomach to get out whatever was still in there. When I pulled back with a syringe I got back bloody formula. This was not a good sign. I worked on her until about 1 am and then left for home. I knew then she probably wouldn't make it and I was correct. She died around 3 pm today. She would have definitely survived back home, just not here. It was a sad day at the nursery but God had other plans for Ruth. Her mother is in a psychiatric ward somewhere but will be informed. The other two babies still at the hospital, Chisomo and Talandira are looking great. Talandira can probably come back to the nursery tomorrow and Chisomo needs to stay there to finish his 21 day course of antibiotics. Thank heavens for my friend Chris who comes every week to check on the babies, he was there today. He gives me reassurance that I am doing the right things. It is a big job, much bigger than I ever anticipated in coming here.

1 comment:

erin said...

Hey Bree,

Your blog is amazing. It sounds like you're experiencing so many unbelievable things. Charles and I were in Malawi in 2002. It was my favorite place in Africa, but so sobering to get on a bus and realize that nearly 50% of the folks on that bus were HIV positive. I'll keep up with your blog and keep you in my thoughts. You are doing such important work there. Keep your spirits up and know that we're thinking about you.

erin bohman