Several weeks ago one of the village woman came to our house with her (approx) 8-month-old baby. His condition was shocking and he was obviously sick. She agreed for him to stay with us 'til he was well and stronger. He was so small that when I came down to the house the next day I wondered how many days old he was rather than months. Every one of his ribs stuck out and if you felt his chest it felt like nothing more than skin covering bone. His neck was tiny for the size of his head and he had no control over it. He seemed so fragile that we weren't even sure how to pick him up. His listlessness was also concerning. We'd been giving them milk formula for a while (something we do for a few babies who really need it when the family can't provide it), but the mother's an alcoholic and we found out that instead of giving it to the baby she'd been selling it for more alcohol and some of what she did give him we were told was so old it was thick and brown. Needless to say, he was suffering from diarrhea and vomiting. After staying at the house for a day, things were seeming to be getting worse rather than better, so we decided it was time to take him into the hospital. We also wanted his spine checked out for possible injury - he had bruises and his mom was reported to be abusive when drinking, even to possibly throwing him across the room. The ER jumped on his case and in no time had him on o2 and IV. We were relieved that the x-rays showed no spinal damage! They admitted him which developed into a 5 day stay. Here the hospitals are quite different than in the States and they require a friend or family member to stay as a full-time caregiver for each patient they admit. Well for Ning-Eh there were few options so I, with others giving me breaks sometimes, stayed with him - could be another blog in itself.:) It's a zoo in there... I felt priviledged to get to be with him and I'm afraid I got way too attached. Who wouldn't?
His progress has been amazing to watch! Each little step feels like a huge victory. Learning to hold his bottle. Holding his head up on his own. Flipping over for the first time. Just developing into a healthy, happy and smiley baby.
He's come so far that it's so easy for me to forget how small he still is. Just recently I was in town with him and someone wanted to know how many days old he was. That's a bit exaggerated now, but it still shows that he's got a ways to go.
His mother wants him back, but we're trying to at least delay it for as long as possible. We don't want to keep him away from her, but we don't know how we can see him go back. As well as a severe drinking problem, she appears to be mentally unstable and has seizures. We're trying to help her with the drinking. Mama's intent on at least giving him a healthy reserve of blubber first.:) Please pray, with his best interest in mind, his mother would be willing to consider him permanently staying here, as well as, if possible, his 4-year-old brother.
Here are some pics that show his progress:
These 3 are of the second day he was at our house. The pics don't even really show how small he was.
Progress of a couple weeks ago.
Gettin' a belly.
Smiley little guy!
He sat by himself this morning and I don't think I've ever been more proud of someone!!!
He looks pretty proud of himself to.:)