Baby Israel

One year old Baby Israel was carried into the Hidota Health Center in his mother’s arms around 2pm. He was so week, even unable to hold his head up. Normal clinic activites were stopped and immediate, emergency attention was given to the him. An IV was started and antibiotics given for whatever the potential source of the illness was. Baby Israel was checked every 15 minutes but was showing no signs of improvement. Several hours later, as the clinic was ending at sunset, he was still so lethargic, was vomiting, had a fever, and had not urinated despite taking fluids for 4 hours!
The decision was made that he needed care through the night. Baby Israel’s family lived in another community, but he and his mother came with the medical team to the compound where they were staying. The team packed bags of medical supplies, collaborating in order to think of every possible situation that could arise and to brainstorm a comprehensive list of potential causes of the illness.
Finally everything was ready and a makeshift mobile ICU descended from the Hidota Health Center a mile down to where the team sleeps.
Upon arrival, Awashi, our host mother in the village, welcomed Baby Israel and his mother to stay for the night. Chief Senta and Israel Dejene, Health Gives Hope’s National Director, prayed for the baby. The hospitality and faith were moving for all!
Heather (NP), Amber (NP) and Benji (RN) set up a makeshift hospital room in a hut. Sleeping bags were moved in and alarms were set to ensure the baby was checked on throughout the night. The team continued to give IV fluids, antibiotics on a schedule, and Tylenol and ibuprofen as needed. 13 hours after Baby Israel’s arrival at the clinic, he finally had urine output around 3AM. It was a step in the right direction, though he remained lethargic and continued vomiting through the night.
During the night, the diagnosis became more clear… a terrible, distinct cough… Pertussis, whooping cough. The team knew the antibiotic that was needed and knew that everyone had been exposed to this very contagious illness.
By morning, Baby Israel was slightly better but not well enough to stop the IV fluid. Around a dozen of his family members came from their home village to visit that morning. It was incredible to see so many people come from so far away to show love and support for this child and his mother.
Heather, Amber, and Jon and Angie (both Pharmacists) hiked up to the Hidota Health Center to get the medication for Pertussis - doses were given to the baby, as well as to everyone that had had close contact with him. This included Baby Israel’s twin brother. While he did not have any symptoms, prevention is so important.
It was time for the team to hike down from the village, but Heather, Amber and Benji remained in Bora to continue to care for the baby for as long as possible. By noon, he finally turned the corner and very soon he was breastfeeding again, walking around (and even fighting with his twin brother!).
When Baby Israel had first arrived to the Hidota Health Center in his mother’s arms 24 hours prior, the Health Gives Hope team was not sure that he was going to survive. But now there had been a miracle. Because of prayer, medical intervention, the commitment of the team, and the hospitality of our hosts, a miracle has occurred for this family. He was nearly dead, and now he is fully alive!