on being born early. . .
When we first moved to Kijabe, one of our NICU nurses was doing a moonlighting shift in a nearby hospital. She delivered an 800 gram baby and started drying the newborn and reminding her aloud to breathe. . .the room froze. Colleagues asked her what she was doing and told her to stop – that for a baby so small to survive in Kenya was an impossible feat.
We have had over 80 prems under 1000 gms (2.2 lbs) survive in Kijabe in the past 5 years. On Saturday, World Prematurity Day, we celebrated them. Thirty seven families returned with their babies, aged 50 days to 17 years old, to celebrate, to see one another, to get medical screenings, to jump in the bouncing house, and to realize all that God has done.
One family returned with 9 mo. twins named Brianna and Arianna and called me to see my namesake. . .another brought a cake to share with the team that had saved their baby’s life calling them each by name. One mother brought her sweet 2 year old and remembered every detail of how I was leaving for the States when her baby was almost ready to go home. Two moms discharged last week brought their babies back to the celebration all smiles.
It was a day of joy, of shared camaraderie, and a testimony to the life and hope that can come when the courage of our families and the strength of these tiny ones is met by a team of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, nutritionists, and clinical officers who work around the clock – when a team of people refuse to believe that anything is impossible. . .