Ups and downs

The week had gone fairly well. We had no deaths on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. My baby that was very sick last week with bloody stools and vomiting bile has been making a steady recovery.

Things were great until this morning. I received an urgent phone call at 7 am. The nurse, in a panicked voice, summoned me to the hospital. One of our patients became very ill and was not breathing on his own. I dressed quickly, got in the truck and drove the bumpy roads at a lightening pace.

When I arrived to the hospital, the nurse was giving the baby breaths with a bag, but he remained limp and blue. I grabbed the device from her and raised his oxygen levels with very strong, high pressure breaths. Just as the saturations peaked at 95%, the child in the next crib turned blue, stopped breathing and the heart rate plummeted. He needed ventilatory assistance too. We placed both children on the same bed and alternated back and forth with the bag device to give them breaths.

I called all available help. Two physicians arrived, but did not know how to breathe for a baby. One of them used their finger to plug the holes on the breathing bag and the other watched, seemingly horrified.

After approximately 45 minutes, the first baby failed to respond to our efforts and the heart rate stopped. I called the code, pronounced him dead and moved his body. We then started working on the second child. We were able to get his oxygen levels above 80%, but they fell if we stopped our aggressive measures. I continued to give breaths with the bag, but after five more minutes, the child completely decompensated. As a final measure, I placed a breathing tube but he died minutes later.

Two infants dead in less than 10 minutes.

I spoke with both mothers and they cried. They held their babies and said goodbye.

I later learned the second child was born to a mother of 12 other dead children. She is still childless.

I am very sorry to those following the blog. I desperately wanted to write something uplifting today but circumstances have been unfavorable.


3 Responses to “Ups and downs”

  1. Francisco Acosta Says:

    Hang in there buddy, for every sad story there is a Freddie Story. I always look forward to your fight on a daily basis and I am proud to say you are my friend for what you do! Thanks.

  2. Khattab Says:

    Thanks for sharing Chris. Be well bro.


  3. Rory Says:

    Chris, I am so , so sorry to hear that news. After that one morning with you. I am sure I have photos of those little guys. I am crying for them, for their mums, and for you.

    I am on the other side of the world now. You are doing good work my friend. It must be hard though.

    Much Peace.

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