He wasn’t supposed to live. He was only 1.0 kg when he was born.
1.0? What kind of weight is that to start off with in the raw land of Tchad? There’s no way.
The smallest so far that I’ve had live is 1.4kg. Even that was pushing it, but miracles still happen. And that cute, little, precious baby lived…and is still living. Getting treated for malaria every now and then just like every other little kid in Tchad.
But this one? There’s no way.
Normally if they are premature, I try to give them some iv antibiotics for a couple of days. Plus it’s a way to keep them here to keep an eye on them in case I could help with anything. I encourage putting warm water in bottles and make an incubator out of a box. If they are not eating, we put in an NG tube and give breast milk through this. But that’s about all we can do here.
This one was too small to even try here in Tchad.
He had already proven himself to be a fighter. You see, he was a twin. He had something called twin to twin transfusion syndrome, at least that’s what I think he had. His sister was bigger at 1.5kg, but she died when she was born. But the small one lived.
At first I just encouraged the mom to hold him and be with him. We had another premature baby at the same time and she saw me making a box with warm water bottles in it for the other baby. So she did the same for her baby.
The next day the small 1.0 kg (a little over 2 pounds) tyke was still living. Amazing. He was even trying to breast feed from his mother. I could not believe my eyes.
He stayed on the maternity service for a little over a week. I didn’t know what else to do, so I discharged them. She came back every week for the first month to weigh him. Every week I couldn’t believe my eyes that he was still alive.
Last week at 5 weeks he had quite a lot of edema in his feet. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, but thought it was probably some sign of kidney or heart failure.
I was wondering what happened to him this week, but happened to run into the mom visiting another patient. I asked her how her son was. She told me that the edema was better and that he was alive and well. I told her he was a miracle baby and that I wanted her to bring him in so I could see him with my very own eyes.