Thursday, July 02, 2009

Dying in Soleil

This baby's name is Julie. She is 18 months old and weighs 14.5 pounds.

Julie's mom carried her to the clinic this morning. The baby was very hot, lethargic, and had fast respirations.

Julie had been sick for five days with fever, cough, and diarrhea. These three problems are ubiquitous in the pediatric population of Soleil.

She sounded full of pneumonia and I gave her an injection of ceftriaxone in the thigh.

I explained to Julie's mom her limited options to try and keep her child alive.

She decided to carry Julie and hurry back home through the hot, horrible streets of Soleil, make sure her other kids had an adult in the house to watch them, grab some sheets for Julie's bed in the hospital, and return to St. Catherine Laboure Hospital in Cite Soleil. She knew they may not have a bed for her precious child and that Julie may be turned away.

There are many babies in Haiti's slum today in the same socioeconomic condition. And as one can see, this condition is critical.

Julie's chance for survival is very small.

The 24/7 horror of Soleil.

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