I was 9 years old the first time I held a baby that died in my arms. She had severe wet malnutrition. Her entire body was not only swollen but popping and breaking open. We wrapped her precious little body in bandages trying to keep her sores from becoming infected. We fed her around the clock with an eye dropper. But it was simply too late. After 72 hours in our constant care – she went to be with Jesus.
I was also 9 years old when Naomie was born. Naomie weighed 2 pound and 8oz. She was small enough to fit in your hand. Her mother only weighed 70lbs when she gave birth. We didn’t have a birthing center. No incubators. Yet little Naomie was strong. I fed her formula every 15 minutes with an eye dropper. I fell in love with her from the moment I laid eyes on her!
From the moment Naomie was born she was “mine”. She slept with me at the mission. I didn’t have a baby bed and I didn’t have my own room. Over 21 years ago we all slept out on top of the roof – under the stars. So I fixed up a little cardboard box with blankets. She slept in a box until she was too big to fit! I felt like I was a real momma!
I’ll never forget when Dad thought that box was just trash. He kicked it to the side and up popped Naomie – like a little snake! HA! When Jose and I were married Naomie lived with us in Haiti. I couldn’t wait to fix up her own room – a REAL room! It was pink and purple!
Naomie taught me that with a little care – with a little love – that even the smallest amount of attention could save a life. How was it that at 9 years old -I experienced my first up-close death & my first miracle?
I can honestly say God called me to Haiti that year. He didn’t just call me to Haiti but He called me to help little children. I knew at 9 years old I was going to be a nurse and I was going to live in Haiti.
When I was a junior in high school there were several people who were graduating early from school. Unfortunately these girls had gotten themselves into some trouble and the school was working with them so they could finish high school early. I went before the board of education and asked to graduate early just like them. They told me that the other girls were in an emergency situation and that’s why they were allowing them to graduate. I explained the kind of emergency that the children in Haiti were facing and the number of children that would die because I delayed a year opening up my Pediatric Clinic.
The board agreed unanimously and I graduated high school my junior year. I then went to UK and got my BSN.
So today I am thankful for Naomie!
For being the catalyst to my Call to be a Medical Missionary.
Categories: Personal Stories