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Saturday, August 27, 2016

We lost Baby Megan this week.


  On Thursday afternoon we lost our beautiful baby Megan to PCP pneumonia (Stage 4 AIDS related pneumonia).  It is a deadly and unforgiving form of pneumonia that takes the lives of almost everyone that it attacks, both young and old.  When Megan first came to us she was very tiny and very sick.  At 2-months-old she was fighting HIV, tuberculosis and severe malnutrition.  In isolation for many months, our medical team and Aunties worked tirelessly to keep her stable while dealing with feeding tubes, fevers, mal-absorption, thrush and a myriad of other issues.


On Monday morning she, along with her ten brothers and sisters (who are HIV positive), were on their way to see the specialist at the Baylor Pediatric AIDS clinic for their monthly checkup and medication.  They noticed Megan’s breathing was becoming a bit labored and the doctor was very concerned, sending Megan directly to the local private hospital to be assessed. She was admitted immediately and the testing began.

By the next morning we were told that she was in kidney and heart failure.  WHAT?!?  How could this be?  It was the dreaded PCP pneumonia.   PCP - three little letters that are a secret code for “almost certain death”. I did not know that at the time, but I do now.   But we prayed and we hoped and we prayed some more.  Only a few hours later she was put on a ventilator to help with her breathing and take some extra strain off her little body.

Wednesday came and went with reports of septicemia, acidosis and still no urine.  But Thursday morning had a better report. They were starting to wean her off the ventilator and thought it would come out completely by Friday!  We were assured that she was not out of the woods, but that she was heading in the right direction. I quickly sent out an update to our Boards of Directors and 30 minutes later I got a call from Helen, who had stopped by the hospital.

Megan was dead. 

I was not prepared for those words.  None of us were. 

Megan is no longer suffering. There will be no more anti-retroviral medication and no more feeding tubes.  There will be no more physical therapy to help with her mobility (or lack of) and no more exercises to help build muscle in her legs so that one day she could stand on her own.  And there will be no more tickling, no more clapping hands and no more birthday cake. 

Celebrating Megan's 1st birthday on September 15, 2015.
The Aunties have taken this news very hard and we are all reeling.  We deal with SO MANY VERY sick children that it is nothing short of a miracle(s) that we have not lost more.  But EVERY baby is special to us. They are our children. And I know that they are very special to you as well.

Megan was born on September 15, 2014 and shared her 1st birthday with Ian (also September 15th).  Next month there will be one less cake and our little Megan will be deeply missed.

Live from Swaziland … this isn’t getting any easier.

Janine

Thank you for the many prayers, condolences and expressions of love on Facebook, by email and elsewhere. If you would like to help us cover the costs of Megan’s hospitalization or the emergency medical costs for any of our children, you can do so by clicking here for the US link and here for the Canadian site.  Thank you.


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