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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Baby River is home (after 7 surgery’s and 3 colostomies)!! The whole story.

Thank you Zodwa for spending a month in the hospital with River!
On March 3, 2015 a woman gave birth to a baby boy, put him in a plastic bag and dumped him on the side of a river.  We don’t know how long the newborn was there, but it was long enough for river crabs to eat through the bag and through his tender skin to make a huge hole in his bottom.  The wound looked as if rats had burrowed a hole in his tiny body.

Eventually a passerby heard the cries of the child and called the police. The police took the baby to the hospital were a surgeon quickly attended to the wound and did a “double barrel” colostomy (surgery #1) to help the wound heal without infection.

A week or so later we were called to come and pick up the child, now known as “Baby River”.  He came to the El Roi Baby home and under the care of our amazing medical and caregiver team his wound was healed in a few short weeks. He was returned to the hospital to have his colostomy reversed (surgery #2). 

That surgery seemed to go as planned, but then something went terribly wrong. I will do my best to explain to the best of my knowledge and ability (and lack of medical education) what happened in the days and weeks after that.

·      The reversal did not heal and there was a leak in to his abdomen.
·      Emergency surgery was done (surgery #3), his belly opened up and abdomen cleaned.  At that time they attempted to complete the colostomy reversal again.
·      More infection came and another emergency surgery (surgery #4) was done to find the leak, clean the abdomen and put in a new colostomy (colostomy #2) to reduce infection and help with the healing.
·      Immediately following that surgery we decided to move the baby by ambulance to a private hospital in Manzini.
·      Baby’s overall health continued to fail and within a couple of days his oxygen levels dropped to 40%, the infection had spread to his bloodstream (sepsis) and early one morning he crashed.
·      The Doctors sprung in to action, did CPR and intubated him (put him on a ventilator to breath for him) as his lungs had fluid around them and he couldn’t breathe.
·      Abdominal stitches were removed to allow his intestines and stomach to come out so that the pressure was taken off his lungs (not counted as a surgery) and fluid from lungs was removed with a syringe.

·      The next day surgery #5 took place and the surgeon found two perforations in his bowel, which is why stool was leaking into his abdomen for five days.
·      During that surgery the perforations were fixed and a new ostomony (#3 on the other side of his abdomen) was created. His intestines, stomach and liver were left on the outside his body and they remained there for 2-3 days (sorry, I just couldn’t post that photo)
·      Surgery #6 the surgeon put the organs back in to his abdomen, but didn’t close him up.
·      Surgery #7 the surgeon put all of his organs back in and closed him up.
·      Once he was able to breathe ventilator removed as he was breathing on his own and he was moved to the ward.
·      TWO SHORT WEEKS later … he came home. That was today.

All the nurses wanted to get a photo with the little miracle baby.

Thank you Dr. Kunene, Dr. Okello and Brooke Sleeper for ALL you have done.
In summary,  River is now 3.5 months old. He has been dumped by his mother, eaten by crabs, has had 7 surgeries, 3 colostomies and is a miracle for the whole world to see.

What’s next?

He gets lots of TLC for the next few months.  At that point the #3 ostomy will be reversed (surgery #8).  A few months after that, the #2 colostomy will also be reversed (surgery #9).

Thank you all for your prayers, your love, your emails and your financial support.  We will have the final “bill” on Monday, but we know that we owe many, many thousands of US dollars to the hospital and staff who saved this little ones life.  We are incredibly thankful that there is such a hospital in Swaziland and people who work hand in hand with to do what some days seems impossible.  We ALL saw the hand of God on this baby’s life, over and over again.  There is no question that El Rofi saved this child and we look forward to watching him grow.

Today, I am asking if you can help us pay his hospital bill.  If you can give, please do. 

Live from Swaziland … so much to be thankful for.


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