by Volunteer Nurse Chana Schaffer
At the end of February a seemingly delicate, extremely premature baby boy was brought to FAME. He was hanging on to life by a thread when he arrived, and we weren’t sure if he would make it through the night. We supported him with warmth, oxygen, intravenous sugar water and love.
With the help of his amazing mother, our nurses and doctors helped Godbless Joseph (GBJ) to grow and thrive. After he survived that challenging first night, we all recognized that this little one had a lot of fight in him. He may have appeared physically weak, but he was drawing strength from somewhere.
Initially GBJ required an incubator to maintain his body temperature. We gave him sugar water through an IV, and then progressed to using a feeding tube that went into his nose and down to his stomach. His mother was by his side always. Even when she couldn’t hold him, she talked to him, touched him in the incubator, and played him music. Maybe it was her strength and continuous love and support that kept him fighting to live.
Our not so delicate miracle baby boy went home with his mama just over a week ago! He was cared for at FAME for four weeks. When he arrived he weighed less than 2 pounds (800 grams), mostly skin and bones. On discharge day he weighed almost 4.4 pounds! Godbless Joseph astounded us all. On the day he went home he was wrapped in a colorful kanga and breastfeeding in his mother’s arms. All the tubes and supportive devices were gone, leaving a tiny, yet incredibly resilient babe.