When a new year begins, we take stock of the milestones crossed in the last year. Many might argue that merely surviving 2020 was a stunning achievement in and of itself — particularly in Haiti. Mercifully, Hôpital Sacré Coeur accomplished much more: 62,355 outpatient visits, 7,887 hospital admissions, and 2,597 surgeries. The list goes on: more than 548,000 patient transactions took place at Hôpital Sacré Coeur during one of the most obstacle littered years experienced throughout the globe.
Despite 2020’s arduous nature, the palpable sense of hope and confidence in the quality and steadfastness of Hôpital Sacré Coeur as an enduring institution continued. Though tested, battered and weary at times, Hôpital Sacré Coeur’s staff stood fast and offered the region’s people a safe place to land and heal amidst the swirling winds of global chaos and confusion.
One person can be a message of goodness, hope, and possibilities in a troubled world … like little Lynsey.
Lynsey’s parents awaited her birth with gleeful anticipation. Like first time parents everywhere, they blessed their good fortune, planned for their baby’s arrival, and used what little resources they had to craft a comfortable and welcoming place for her in their small dwelling. Mama took seriously the pre-natal care and advice offered by Hôpital Sacré Coeur. Everyone the parents encountered heard all the details of this impending birth, told with boundless excitement!
Then … Lynsey arrived early — a 28-week-old premature baby — and sent the family’s plans into disarray and their joyful hopes into abeyance.
Thankfully, the birth took place in the Hôpital Sacré Coeur labor and delivery room. The medical team knew immediately this natural birth would not follow a normal course. Lynsey’s Apgar score of 3.5 rang the alarm bell of the seriousness of her condition and her closeness to infant mortality. Her skin had a distinctive and dreaded bluish cast and she was not breathing. Miraculously after a quick, skillful resuscitation, Lynsey resumed breathing. The victory was short lived — barely long enough for a sigh of relief. Lynsey began experiencing shortness of breath, prolonged muscle contractions and a reddish, purplish face and membranes.
Tiny Lynsey was rushed the short walk to Hôpital Sacré Coeur Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for specialized care and treatment.
The neonatal team knew the management of a 28-week-old premature infant would be complex and daunting. With compassion and truth, the team explained to Lynsey’s distraught parents, aunt, and grandmother the intricacies and complications of what baby Lynsey faced, confirming the fears the parents had already mapped out in their hearts.
A week after Lynsey’s birth, her skin began to return to normal coloring. The medical team started feeding her through a nasal gastric tube every 3 hours. When Lynsey showed signs of tolerating the milk, the medical team slowly increased the dosage. Then, within another week, Lynsey became anemic due to life-threatening sepsis and jaundice.
Lynsey’s parents were on a rollercoaster of emotions. Hôpital Sacré Coeur’s neonatal team remained resolute on saving this little girl’s life. Lynsey received a blood transfusion and an increase in her milk intake. Slowly, she improved. But Lynsey’s weight remained stagnant for weeks. The neonatal team continued their careful watch, responding with skill and urgency to all the medical twists and bumps along the fast changing, perilous path of ushering a premature baby into the fullness of life.
Finally, 37 days after her birth, Lynsey stabilized enough to be discharged. The joy her parents had put on hold, minute by agonizing minute, for over a month finally burst forth. Only now, the family’s joy mixed with profound gratitude for the compassion and skills of the medical teams at Hôpital Sacré Coeur — without the exceptional staff and facilities of Hôpital Sacré Coeur, Lynsey would not be alive.
As HSC pediatrician, Dr. Michele Paul Hanna, noted, “Baby Lynsey’s stay in the neonatology unit was a success and source of pride because it is not easy to save a 28-week-old premature infant. What also helped baby Lynsey was the team spirit and the love of the parents, especially the regular presence of the mother.
Today, Lynsey is a happy, healthy 16 months old little girl.
As a child growing up in Haiti, Lynsey’s challenges will continue — suffocating poverty, extreme food insecurity, lack of clean water and a mind-boggling host of natural and human perils. Firmly in her corner, ever ready to help her and her family, stands Hôpital Sacré Coeur. Their whole person-based approach to excellent health care means that Lynsey’s medical, education and social needs will be recognized and addressed appropriately when possible. No matter what winds of change Lynsey faces, like all the children in the region, Hôpital Sacré Coeur will remain her champion and advocate.
Your donations fuel all these achievements. Hôpital Sacré Coeur exists because of people like you, who have a heartfelt concern for every life and for making our world a healthier, more hope filled place.
Right now, please find it in your heart to send a donation. Let your dollars place an anchor of hope, life, and love amidst the swirling winds of global chaos and fear. No amount is too small (or too big!), every dollar counts.
And enrich your life with purpose and meaning.
With our deepest appreciation and gratitude for YOU,
Harold Prévil, M.D.
CEO, Hôpital Sacré Coeur
Sister Ann Crawley, C.S.J.P.
Hôpital Sacré Coeur Outreach
David G. Butler, M.D.
Chairman, Haiti Health Promise of Holy Name
Founded as The CRUDEM Foundation
Please, send your tax-deductible donation by April 15th.
100% of your donation goes directly to patient care programs.