That picture broke my heart! That image also stayed on my mind as I traveled back.
Ivan is not only malnourished, but he also has hydrocephalus - a condition which causes your brain to fill with water.
The first day I arrived, I could not believe my eyes. Ivan's head was huge, he could not roll over because his body was too small and weak to move his head!
After Brenda returned to the US, a week after my arrival, I took over two of her feeding times - 4:00 and 7:00 AM. I had the priveledge of waking him and his mother each morning to remind her to breast feed and then I would prepare a bottle for him as a supplement.
I would also enjoy holding him and talking nonsense to him so that his mother could have a break. He loves to be bounced softly while I speak random, nonsensical words. He would stop crying and purse his lips at me, his huge eyes rolling around in that head. I must admit, I could not last long, my arm quickly tiring from the weight of the his head. I would guess it weighed 6 pounds!
On Wednesday, May 4, I took Ivan to a special hospital in Mbale because his head was continuing to grow, becoming more and more dangerous. The doctor immediately decided to admit him after pulling away the blanket and seeing his head. I questioned her about the risk of hydrocephalus versus his severe malnutrition. She said if we waited to operate, his head size would interfere with his feeding, so we were in a trap, so to speak. She assured me they had done surgery on smaller babies than this!
I prayed over Christine and Ivan and left. Nervous. Asking for prayers for both of them.
I returned on Friday to find a completely different baby! Christine met me outside, so happy to see me. She took me into ICU and showed me Ivan! His head was half the size! I would of have recognized him if she had not showed me! He was laying there so peaceful, licking his fingers! I was so happy and relieved. I praised God right there.
I let them again and returned on Sunday because he has been discharged! Just 3 days after surgery he was discharged. Christine was so happy to see us again. Ivan was peacefully sleeping on his bed. When we arrived at the VOE again, she told Beatrace to tell me thank you. I told her it was God who she should thank. She said that she is so thankful that Ivan is okay and alive. She said, "while I was there, three babies died! This scared me but I am thankful for Helping Hands for coming here and helping people." I told her again that she should be thankful to the Lord, He is the one who deserves the praise.
Now they are with us again at the VOE. Ivan is still malnourished. I imagine his head will continue to shrink. The feedings every three hours have begun again. I was so happy to get up this morning to feed him at 4:00. Happy that he is alive. Happy that God is healing him!