Keeping up with Baby Mila
By Hayley Fallon, CNP Communications Fellow
Baby Mila has successfully graduated from our program, but we continue to work with her family to help them overcome challenges that threaten her well-being.
Six months ago, Baby Mila was laying in a bed in our Nutrition Stabilization Unit with vomiting, diarrhea, and severe wasting. At one year old, she weighed only 3.5 kilos (7.7 pounds). The hospital staff wasn’t sure she’d make it. After four weeks of intensive inpatient treatment, several months of outpatient treatment, and over six hundred sachets of Plumpy’nut donated by our generous partners at Meds and Food for Kids and Rephidim / HaitiServe, Mila recovered and officially graduated from our Nutrition Supplementation Program.
Mila: the Kore Timoun Mood-Booster
Today at a year and a half old, Mila is a ball of joy. She stops by the office now and then after a doctor’s appointment or for a bath, and our staff can’t get enough of her. She’s sweet and playful, and she has a smile for everyone. She has a reputation around the office as an instant mood-booster. Her parents were so appreciative of Kore Timoun’s help and constant follow up that they made Rose Elene (our Community Programs Manager) and Ralph (Assistant Finance and Data Manager) her legal godparents.
Mila’s Journey to Good Health
Like most children we treat, Mila's journey to good health did not end when she exited our program. She and her family still face many physical and environmental challenges that threaten her well-being. Our team visits her and other especially vulnerable children two to four times a month to make sure her growth is on track, to educate and counsel her parents, and to help her family overcome challenges that threaten her health.
One of the glaring problems the team has identified is the state of her house, a small wood and metal structure that the family has difficulty maintaining for reasons detailed below.
The family’s mattress was years beyond repair, with holes, dirt, and mold caused by untreated stains and water damage. We recently delivered a new mattress to replace the old one so that Mila and her family can sleep in comfort.
Our “Wish List” for Baby Mila
The following are what we’re calling wish list interventions. These are our next steps in Mila’s path to prosperity. Because they’re outside of our baseline operating budget, we're looking for additional funding to make them a reality. By pitching in $10, $20, or more, you could help us implement changes to improve Mila’s quality of life.
Problem: Developmental Delays Solution: Wheeled Walker
Mila isn’t strong enough to walk on her own yet, so we’re looking for ways to speed up her physical development. In addition to recommending games and activities to her family members, we’d like to provide her a walker to give those leg muscles a jump start.
Cost: $30 US
Problem: Mud Solution: Concrete Foundation
Mila has had multiple cases of diarrhea. In May, our team brought her to the hospital with a severe ear infection. Though she’s been healthy and problem free for over a month (thanks to medical treatment and the diligent follow up of her older sister, neighbors, and our field staff), the root cause of these issues is of ongoing concern: Mila's family lives in a low-lying area where the dirt turns to mud after even the briefest of rainstorms.
Mila sits and plays in the mud, and like any curious tot, she’s not very prudent with where she puts it. She’s been known to eat it and put it in her ears.
We’d like to install a concrete platform surrounding the house so that Mila, her sister, and her neighbors have a clean space to play.
Cost: $250 US
Problem: Leaky Roof Solution: Roof Replacement
The rundown roof lets water in at each rainfall. We’ve implemented a temporary fix, but to keep the house and the family clean, dry, and mold-free, they’ll need a new roof.
Cost: $1,150 US
Problem: Open Fire Solution: Kitchen Hut away from the House
The family prepares their meals inside, and smoke from the fire permeates the small house, sticking to everything: the bed, the chairs, the clothes, the occupants. In addition to posing a serious hygiene problem, an open fire risks burning the house down completely. A kitchen hut separate from the house would allow the family to keep the house clean while eliminating a dangerous fire hazard. Because the family has all the materials ready, we’d only have to pay for the cost of labor.
Cost: $100 US
It really does take a village.
At only a year and a half old, Baby Mila has lived through an experience more harrowing than many will in a lifetime. She’s come through the worst thanks to the benevolent support of her neighbors, who first encouraged her parents to seek treatment and have tended to her throughout her rehabilitation; the round-the-clock care of hospital staff; the assistance of her older sisters and extended family; and the tireless efforts of the Kore Timoun team. She’s brought hope to her family, her community, and all of us. This is why we do what we do. Please consider joining our efforts by donating to give Mila and other children like her a chance at a healthy, vibrant life. If you are unable to make a financial contribution, we would greatly appreciate your thoughts and prayers and your sharing Baby Mila’s story.