We got the call that CareFlight was bringing a baby named Orleans from Haiti, traveling with his mom, Fabienne. He was born with Pierre Robin Syndrome, which caused him to have trouble breathing. Fabienne had rushed him to the disaster relief hospital run by the Americans in Port-au-Prince. Orleans stopped breathing completely and was pronounced dead. He was wrapped in a blanket and placed in the makeshift morgue of the hospital in Haiti. Miraculously, someone heard a noise in the morgue that sounded like a baby’s whimper. Orleans was still alive! Thankfully, Dr. Ana Tran, a LEAP Medical Volunteer, was there. She called Medical City, who then called Craig and the LEAP Foundation.
Mariline, a 21-year-old Haitian girl with a double amputation (also a LEAP Landmark patient), was staying at our home at the time when we got the call. She was healing from the loss of her arm and leg as a result of the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010. We woke her up at 2:00 am, so she could go with us to the pick up baby and mom. The presence of Mariline was very comforting to the young and very frightened Haitian mom. As they conversed in Creole, Mariline reassured Fabienne that we would help and care for them and that we loved Jesus. We prayed!
Orleans was admitted to Medical City Children’s PICU and was very sick. It was touch and go for a while with several major surgeries, including jaw distraction, tracheostomy, and the placement of a g-tube. Through these surgeries, along with amazing care, Orleans was going in the right direction. Fabienne, who would not go near any of the IVs or tubes necessary to keep Orleans alive, would eventually have a transformation almost as great as Orleans.
Orleans and Fabienne ended up staying at our house for three months. As Orleans got better, day-by-day, we grew to love this dear family. I had to learn how to feed Orleans through his G tube and change and suction his trach. I prayed.
The day came when they could return home to Haiti. I had become a mom to Fabienne, and she had grown into a wonderful mom and caregiver to Orleans.
Orleans is healthy and three years old today. He attends preschool and talks up a storm. Fabienne is attending nursing school in Haiti, a dream of hers so she can always take care of her son. I get a phone call every month from Fabienne, “Hello, Nana. How are you? Orleans and I are doing well. We love you.” My heart melts! I am thankful we got the call that day. I pray!
“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,” declares the Lord.
Robin Hobar LEAP Co-Founder