Regina was the fourth child in her family. Everything went well with the pregnancy and the delivery. Mother and baby left the hospital 24hours after delivery. Eight days later Regina’s mother, Alefa, started complaining of chest pain and she was taken to the hospital. Before clinicians had settled on a diagnosis, Alefa’s condition deteriorated and she died. Regina is now being raised by her paternal grandmother, who is receiving assistance from Joyful Motherhood.
Look at this gorgeous little man. Trust was orphaned just after birth and is being raised by both his maternal and paternal grandmothers. He is clearly thriving with their love and the continued support of Joyful Motherhood. Trust is now 17 months old.
This is Andrew on his grandfather’s back. Andrew was born in April 2018, his mother delivered him by c-section. Following the surgery, Andrew’s mother developed a severe infection which led to the surgical removal of her uterus in a desperate attempt to save her life. Tragically, the infection continued to rage and ultimately claimed her life. Andrew’s grandparents immediately took over his care, but without enough money to purchase formula or adequate knowledge on how to sustain a newborn without breast milk, Andrew began to deteriorate. After several weeks Andrew’s family was directed to Joyful Motherhood. By that time, Andrew was severely wasted and incredibly fragile. In this picture, Andrew is 14months old, he is still small for his age but with the dedication and love of his family and support from JM, he continues to grow and improve.
Shalom (Peace) was born on February 2 this year at home in Mozambique (just across the border from Malawi). She was her mother’s fifth child. Her mother had had four normal births without complication but after Shalom was born the placenta, which usually follows within minutes was retained. (The longer the placenta stays inside after delivery, the higher the risk of hemorrhage. A woman can lose up to 500ml of blood per minute after delivery when the uterus is unable to contact as it should.) Shalom’s mother started bleeding profusely. Shalom’s father quickly started mobilizing everyone to get mother and baby to the hospital but within minutes, Shalom’s mother died. Shalom’s father initially tried to manage with the baby and children in Mozambique but, devastated by the loss of his wife and overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for four children and a newborn, he soon brought all five children to Malawi to live with their maternal grandmother. She opened her home with sorrow and joy and is doing her best to care for them all. Through word of mouth they found Joyful Motherhood. They are a family living on the edge but taking some small steps forward with the help our. Our nurses have visited Shalom three times. She is four months old and now weighs just over 10lbs.
One of our board members, Dehlia Ramos Gonzalez RN MSN, is currently in Malawi visiting our beneficiaries, assisting nurses with training and helping to pilot a new data collection tool. She is sending stories and pictures, so stay tuned…
Eight months into her pregnancy Miracle’s mother started convulsing – a sign that undetected unchecked pre-eclampsia had advanced. She was taken to the region’s high risk maternity hospital and delivered a 3lb baby that same day. The pre-eclampsia had caused bleeding in her brain and though her life was saved, Miracle’s mother was now hemiplegic. Initially her milk came in but soon after her two week hospitalization ended her milk dried up and Miracle deteriorated quickly. Family members banded together to purchase a single tin of formula and tried to stretch the precious formula over the course of a month. Joyful Motherhood nurses were visiting an orphan in a neighboring community when they were told about Miracle. When they found her, she was severely malnourished and near death. Joyful Motherhood nurses immediately enrolled Miracle and worked to keep her on kangaroo care – wrapping her skin-to-skin on the chest of her mother or grandmother. They also attempted to restart lactation. Miracle is now six months old, she remains underweight at this time but nurses are continuing their visits and working to help Miracle close the growth and development gap between herself and her peers. Time is certainly of the essence as research shows that being underweight at 2 years predicts diminished development, productivity, and intellectual achievements over a lifetime. Joyful Motherhood will keep Miracle enrolled until 2yrs of age.
During her pregnancy with her sixth baby, 35-year-old Tabalire suffered from severe headaches. She attended the recommended prenatal care and repeatedly told the midwives. She was admitted for a few days but discharged without any notable improvement in her condition. While admitted during her delivery, she again complained about the severe headache. Her delivery went well and her baby boy weighed almost 8lbs. At the time of discharge she continued to complain about a headache and backache. Nine days later her family arranged transportation to the hospital realizing that she was quickly deteriorating. Tabalire died on route to the hospital. When they reached the hospital nurses referred the family to Joyful Motherhood for continued support. Tabalire’s children are being raised by her sister.
Memory was born by c-section, she was small but healthy. After the surgery, her mother had severe anemia, she receive a single unit of blood but her body struggled to recover from the stress of the delivery. Her condition deteriorated and within a few weeks she died. Memory is now being raised by her grandmother in the village. She is pictured here in the arms of her older brother.