Angela was a healthy 23-year-old, pregnant with her second baby. The midwife notes and lab results in her prenatal booklet foretold an uneventful labor and delivery. When her contractions started, Angela arrived at the health clinic with the trepidation that is universal among laboring women, but she reassured herself. This was not her first. This time her confidence tempered the fear. A few hours past midnight on May 10th, her son was born. She named him Innocent. Innocent and his mother headed home on the 12th. Over the following days, Angela began to feel sick. A new cough developed then worsened until the fits caused her to vomit. Her family took her back to the clinic. A sputum sample was taken and sent to check for tuberculosis. She had a chest x-ray. She died. There is no record of the results of the tests, there was no further investigation. Her devastated family was left with a newborn and many questions that will never be answered.

Angela’s family was referred to Joyful Motherhood by neighbors and our nurses have been providing support over the past three months. The picture above is of Innocent at three months on his grandmother’s lap. He is doing well and we will continue to provide support until he turns two. His grandmother, though still grieving the loss of her daughter, is relieved that she now has support to ensure that her grandson will survive his infancy.

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