This is a story that I have recounted many times orally, but have never written down. After reading the many stories on your site, I felt it was time to write it. I have been a RN for 24 years working in a variety of settings med-surg, pediatrics. ICU, and currently working in a skilled nursing home as a charge nurse.
The reason I call this story the "Miracle Baby" because I feel what occurred, now 21 years ago, truly was a miracle. Please judge for yourself after reading the story.
I was working evenings as a charge nurse on a small pediatrics wing in a hospital in the South Dakota. One evening, a four month old baby of a mixed heritage ( Indian, white and black ) was admitted to my pediatrics wing.
Mind you, he was four months old but he weighed only nine lbs and it wasn't because he was premature baby. He had been badly neglected; he was over 20% dehydrated at time of admission. It was one of the worst cases of dehydration that I have ever seen. He was emaciated with a very distended abdomen much like those babies you see pictures from third world countries. His fontanel (soft spot) was completely concave, eyes sunken in, responded to very little stimuli.
As I have told many other people, this baby had one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. We had to be
very careful rehydrating him so we would not mess up his Hgb, HCT, and his electrolytes.
My house supervisor and I, with the grace of God, were able to get an IV line into this poor little mite. I stayed most of that night because on the night shift we generally only had one nurse on duty. So with a very critical patient you needed someone around just in case the patient got worse.
With the help of IV fluids and TLC, this little guy came back to life. I vividly remember the first time that he was able to drink pedialyte
from a bottle. I was the ucky one to give him his first bottle. As I held him, giving him the bottle, he started to giggle as babies often do when they are eating. Then his eyes caught mine. He took his little hand, patted my face, and smiled. This was the first time that any of us had actually seen this little baby react this way. I remember charting this event on his medical record.
In a matter of two months, with proper food and TLC, we turned a tiny emaciated, sad, little baby into a roly-poly happy healthy baby. He was adored by all the staff that worked with them; most of us wanted to adopt him. But we figured out we would have had to take turns to accomplish this.
Now that he had recovered, we had to send him back to the PHS hospital where he had come from to continue to recuperate.
There is a happy ending to this story. By now you're thinking, "Well, we did all this possibly for nothing and he probably went back to the situation that he came from in the first place."
No, this did not happen, due to the efforts of the wonderful pediatricians that I worked with and the Drs. at the PHS hospital.
The miracle baby, I heard later, was adopted by a good family.
I am thoroughly convinced that God, in his infinite mercy, saved this baby for a special reason; even though I probably will never know it.
--- Copyright © 1998 Ruth Mack