Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pray for Gifty

Let me introduce you to Gifty.

We've (well, mainly Andrew) has been advocating through hospitals for her this last week or so. About one month ago, Gifty was placed at one of the orphanages that we're involved with. Her mother died from hepatitis, and her father is not in the picture. A neighbor lady started to take care of Gifty after her mom died, but the lady was leaving Gifty with other people to go and sell in the market. A neighbor of the orphanage asked if they could take her in, and they did.

Gifty is very thin...the thinnest child I have seen in Liberia. She is 14 months old, and weighs just over 11 pounds! Her forearms aren't much bigger than my thumb. Her belly is distended and full of air and liquid. The whites of her big, beautiful black eyes are very yellow. She is very septic right now, but has been going through antibiotic treatment.

After getting her admitted to Island Hospital (run by MSF), and after a number of tests, we learned that Gifty has a liver disease where her body does not produce bile. If she lived somewhere else in the world, and had access to quality healthcare, she would have received a liver transplant within the first month or two of her life. Now it is too late. The only chance for Gifty to live a normal life is to get a live transplant, but we are in Liberia, and that will not happen here.

We got Gifty transferred to Benson Hospital (also run by MSF) this week, and now we are just waiting. We don't know what Gifty's future looks like. The doctor has told us that it will be a continuous cycle--septic, treatment, septic, treatment--but we don't know how long the cycle will last.

I met Gifty yesterday, and I can tell that despite her condition, she is a strong little thing! She made it clear that she wasn't happy, and also that she wasn't quite sure if she wanted to be my friend. I think next time, I need to take Andrew's approach and just eat her up with kisses...maybe that will work? But seriously, I'm asking that you pray for Gifty. Pray for healing...pray for a miracle!

I will keep you updated.


Justus said...

havnt check on you and liberia in a while, hope all is well! looks like youve been doing some great stuff

Anonymous said...

I hope Gifty survives. Keep up the good work.

John Newquist

Johnson said...

Praying for Gifty!!!

Russ said...

Hi Ashley! This is Russ with the Red Letters Campaign. I don't know what can be done, but I've contacted the Medical Advocacy Team in hopes that they might have some ideas or be able to help. She'll be in my prayers.