This is a story I do not like to tell.  I want to believe that all the malnourished children we see are like that because there families cannot find food to feed them.  Just that simple, right? I do not want to belive that it is due to  straight neglect.  But every once in a while we have someone come in like little Djounka below.  This makes the third time she has visited the clinic.  Each time she came we  talked to her mother about her daughter.  We spent time with her and even gave her food to feed her.  Each time the mother laughed at the nurses and said it was not her fault.  She did not want her body to become “ugly” if she breastfed her daughter.  Today she brought Djounka into the clinic.  She was given a special ticket to pass immediately.  We do this with very sick kids that need to pass right away.  The nurse called me and asked me to please admit her in the RC right away.  I agreed and went to start the paper work for her to be admitted.  The first thing I do when admitting a child  is to get a picture for our records.  When I took  Djounka to get her picture she was in the end stages of dying.  She was struggling to breath and was in bad shape.  I called Lori right away to come and see if there was something she could do.  I knew there was not, but we always try.  If they are still breathing we try. 

We started a IV right away and did what we could but she died within a few minutes.  Her mother stood there the whole time and either laughed or just looked at her.  It was strange.  We sat with her until she took her last breath and then removed the IV.  There was nothing from the mother no reaction nothing.  I said your child is dead –thinking okay maybe she does not realize that she is dead and still nothing.  She just wanted to leave and go back home.  Her daughter died from straight neglect.  Nothing more.  Many, many people who were in the clinic were very upset with her.  Everyone told me not to let her leave.  They asked me to call her family.  She said she could not remember anyone’s phone number.  So someone who lived by her called a family member and told them what had happened.  Her family said that they told her that morning that she was going to die and the mother did not want to bring her. So they gave her money to pay the taxi fee to get here.

She died a neglected child 10 pounds 13 pounds old.  For no reason at all.



14 Responses to Djounka

  1. Rob says:

    That is so sad! I cannot imagine just neglecting your child. How horrible for this little girl! I hope the mother is miserable tonight thinking about her little baby. I hope she gets some help! Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus for her in her last minutes. May she rest in Jesus’ arms tonight.

  2. Laura says:

    But thanks be to God that she did not die neglected in his Kingdom. She died surrounded by the love and compassion of you and your sister, to be received into arms where she will feel no more pain.

  3. Cathy says:

    May she feel love and happiness in the arms of God tonight. That is beyond heartbreaking.

  4. Lori says:

    That just breaks my heart! My only consolation is that this baby is in the arms of Jesus right now.

    I will pray for all of you at the center – I imagine this is very hard on you! I will also pray for this mother.

  5. Bekki says:

    I’m so glad that you were able to give her a few minutes of love before her death. I am sure you will get to hold her in Heaven – your arms will never be empty for all the babies you have helped. Praying for you guys.

  6. kathy says:

    Poor sweet baby. At least now she can laugh and play and never suffer again.

  7. Ericka says:

    I’m wondering why she brought her daughter in? I pray the love you showed Djounka makes its way to her heart.
    May you feel the love of God today and peace Djounka is whole.
    Sending lots of love your way…..

  8. Kristie says:

    Heart break. Senye, mesi pou ap renmen Djounka e pou ap sove li. Li te rive nan vre kay li. Ou bon, Senye.

    I pray for you, Licia. Your work is important. I only imagine how much you sacrifice and heartbreak you experience as you serve those in need. Hugs,


  9. Sarah says:

    I am so sad to hear her story! Atleast she is at peace and in Jesus’ arms right now. My heart goes out to you, Licia. You and Lori are amazing women doing the work of the Almighty! I can not understand how anyone could treat a child like that. I am in prayer for you daily.
    Much love

  10. Nikki G says:

    Thank you for all that you do Licia. We are praying for all of you….and that you won’t have to share any other stories like this one. I try not to be surprised at the evil things humans do, but this is so humbling. God bless you.

  11. Terry Ray says:

    That woman should be 1. Reported to the authorities and 2. Sterilized!

  12. enola says:

    I wish the mother would have left her on one of the first 2 visits or placed her in an orphanage such as GLA so that she could have been properly cared for. Clearly the mother never had an interest in the child’s well being. Think how different her life could have been. This is so heartbreaking. I am glad you all are there for all of the children you are able to save. God bless you all.

  13. dawn says:

    Sweet Jesus…this is beyond disturbing…thankful for a God who is merciful and released her from this earth. 😦

  14. Julie says:

    Thank you for serving the least of these in Jesus’ name. Djounka is now being loved on by Jesus Himself.

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