Tuesday, September 6, 2011


three days after admission
He came in at the end of a long, hot day. Nestor sat in his mother’s lap, eyes distant, vacant. At 22 months, he should have been around 20 lbs. However, he weighed a measly 14 lbs. His mother states she weaned him from the breast at 18 months, and he refused to eat after that. He lost a significant amount of weight in that time. Now, likely after trying multiple ‘traditional’ treatments, including sorcery, she brought him to the hospital. I admitted him and started him on treatment for severe malnutrition. 
Three days later I saw him-or at least I thought I saw him. This kid looked a little different-he had fat cheeks! 
Three more days went by. I saw him on rounds. I had to double check the chart to be sure it was the same child. Avimbi! He’s grown!! Now not only did he have cheeks, but a found face, and his belly was starting to fill out. His eyes were still a little distant, but more attentive than before. 
10 days after admission
A week later he is a different child. He’s a normal child! He laughs, plays, smiles, talks, and walks. Now just catch-up growth until he can be discharged. 
2.5 weeks after admission
He’s not the only child to come in like that. We have had others, and seemingly more lately than usual. Some struggle to gain weight, others fatten up quite quickly. For me the most amazing part is when they lose that vacant stare for a healthy, attentive and curious look. It gives me hope, and I pray that once they go home, they will continue to grow happy and healthy.  

Day of discharge, 4 weeks after admission

Nestor and his mother, day of discharge.
Yes, he has an umbilical hernia.  It does not need repaired yet.

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