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When Resources Are Limited


Last Tuesday, a pregnant patient at 29 weeks came in with a fever, which caused stress to the baby by driving up his pulse to the 180s. We concluded that the mom had chorioamnionitis, inflammation of the fetal membranes due to a bacterial infection. Unfortunately, we were not able to stop her contractions and she delivered Baby MR Wednesday morning at 1:50 am, 11 weeks early.

I helped with resuscitation efforts from 2:30 am-4:30 am, then went home to sleep a few hours and returned from 7:30 am - 1 pm. Baby MR needed continued one-on-one care throughout the night. Since I was on call, I went home to get more sleep and returned from 7 pm-8:30 am. It was a long, exhausting day.

Due to the underdevelopment of MR's lungs, it was no surprise that he had 5 episodes where his oxygen saturation dropped into the 40s and 50s, requiring me to give him respiratory support via an ambu bag. His saturation steadily declined throughout the night, even with an episode of bradycardia (low heart rate). At 3 am, a decision was made by Dr. Ryan that we would not continue to give respiratory support to MR since his lungs, and body, were shutting down.

It was heart-breaking to watch his saturation slowly decline, while struggling to breathe, and not be able do anything more due to our limited resources.

I couldn't help but think to myself, "If only Baby MR was born in the United States, he could have all the resources available to him, including a ventilator and medications, until his lungs developed more.

But then God convicted my heart, saying, "I had MR born in Honduras with little to no resources for a purpose."

That was a gut punch. Who am I to question the work of God and why we have limited resources when He is the source of everything we need.

I trust God's Sovereignty that through Baby MR's 29 hours of life, his life had a purpose that I may not understand on this side of Heaven.

Baby MR ended up passing away an hour after I left him. I felt honored to take care of him during his last hours, while also ministering to his mom and grandma.


Seven. That is the number of premature babies that have been born in 10 weeks since my arrival to Hospital Loma de Luz in Honduras, ranging from 29 weeks to 37 weeks. In one week, we had 3 premature babies born, and this past week, we had 2 premie babies born (including Baby MR whose story is below). Two. Out of the seven premature babies born the past 10 weeks, only 2 of them survived, including a baby we resuscitated after a 10-minute shoulder dystocia (picture below) and baby Estelle (picture below) who has Superventricular Tachycardia (SVT), a heart dysrrthymia.

After a 45-minute resuscitation, this sweet babe went home 2 days later. Praise the Lord!

Baby Estella grabbed onto my finger and would not let go. Do you see Estella's red bracelet on her wrist? Honduran moms put it on their babies to "ward off" evil spirits.