On Thursday, January 12, 2017, Sarah went to Hospital St. Michel to visit Alphieda, a child that she had fostered in the past. In the bed next to Alphieda was a tiny baby who was clearly malnourished. Sarah watched the nurse feed him cookies and mix up some powdered milk (not formula), which Sarah thought was odd because he was so, so tiny. Sarah inquired about the baby, and learned that he had been laying in that hospital bed for the past 5 days after being abandoned at the hospital.
Sarah asked to hold him, but the nurse told her she shouldn't because he was “sick” (meaning he had HIV). Sarah said she was okay with that, and as she picked up the baby, he cuddled right in, craving close contact. Sarah offered to foster him for a bit, as this was something she'd done in the past with malnourished babies-- take them in for a few months, feed them well, give them love and affection, and return them home once the crisis had passed. She assumed this would be the case.
After visiting with Social Services to get authorization to take the baby, they gave him a name-- Jean Moise Michel Jacmel. Moise was after Moses, who was left in the bullrushes, Michel, a common name in Haiti but also the name of the hospital where he was abandoned, and, obviously, Jacmel after the city.
The next few months would prove to be very challenging, more challenging than any other baby Sarah had fostered. Jean Moise was often ill, and despite taking in over 1500 calories per day, he kept losing weight. He was admitted to a private hospital more than once, and struggled to keep anything down. Finally, after many weeks, and the commencement of regular HIV meds, Jean Moise started to grow and develop.
Thanks to his financial sponsors, and to Sarah and her boyfriend, JP, for providing him with the love and affection he deserves, Jean-Moise is now a happy and energetic toddler.
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