In January 2019, the First 1,000 Days staff went to the Jeans’ house for their annual home visit of all the program participants. Mayson was sick and underweight. He should have been transitioning to solid food but, at six months old, Mayson could barely drink milk. Ysemanie explained that her son frequently vomited after feeding. A visiting pediatric nurse was able to evaluate him. Acid reflux was determined to be a possible cause with a month-long anti-acid treatment prescribed as a trial.
Nurse Lerosane checked on Mayson several times over the following four weeks. Lerosane noted that Ysemanie did not strictly adhere to the treatment schedule, frequently augmenting it with a homemade garlic remedy. At the end of the month, Mayson was not any better. Over the next few months, staff watched as Mayson’s body grew increasingly frail. A feeling of helplessness grew as the staff saw that death was imminent.
The staff tried every method to walk alongside Ysemanie before a firmer intervention was needed. Mayson was sick, malnourished, and near death. He needed to be hospitalized and the staff needed Ysemanie to agree.
Once again, staff gathered to pray before inviting Mayson’s mother to a meeting. Seeing Mayson’s physical state, Lerosane begged Ysemanie to pause her activity in voodoo for one month, allow the staff to take him to the hospital, and see what God could do. Weary from the fight, Ysemanie gave her consent.
Mayson is now just over two years old. Nurse Lerosane reports that he is charting a healthy weight at nearly twenty-five pounds. A year ago, Mayson was not strong enough to support his own head. Now, this toddler is walking, running, and proving himself to be quite rambunctious. Ysemanie and Mayson have become regulars at the First 1000 Days program. They both receive nutritious meals and a community of support. Five days a week, the staff can see the little boy whose life they prayed and fought for.