Heidi Schulte, Development Coordinator for MH4H, shares a special story about Pauline, a paralyzed Haitian mother who she has been walking with and caring for.
We were introduced to Pauline and her situation in early October and have been walking with her and her family ever since. One day after our Thrive program, some of the moms and grandmothers stayed behind to tell us about their very sick friend who was pregnant and couldn’t walk.
Heidi on one of her many visits with Pauline and Nadia
When Woody and I walked into her house, we found her lying on a grass mat on the floor. As she heard us come in, she began to frantically try to explain what was happening for her. She had been paralyzed for 19 months and was 7 months pregnant. She had a terrible cough and her legs were swollen. She could not even sit up by her self and had virtually no use of her limbs. Desperation was written all over her and her situation, but hope was evident in her face when we came to see her.
A few days later, we brought her to a hospital over an hour away (praying hard she didn’t deliver her baby on the way!). After running some tests, the hospital staff admitted her and she stayed there until her baby was born 2.5 months later! Every couple weeks, Appolon and I would go to visit her and we were encouraged each time by how much stronger Pauline seemed.
Pauline after giving birth to little Nadia Lavi
Her sweet baby girl, Nadia Lavi (“Hope” and “Life”) was born just before Christmas and she and Pauline returned to Sylvain the next day!
Since their return home, Pauline’s physical and emotional well-being have struggled. She has been very discouraged and is finding it hard to be so dependent on her family members and friends.
Her health has been worse than it was before when she was in the hospital, and baby Nadia has been struggling to maintain and gain weight. She continues to ask me to take Nadia as my own daughter, saying that this baby is not for her, she is for me! It is so hard to know how to handle situations like this.
Paula van Roekel performed check-ups while visiting in Haiti Precious little Nadia Lavi
In spite of all of these struggles, it has been beautiful to see God’s hand…how He has brought hope in the midst of what was once a hopeless situation. How He has brought forth life out of what should have been death. How He is unifying a family and friends through a cooperative effort to love and care for this family. We have seen Him provide the finances for hospital stays, food for Pauline and her family! Even a new mattress and a wheelchair! What blessings!
Even though we do not know what is next for Pauline or baby Nadia, we continue to trust and wait on God and love these precious miracles and their loving family.