Modeline Brifil and her newborn son Ernesto Courtois have only known each other for one day, but they have already been on a wild ride together.
Modeline visited SBHF's rural Villa Clinic in the Cote de Fer region each month for her prenatal check-up. She presses her hand to her right side and explained “I could feel my baby’s head pressed against my side here. Dr. Dubreus (head doctor at the Villa Clinic) explained to me why, and the possible problems with my pregnancy. But I felt safe at the Villa Clinic. When my water broke I found the quickest way to the clinic, which was on a motorcycle. Don’t worry about me, it didn’t hurt yet. I was focused on breathing.”
Modeline’s baby was a breach and was diagnosed with a prolapsed umbilical cord during labor. She needed a cesarean section in order to safely deliver, otherwise both mother and baby were in serious trouble. The Villa Clinic, like many hospitals and clinics in Haiti, is unable to provide C-sections. So Modeline was rushed to St. Boniface Hospital - an hour away, over a mountain, across a river, and down a very rough dirt road. As one of the baby's legs had already presented, Dr. Dubreus had to hold the tiny extended leg up throughout the trip to keep pressure off of the umbilical cord.
When they arrived, Modeline was rushed into St. Boniface’s new surgical center, built with the support of USAID's ASHA program and the generosity of the American people. There Dr. Desire and the surgical team helped newborn Ernesto safely into the world.
Now, the next day, Modeline is already sitting up straight and feeding her son. She recalls the fear she felt just last night. “My cousin is with me now—but I was terrified when Dr. Dubreus told me what was happening. I cried out ‘Oh Lord, Help Me!’ My husband had just gotten into an accident in Port au Prince. He was at the hospital there and I didn’t know how grave the accident was yet.”
Thankfully, little Ernesto’s father escaped the accident with only a broken leg, and we hope the family will be reunited soon.
Modeline and Ernesto are happy and healthy and grateful for the teams at Villa clinic and St Boniface Hospital.
They saved my baby. I cannot be any more thankful.