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"I did not know if I would see him alive."

Dieulita Vital gave birth to her son Francisco at the Villa clinic, SBHF’s satellite clinic in the rural Cote de Fer region about an hour’s drive from St. Boniface Hospital. Francisco came late, at more than 40 weeks gestation, and the Villa clinic staff was concerned about the baby’s health. The chance of death for neonates doubles between 40 and 42 weeks of gestation and continues to increase precipitously with each passing week after that.

In fact, when Francisco was born he was not breathing or moving. His parents thought that there was no hope for the little baby.

But the Villa team sprang into action, using the knowledge they received at a Helping Babies Breathe training offered at SBHF as part of the Jhpiego-funded Maternal & Neonatal Health training program. After a minute or two of intensive efforts on the part of the doctor and nurses at the clinic, little Francisco started to breathe, and then to cry. The color came into his face, and his energy grew as much-needed oxygen flooded his body. He was saved…but not yet out of the woods. As soon as the team was sure he was stable they transported him to St. Boniface Hospital for a few days of follow up care and observation in the NICU.

Baby Francisco
Francisco and his parents

When we caught up with Dieulita a few days after the traumatic experience of nearly losing her newborn son she was happy and relieved. “When he was born I did not know if we would have this chance to see Francisco alive. I am proud of the Villa clinic team and so grateful. And I am very thankful to St. Boniface Hospital for taking care of my baby.” We are glad to see this new family happy and healthy after such a scary start to little Francisco’s life.