When Nadine went into labor, she knew exactly where she needed to go. She had delivered her other children at St. Boniface Hospital and was prepared for another smooth delivery in our Maternal Health Center. The hour's drive from her home in Aquin exhausted her—the rough, jagged roads only strengthened her labor pains—but she was excited to meet her sweet baby.
Once in our care, her labor did not progress. Her baby was too large, and Nadine found she was unable to push. Our staff determined that she needed a Cesarean section, and quickly brought her to the Surgical Center. "When I entered the operating room, I was very afraid," she told us later from her hospital bed. "But the doctors gave me confidence. They took good care of me."
Baby Jean Pierre was delivered safely. Nadine was overjoyed. Mom and baby rested comfortably in the Maternal Health Center for the next week, as Nadine recovered from the operation. She told us, "My dream is to put my baby in school, and for him to be able to choose what he wants to do."
For too many women in Haiti, complications during delivery do not have a happy ending like Nadine's. Only 11% of hospitals in Haiti have any surgical capacity and therefore cannot provide emergency C-sections. And even if emergency surgical care can be found, women are asked to provide the medical supplies needed for the procedure—meaning they must find and purchased everything from IV fluid and syringes to gauze and gloves while in active, agonizing labor. As a result, many mothers and their babies die before they ever receive the help they need.
But not at St. Boniface Hospital, where care is provided to all patients regardless of their ability to pay. No patient is ever turned away, and no patient is ever asked to bring their own supplies. "St. Boniface is a hospital unlike any other hospital," Nadine told us. "There are other hospitals where you pay, but you still can't find doctors. At St. Boniface, even though you don't pay, you can still find good care here. You can find doctors that are very good."
Nadine is now ready to bring little Jean Pierre home to Aquin. "I am healthy now, and so is my baby," she says. "I'm so happy we can now go home together."