This is lovely little girl is Seinthia. She was just a baby when we found her at the Hospital St. Michel in Jacmel in February or March of 2010. Several ACFFC staff were there to check on a family member of one of our younger children who was in the hospital with typhoid. While there, a Haitian doctor was overheard saying kreyol that he wished we would take this baby (she was about seven-eight weeks old) or she would die. We all stopped and the kids touched her, held her and from her sleep, she reached out. They would have handed the baby off to us, but given all of the news about Americans kidnapping Haitian children who were not orphans, etc., we did not want to risk the status of ACFFC, so we had a baby team for a while, heading over there with food, diapers, etc. while Georges, our Executive Director went about obtaining papers from the Mayor’s office to release her to the custody of ACFFC – everyone was incredibly cooperative.
We brought her home and Jaelin, who handles housekeeping and lives at ACFFC with her son and niece, instantly became the mother. Everyone pitched in. Sadly, the hospital there did not have capacity to perform surgery for her hydrocephalus. We learned that this condition is not uncommon in Haiti and can be caused by multigenerational malnutrition. The search was on for surgery, as her head was still growing and one eye nearly closed. Only by luck and social media we discovered that Project Medishare comes to Port Au Prince twice or so a year to perform these surgeries. We were on the list and in just a month and after countless phone calls, she was brought to the hospital for her procedure.
She was a very fortunate little girl – the were able to do an Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV),meaning a minimally invasive surgery allowing the fluid to drain.
Her challenges did not end with the surgery, Seinthia also has Downs Syndrome and with the help of Pazapa, an organization in Jacmel that works with handicapped children, she has become an active and bright eyed child, she has a very large family now of almost 100 children and young adults who spoil her wonderfully! She is 6 years old now, she loves to talk and dance and sing songs that only she understands.