For our next installment of the Case of the Week, I would like to introduce you to Baby K. Before you yell "HIPPA!" for my use of his initial, know that all Kipsigis males have a name that starts with "Kip-", but we'll talk about that another time.
Baby K is special to me for several reasons. He was admitted to the NICU over 2 months ago, when he was born premature at 26 weeks, which may even be touch and go in the US, but is very difficult to survive here (I've seen one other survivor from that age in my 2 months here). He is a miracle in several senses, most notably that his weight bottomed out at 680g (just a bit over a pound), which is the lowest I've seen here. And fast forward over 2 months, through blood transfusions, sepsis, respiratory distress syndrome, a PDA despite NSAID therapy twice, and weeks of oxygen therapy, and he was ready to discharge today at just over 1900g. So this little guy (whom mom graciously allowed me to photograph this morning) may still be showing his ribs through his skin, but he's a chunky picture of health to me. He's also the last child in the NICU that had been there longer than me.
Tenwek invests a lot of resources into saving lives of tiny babies. This is tough, because many days the baby doesn't make it (today was one of those days as well), and one can be left wondering whether we're appropriately using our limited resources. One thing is undeniable though. The hospital is sending a message that life is valuable, and with so much death around, that's a message that is often in need of hearing. And then there is Baby K, home now with mom and dad, by God's grace, with a life before him.