Severely premature baby beats the odds, discharged from GPHC
…mother praises dedicated, efficient staff

Kaieteur News
May 5, 2007

Related Links: Articles on GPHC
Letters Menu Archival Menu

After four months of multiple medical complications, an underweight, premature baby was discharged from the Georgetown Public Hospital yesterday. But before what is considered a happy ending, many at the hospital had given up hope that the child would have survived to yesterday.

The baby, which was born on January 28, weighing only 940 grams, was discharged yesterday, weighing 1.5 kg, after spending almost four months in the Neonatal Unit of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

Amidst tears of joy, the mother, Yvette Conyers-Sanchez, declared that her baby's survival was the result of the dedication and efficiency of medical staff at the hospital and a divine miracle by the Creator.

While the infant is expected to grow normally, medical sources indicated yesterday that her condition will have to be monitored continuously, since further complications can develop due to the premature birth.

At a brief ceremony held in the Conference Room of the Paediatrics Department, GPHC's Dr. Clive Bowman said that he had, many times, given up on the infant's chances of survival.

The doctor said that when the baby was born, many thought she was dead. However, he said, after faint signs of life were detected, the infant was rushed to the hospital's Neonatal Unit, where she was placed into an incubator and monitored.

He added that nurses and doctors worked round-the-clock to ensure medical attention was ‘on the spot,' especially when the baby stopped breathing, which occurred often during the infant's stay at the hospital.

Dr. Bowman said that other than respiratory problems, the baby suffered complications like anemia, jaundice, and other disorders. The baby required a constant supply of oxygen and intravenous fluids.

Dr. Bowman said the major challenge was feeding the baby, since little Carolina Sanchez, dubbed Baby Carolina, could not consume the volume of feed normal babies do. This, according to the doctor, resulted in the baby losing 32 per cent of her birth weight, which placed her at even greater risk of dying.

The 940-gram birth weight had decreased to 640 grams as a result of this. Feeding was done intravenously.

According to the doctor, the hospital has lost about half of such babies that were delivered at the institution.

Dr. Bowman related that, while managing the baby was an extremely tedious task, he believes that 90 per cent of her eventual survival was a result of Divine Intervention.

The doctor indicated that while the hospital has sent home other babies born under the same circumstances, the survival of this infant was deemed unique and a miracle, since she was plagued with so many health complications during her stay at the institution.

Yesterday, Sister June Kato, Departmental Supervisor of the Maternity Unit, praised the nurses in the Neonatal Unit for their dedication and contributions which, she said, assisted greatly in the infant's survival.

Sister Kato emphasized that nurses worked incessantly to ensure the baby remained safe, and did everything in their power to improve the survival chances.

Hugging her baby closely and sobbing, the emotional mother praised the hospital staff for their contributions. She added that without the intervention of the Creator, the baby would have never survived the ordeal.

“I must thank the nurses and doctors for all they did to save my baby. Many times Dr. Bowman said that my baby might not make it. But every time he said so, I prayed and assured him that my baby will live.”

Yvette, who hails from Timehri, has four other children, who were all normal births. (Alex Wayne)