The people that we serve at the Jesus Banquet are the poorest of the poor. Every year we find sick people that need help. Sometimes, we have a doctor in the group that can provide some treatment. Some need to be in the hospital and there is very little a doctor can do without the supplies that are in the hospital.
After we began serving food, Melissa came to me and asked me to come see this baby. I went with her and what I saw broke my heart. Wrapped in a blanket was tiny baby boy. He did not weigh more than four pounds, if that much. He was obviously sick. Very, very sick. Other people at the banquet had taken the baby to see the nurse at AFE, which is where we were having the Jesus Banquet. The baby was extremely dehydrated, among other things. The story was that the baby was born at seven months and was a month old. I have no idea if that was true or not.
Melissa talked to her and mentioned taking the baby to IHNFA. The lady had already not been interested in seeking treatment, but when IHNFA was mentioned, she said just give me money and I will take him to the hospital. Lizeth jumped right in and said we are not giving you money. Then Melissa told her this was a very special baby and he needed very special care. Just like that, the lady agreed to send him to IHNFA. I asked Melissa to get her name and identity number. I didn't think it was a good idea to show up at IHNFA with a baby and not be able to tell from whom we took the baby.
Melissa got paper and pen and the lady willingly gave all information to Melissa. Then she pulled out all of the baby's papers. Birth certificate, transfer papers from the mom. Everything. I was astounded. Speechless. Who carries all these papers with them? And why? I guess, if a person has no place to live, they carry everything they own with them.
Melissa and Sheralee left with the baby and went to IHNFA. Melissa explained the whole situation and they took the baby. At IHNFA, that baby was immediately seen by a doctor and placed in an incubator. IHNFA is far from perfect. At least two of our children were taken to IHNFA, then placed in Hospital Escuela. After getting better, they were returned to IHNFA and then placed with us. They would not be alive today if that process had not happened. I could not see a child in that condition and do nothing. And that was what I knew to do.
While the custodial adult did not have a consistent story and some of her behavior was a bit bizarre, I do not want to be too harsh or judgmental of her. There are some logical (or least logical in this country) explanations of what might have happened. We were told the mother had AIDS. Perhaps, a loving mother knew she was dying and tried to provide a home of this infant. Another person agreed to take the baby. When you are poor, another mouth to feed can become overwhelming. Perhaps, she did not know the baby was sick or as sick as he is. There are other possibilities. I don't know the story. Without too much persuasion, the lady did allow the baby to be taken to IHNFA.
This baby is really sick. He may not live even though he is now receiving some treatment. Please, please pray for this little one and the ones caring for him.