A baby named Gift

What’s the furthest you’ve ever gone to get something you needed?
Often we take for granted the ability to leave our home and easily access public transportation or drive to where we need to go. For many in the developing world, accessing places like a medical clinic can mean a journey over several days.

After a difficult birth due to a massive tumour called a teratoma, which develops from left over stem cells, baby Paulinah’s skilful midwife proclaimed that she was a miracle and she was even given a Malagasy last name which means gift from God!

Baby Paulina

This little gift came into the world fighting, but it was clear that she would still need further medical attention in order to survive. Paulinah’s mother Florentine was determined to help her child. From her remote village called Fenrive-est it requires a one hour walk by foot, a canoe ride, and then another three hour walk to reach the nearest clinic.

Taking Paulina home

Florentine made the long hard journey only to be told at the clinic that they were unable to treat her child. Luckily they knew of an organization that might be able to help. The clinic referred her to Mercy Ships where after the doctor’s evaluated Paulinah she was programmed for a life-saving free surgery!

The village welcome Paulina

After her surgery, some of the Mercy Ship crew accompanied Florentine and baby Paulinah back to her village. After the 4.5 hour car ride, canoe trip and 1 hour trek into the mountains, villagers welcomed them home with a grand celebration. Speeches were given, refreshments served and each villager passed Paulinah around, kissing her cheeks and looking at her bottom. They marvelled at how this little “gift” would now enjoy a normal health life!