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Saved By An Ultrasound: A Newborn And His Mother Live!

BY CARISSA YOUSSEF AND JESSI HALL

"This is why we do what we do; to save lives"

When mother-to-be Nicolasa Franciso, 27, started experiencing severe abdomen pain, she knew something was wrong; it was too early for labour pains. 

The joyful anticipation Nicolasa had felt about her baby's birth quickly turned to fear. Her village is 100km away from the hospital and like most Guatemalan women, she had anticipated a natural home birth.

Nicolasa arrived at the Nebaj hospital in distress - she had gone into labour. But this was only one week after a shipment of medical supplies arrived on March 16th from Canada. Doctors were able to use their newly received ultrasound machine - the only one at the hospital - to determine that Nicolasa and her baby were indeed at high risk. In order to save her life and the life of her unborn son, doctors immediately performed a C-section. After a successful surgery, both mother and baby are strong and healthy.

Judy Johnston, FH's International Medical Equipment Distribution (IMED) Warehouse Manager, happened to be in the country just then and met Nicolasa the day after she delivered her son. 

"It was so heart-warming to look into Nicolasa's eyes and to meet her son.

"What a profound experience to realize the ultrasound machine I had helped to pack into a shipping container at our warehouse in Saskatoon had helped to save her life. 

"Looking at her, it was a powerful reminder to me - this is why we do what we do; to save lives."  Had it not been for the new ultrasound machine, however, this would have been a different story. The medical staff are incredibly thankful that they had this tool in time to save not just one but two lives. "With success stories like Nicolasa’s we hope more mothers will visit the hospital and that birthing complications can be foreseen and avoided."

The staff at both FH Guatemala and FH Canada were relieved to hear that the ultrasound seemed to arrive at just the right time for Nicolasa. "We look forward to sending more life-saving equipment to communities like Nicolasa's" said FH Canada Presiden,t Ben Hoogendoorn, "It makes it all worth it!  I hope each and every supporter realizes the incredible difference their ongoing involvement is making around the world."

Many Guatemalan families choose to forego a long trek to the closest hospital because - more often that anyone would like - the hospitals lack the equipment to really be helpful.  Many mothers then choose to give birth at home.  Which, often with a traditional midwife, can still go well.  However, if any complication arise - and they too often do - the only hospital new mothers can trust are equipped hospitals.  

To learn more about IMED and how you can help,  CLICK HERE.


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