Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Value of a Child's Life

            Monday started out as a typical day. It was harder than usual because the week before my family had visited and been such a source of joy and energy.  The kids still asked if “el niño uno y dos” (aka my father and brother) were coming back to play with them even though I had told them a thousand times they had to go home. 

I’ve found here that the finca, God, or maybe just this place, tends to push you to your limit.  I’m with Mother Teresa on this one—I really wish God didn’t trust me so much.  I don’t really trust myself.  But, it still happened and He will still continue to ask more of us then we might think we can handle.  

The Tía from the little girl’s house came running up to me yelling my name as I walked to the middle school five minutes before my English class started. 

“You have to call Natalie right now! No one is answering their phones and there’s been an emergency. Call her right now!” 

I told her I didn’t have my phone, but she needed a number I had so I left my class in the care of another teacher and ran home as fast as I could.  I called and called and she didn’t answer.  I ran back to house 1 and the Tía got through to Natalie.  

“There’s no service in the hospital and I’m running back and forth.  I’m so sorry. No one’s answering their phones. There’s a little boy who’s be seizing for a long time.  He’s not going to make it if he stays here, Tiffany. He has to get to San Pedro as soon as possible.” 

“What do you want me to do?” 

“Call Larry.” 

So I did what I was told and called Larry, a pilot and owner of the resort Tranquility Bay down the beach from us.  My family had just spent the week down there with them and he flew them to and from Trujillo.  He and his wife met doing medical evacuations in the Outpost of Northern Canada before he became a Captain for Air Canada.  With over 40 years of experience, we were very confident that he knows what he’s doing.

I got through to them right away and Larry said they would be in the air in 45 minutes.  45 minutes! That’s it.  The hospital was ready to take the little guy in an ambulance on an 8 + hour right through rural Honduras on rough, impossible roads to San Pedro and he was dying.  45 minutes to be in the air was a miracle!  

After that, it took a lot of love, care, hard work, and prayers to keep that little boy alive.  It was a miracle the way it worked out, but still a tough call because chartering a private plane for one person is not cheap.  It was like a perfectly rehearsed emergency drill.  It only left Natalie and I thinking: how could God put everything in place so perfectly like this to save this little boy’s life? 

After a tense hour long flight to San Pedro Sula through a storm, they landed safely and got him into an ambulance for the Hospital.  He was seizing and blacked out for almost 5 hours and it took a doctor, three nurses, and his mother to hold him down the whole way.  The pilot, all the doctors, and the nurses working on him knew the same thing: if they had put him in an ambulance for the 8+ hour car ride through the rough mountain roads to San Pedro, he would have died.  

I never thought I would be put in a position to have to personally charter a plane to medically evacuate someone before, but what is the value of chartering a plane in regards to a child’s life, no matter who they are?  Would the decision have been any easier if it had been one of us or even a child in the States?  The value of a child’s life is the same throughout the world.  It is priceless.  And if we had to do it again, we would in a heartbeat no matter what it cost.  And I know those nurses, who I’m so proud to call my sisters down here, feel the same.  

The founder of this mission, Vincent Pescatore, would have also done the same thing.  In a second.  God provides for those who come to Him.  And we came to Him begging for mercy.   

Later on as I let go of everything in the Chapel, I looked up at the stain glass window above the Cross.  And as I lay there crying my eyes out, begging God to save this little guy’s life knowing that they had done everything they could for him, I read the words: 

“El que recibe este niño en mi nombre, a mí me recibe.”

Whoever receives a child in my name, receives Me. 

I’m not a nurse.  I’ve never been asked to do something like this before, but I know God is asking more of me now than ever.  I just pray I can be all that He needs me to be.  

This little boy’s name is Danny Salinas.  Please keep him and his family in your prayers.  He is from a very small, rural community about a two hour walk up the mountain called Buena Vista.  They don’t have much money, but they do have a deep faith and a beautiful family.  Danny is only four years old and the youngest of his family.  The rest of his brothers and sisters are 14 and up.  He’s their little baby will forever be considered a miracle in our eyes. He is supposed to be released from the hospital this week.  The night he was dropped off and given the care he needed in San Pedro, he woke up and said,
 “Mama, ya me quiero ir.  Vamos para la finca!” 

–Mom, I want to leave.  Let’s go back to the Farm of the Child!-- 

This is the mission of the Farm of the Child.  I want to thank each and every one of you for all of your prayers and donations.  Because of you, we are able to serve the people of Colon, Honduras.  Because of your support and prayers, this little four year old boy has a big, bright life to live.  Thank you! Please don’t stop.

                                           Mission Statement of the Farm of the Child:

Farm of the Child USA is a Catholic, non-profit organization that supports Finca del Niño-Honduras, a mission modeled on the Holy Family that educates, protects, and promotes healing and spiritual formation for orphaned and abandoned children, and families in the local community.