Diane Kehrli is the Medical Director at Three Angels who oversees the care of the kids at the orphanage, the staff at the clinic and the medical education program. Below she shares her heart for our sweet Daphne and the journey we are walking with her. Daphne had been found abandoned at a church, then was brought to the police, who brought her to Haitian Social Services, who brought her to us in April of 2015.
Every time I walk into the house, she is the first child I look for.
Last April was the first time I saw Daphne. She was propped in a highchair, almost completely unresponsive. She did not make a sound and she did not cry. She could not feed herself. She could not sit up on her own but could pull herself to standing. Daphne would spend her nights not sleeping, but standing, looking out the window by her bed. If you caught her eyes, sometimes for a brief second, she would smile.
When we receive a child at Three Angels, they are usually malnourished and neglected. Often they may have developmental delays and health problems. In many cases, they have never bonded with anyone and do not know what it means to be safe. Daphne showed all the classic signs of neglect and fear.
And yet, Daphne’s sweet smile is there more than ever when I talk to her. Her little arms try to hug me when I hold her. She is starting to verbalize sounds, and with help, is beginning to learn to walk. Physical therapy is helping her get stronger. She plays with toys, and it is easy to see that she loves her nannies. Her sweet spirit continues to emerge, and I am hopeful.
I returned to Haiti in September and was simultaneously disappointed and encouraged by Daphne’s progress. She had been diagnosed with epilepsy, and her seizures were being controlled with medication. She smiled and looked at me for moments when I would talk to her. She recognized her nannies, was crawling, and was starting to express her opinion. She loved sitting in the swing, had favorite toys, and had made enough progress that I was hopeful. But that progress was painfully slow compared to what I had seen with some of our other children.
This January, once again I walked into the house and I looked first for Daphne. So far, her winter had been rough. Her seizures had broken free of the medication, and she had been hospitalized while the doctors tried to control them. New medications made her balance more precarious and made her more sleepy. The nannies, nurses and I were all concerned. I found almost no progress in walking, talking, or any of the normal developmental milestones we look for. It broke my heart.
So this is where we now stand. After spending significant time with her, with additional research and consultation, we are moving toward a diagnosis of cerebral palsy for Daphne. In light of these challenges, her prospective adoptive family has realized that they need to step aside for a family that is called to a disabled child. Finding the best care for Daphne in a country so lacking in resources will be a challenge. But it is one we all at Three Angels willingly embrace. I am hoping you will embrace it with us. Because of out all our children, Daphne will need a village of people to help her grow. ~ Diane
Would you please consider partnering with us providing Daphne with the care she deserves?
Daphne has epilepsy and some musculoskeletal issues with significant developmental delays and possible cognitive disability. To diagnose cerebral palsy, our next step is an MRI of her brain and spine. 85% of children with cerebral palsy have a lesion seen on an MRI. She also needs protective equipment, specifically a protective helmet, so she can move around without head injury (she falls often) and a better chair for her to sit and eat in. This stabilizes her torso and gives her the best chance to feed herself and develop more fine motor function. She has outgrown the high chair they have her in. Here is a breakdown of some of the specific costs we need covered right away:
- MRI of Brain and Spine: $1300
- Protective helmet $180
- Chair $360
- Leg Braces $500
- Shipping $100
We are looking for direct donations for Daphne as well as Orphan Care Sponsors for her. This will allow us to address these immediate needs and provide for her longer term care. Thank you!
DONATE any amount (simply note 'Daphne' in the comments field)
SPONSOR Daphne ($49/month, write 'Daphne' as the child's name)