I first spotted Lucas and his mom at the local government clinic where we led an education session on breastfeeding and infant care for new and expecting moms. I noticed mom was loving on her boy, who she carried in a baby carrier, giving him kisses and calmly caring for him. We learned that Lucas is 3 years old, 21 pounds, and has microcephaly, along with other conditions including epilepsy.
Today, just after lunch at Hacienda San Diego, I was pleased to see Lucas and his mom walk through the door. As I called them to the nurse's table, mom said, "I remember you!" I said (with the help of my translator), "I remember you, too! I'm so glad you came!" As I checked Lucas's vitals and asked mom what brought her in, she shared that she wasn't sure; she just wanted him checked. I believe she wanted reassurance that she was doing a good job. To say she was doing a good job would have been a vast understatement - she is doing an amazing job! Lucas is this young mom's first child, and even a seasoned mother in the best of situations would be overwhelmed and may have trouble locating specialists and services. In this community, where access to clean water is challenging, Lucas's mom has managed to connect Lucas with physical therapy weekly and regularly has appointments with the children's hospital. We were able to reassure her that her efforts - feeding her 3 year old formula and mashed foods - were positive and helpful, and the providers supported her with her concerns about Lucas' weight loss and sleep schedule. Lucas and Lucas' mom (why didn't I ask your name, ugh!), you have touched my heart.
Susan Dudley, Pediatric Nurse