Malnutrition can be overwhelming for children undergoing trauma treatment. Their bodies need to heal and grow at the same time.
Fariha, a five-year old girl, admitted to the hospital after a car accident – was worrying me more than any other patient. The accident had caused her a massive liver injury. When she was admitted she weighed 13 kilos – already extremely low for her age. Two months on and her weight had dropped to nine kilos and seemed to be in freefall. She stayed mostly in bed, struggling to find the energy to eat.
Observing the weight going down, I came to the edge of panic about Fariha and I decided to prepare a nutritional plan to be carefully followed. It changed dozens of times as we worked to adapt it to Fariha’s conditions. The nurses prepared her favourite food in the hospital kitchen a couple of times, and everybody helped to support her mother constantly.
After three weeks of attempts, failures and readjustments, Fariha’s weight started to increase. It was like witnessing a miracle: her body was responding. Fariha was discharged – just a few days before my departure from Yemen – to a round of applause from all the staff.
Will you help us treat patients like Fariha and many others who would otherwise be cut off from medical care?