St. Simeon Skete, Taylorsville Kentucky USA

With St. Simeon, the God receiver, as our patron, the skete seeks to practice the ideals found in our Rule, The Thousand Day Nazareth. In simplicity and poverty, the skete embraces the struggle of inner life through the practice of the Prayer Rope.

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Donations should be addressed to: Nazareth House Apostolate, 185 Captains Cove Drive, Taylorsville, Kentucky 40071.

Important Notice: All writings, posts, graphics & photographs in this blog are the copyrighted property of (unless otherwise indicated) Nazareth House Media, a division of Nazareth House Apostolate and cannot be copied, printed or used without written permission from NHA Media, Taylorsville, KY.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rest in Peace, Little Baby Girl Bangura

I cannot even begin to relate to you the extreme heartache that I feel for this family and for all the families who have been dealt this horrific blow during a time that should be filled with joy. I have wiped away tears all day.

The news of this baby girl's death received this morning was tough enough to deal with. The fact that it shouldn't have happened makes it even harder to take.

Ill equipped medical facilities, unskilled staff, corruption with pure and simple greed, stole this child's life away. Kadiatu has been in and out of "so called" hospitals during her labor. As she struggled in the pain of labor, her husband was kept away from her side, told that "it was all alright" and repeatedly asked for fees. Even today as he came to collect his child's lifeless body for burial, he was asked for "dismissal fees".

A timely c-section would have prevented this tragedy, but Kadiatu was never given this opportunity to have one. She is poor, she didn't have the ability to pay for such a "luxury" as a c-section. Salu, her husband, is a good man, hard working and caring, he trusted that those who professed to be doctors and nurses knew what was best for his wife and child. They may have known, but I don't believe they acted in the best interests of their patients in this particular case.

As Salu, with James and Kadijah came to collect the child's body this morning, the medical staff was absent from the facility, they had fled.

Salu was trusting the nurse to tell him the truth about his wife, he is kind, gentle and simple man. It is not within him to comprehend that someone would not care properly for his wife and child, especially when he paid fees. Going to the hospital is not a usual thing for Salu, there has never been money enough and since he was able to bring his wife to a hospital, he simply thought she was in the best care. They kept telling him the delayed delivery was "okay, everything was fine" when in fact the child was in great danger. They had to have known this, but they didn't act. Kadiatu began labor when I was still in Freetown...3 weeks ago...and the birth happens today!!!!!

By the time, James and Kadijah were able to step in, it was too late. James sent me a picture of the little infant girl. She was perfectly developed, looked to be a very healthy child, especially for Sierra Leone. Her head was damaged from trying to be born, her arms broken. Such a tragedy.

This is why Nazareth House Apostolate is in Sierra Leone. These innocent people have no chance but from organizations such as NHA. The government is recovering and rebuilding itself, it has an incredible amount on its plate. The people are so desperate that they will do anything, even allow a child to die in the womb, to get a chance at a bit of money to survive on. Need can breed greed.

And here, once again we are witnessing a preventable tragedy come to fruition... and once again, I am seeing Salu tenderly carry another daughter to the a cardboard box because he couldn't afford a coffin. The grave worker tenderly takes the lifeless body and gently places her in the ground. Salu prays with the Inman at the grave site that houses both Isha and now her baby sister. Again, I see James at Salu's side, standing over a child's grave together.

Again, my heart breaks.

And I know it will break many times over in the future. Sometimes all you can do is bear witness in your heart and to others....its that "at the foot of the Cross" thing...where Blessed Mary watched without being able to do anything for her Son.

For every heartbreaking events such as this, there is much more that we can do, if we have the compassion, if we have the love, and if we have the guts. Please continue to support the work of Nazareth House. If at all possible to pledge a monthly donation so that we are able to prepare a budget - so that we know each month what needs we can fulfill, it would be so helpful. Nazareth House Apostolate relies completely on God as He expresses Himself through your prayer, compassion and generosity. Please help us Feed Jesus in the Hungry, Clothe Him in the naked, Visit Him in the sick.... - Matthew 25:35.