13 Mar 2012
Unfaded Beauty – by Susan Westwood
We admitted a sibling set to GLA’s main house late yesterday afternoon. This morning, with the help of a colleague, I recorded their vital statistics.
Anel, the little boy on the left of the photograph weighed in at 12lb 15.5oz and his length was 63cm.
Wiseline, the little girl to the right weighed 13lb 14oz and measured 68cm in length.
Twins? The colleague asked. ‘No.’ She looked up from the admission paperwork, looking mildly surprised.
We have been told that Anel is three months old. Wiseline is his older sister. She turned two at the beginning of March!
Her growth is severely stunted, and she is moderately underweight for her height. I was told that she could barely crawl, and I groaned inwardly. Children like Wiseline, whose tiny bodies have endured years of malnutrition can be extremely difficult to rehabilitate. Often, they have chronic health problems, remain delayed in their development for years, and go on to develop learning difficulties in school. Now that I’ve actually seen her though, I am feeling optimistic about this tiny girl’s recovery.
Her general health is remarkably good and she has surprising strength in her spindly legs. She has a good appetite, a brightness in her eyes and an openness to her new caregivers that makes me hopeful. So long as this child doesn’t have any medical conditions that have contributed to her malnutrition, the chances are that she will adjust well to orphanage life, and go on to grow and thrive.
Malnutrition has a way of stealing so much from children. One thing I am sure you will agree Wiseline has not lost, is her beauty. That is unfaded.
‘I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten’ Joel 2:25