Not many people are called to serve and help the unfortunate people. This is a sad reality, especially for children in poor countries who are suffering from severe malnutrition, hunger, and disabilities.
One of the kindhearted individuals who has the calling to help is 28-year-old Sarah Conque, a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. She discovered her passion for helping disabled children in Haiti while she was in grad school. She worked as a missionary after she moved from Louisiana to Haiti in 2013 at Danita’s Children Medical Center.
A year after her stay in Haiti, she saw a young woman holding a three-month-old baby girl who has hydranencephaly, a condition where there is a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid on the brain, causing the head to swell.
Like most of the children in Haiti, Nika was terribly malnourished and needed immediate medical care. However, her mother treated her like a “shameful secret” and would even wrap her up in blankets so people won’t catch a glimpse of her.
Seven months after Nika was brought to the medical center where Sarah works, she had this instinct to check on Nika and her mother. When she finally saw their house, Sarah found Nika abandoned and lying on a rice sack, surrounded by garbage.
Sarah talked to Nika’s birth mother and later on convinced her to let her bring Nika to an orphanage. That way, Nika can get the care she needs.
“The first week Nika was in my care, it hit me just how neglected and malnourished this sweet little girl was,” Sarah wrote on her website, Little Warrior Nika. The doctors told Sarah that Nika was dying. The little girl’s internal organs were failing. In fact, infants with Nika’s condition do not even make it before they turn a year old. But still. Sarah prayed for a miracle.
“Miracle upon miracle, she continued to survive,” Sarah wrote.
With her dedication to love and care for Nika, Sarah became the little angel’s legal guardian in February 2015. What makes this even beautiful is that Stephen, Sarah’s partner, also helps her care for Nika.
“This photo captures perfectly how tender and sweet Stephen is with Nika. I don’t know where I’d be without his support,” Sarah said.
Right now, miracle after miracle, Nika lives with a loving and caring family who continues to support her everyday battles.
From the severely malnourished infant, look at Nika after her second neurosurgery.
She also had a VP shunt implanted which really helped with her health condition. She lost two inches in her head circumference and five pounds in fluid weight. Wow!
“Cue the tears… Nika tried out her new stander in physical therapy today! She wasn’t supposed to survive the malnutrition… but today she stood… She wasn’t supposed to thrive after having hydrocephalus untreated for so long… But today she held her head up… She wasn’t supposed to live with most of her brain missing… BUT GOD!” Sarah wrote.
Two years being under the care of Sarah, this is Nika. Happy, lively, and loved. She is still living with Sarah in South Louisiana.
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