Archive for the ‘Of tangent but somehow relevant’ Category


I read Amy Hathaway’s diary and her poem this morning. It was so moving and touching. I recommend that you do visit her at her link www.foreverangels.org and read all about the fabulous work Amy and Ben Hathaway are both doing. Just imagine the amount of tribulations Amy, Ben, their team, the babies and children have to go through daily and yet they persevere, and take the challenges with high spirit and selfless dedication. Excellent and admirable work, Amy, Ben and all at Forever Angels Baby Home, Mwanza, Tanzania.

Nyanda…I am sure being amongst the angels is where you belong and is a more restful and peaceful place

postscript: photographs (top two) – Ben and Amy with the babies at the Home affording smiles all round even from a tiring day. Bottom photograph – Nyanda John


Amy Hathway’s Diary

Thursday, February 01, 2007 – To Nyanda – January 11th 2007 – Febrary 1st 2007

MY TINY ANGEL – With love from Amy

For much too short a moment,
An angel came to me;
With tiny wings and halo,
But now he is set free.

My Baby Angel has now gone,
His time with us so small,
And yet this child so innocent,
Brought such love to us all.

My Angel came for reasons,
I just do not understand;
But left again so suddenly,
Now no longer in my hands.

His journey brief, though filled with love,
Was hard and full of strife,
I love you Nyanda and wished for you,
A long and happy life.

I now close my eyes and picture you,
I imagine your tiny face,
I hope that now, you are at peace
And have flown to a better place,

So, rest now my tiny angel,
Your time with us is through;
You will be in my heart forever,
And I’ll always love you.

Posted @ 10:43 PM


A Sad Day

Today has been a sad day. Baby Nyanda died in hospital this morning.

I would like to say it was because he was very sick – but he wasn’t. I visited him just yesterday evening and he was doing fine. He did have malaria and his hand looked sore where his drip had tissued – but he was doing well and I expected him to be discharged today.

I got a phone call from the Doctor at 7.30am this morning to say that Nyanda had vomited and aspirated (choked). He died because no one heard him and so didn’t help.

Last night there was only one nurse on duty on Neonatal Unit – caring for almost 30 babies – most of whom were much more sick than Nyanda. It is not the nurses fault – but the Management of the Hospital.

Our little boy died unnecessarily.

I am angry and sad and have had a very busy day so haven’t even really had time to think about it all.

The Doctor has asked me to write an Official Letter of Complaint to the Hospital – which I will do – but I don’t expect it will do much good.

It takes a miracle to change things here – I went to the hospital this morning to see Nyanda and to speak to the Doctors – there were 3 nurses on duty – and not one of them was in the actual room with the babies. They all sit at desks paper shuffling at best, or at worst, just chatting.

Our baby died last night and they were still not doing any ‘nursing’.

The whole process was awful at the hospital. Nyanda had been wrapped up when we arrived – but he was just plonked on a metal table in the sluice room. We asked for 5 minutes alone with him – but that was too much to ask for and after a lot of huffing and puffing we were finally allowed to take him to the linen cupboard!

We had to wait for him to be taken to the mortuary and then I wasn’t allowed to carry him – but he was literally dropped into a metal trolley and carted off…..stopping at ICU on the way to collect another baby who died in the night!

Poor Nyanda would have been better off at Forever Angels receiving no medical care than in the Neonatal Unit. I just wish I had known. I think we have learned a valuable lesson about the hospital – but when we have sick children – we have very little choice. This is the best hospital in the City.

I am going to try to find his relatives / neighbours in the village tomorrow with Social Welfare and then once we know their wishes, we can make plans. Sometimes the family want to arrange the burial themselves, often they leave it to the Baby Home.

Whatever their decision, we are having a Service on Monday at the Baby Home for Nyanda. He was only with us a short time – but Forever Angels is like a family and these children are loved from the minute they come to us. We are all devastated to lose Nyanda and angry at the circumstances….but this only reinforces my entry the other day about the desperate need for more funding for nurses at the hospital – and UK trained Neonatal nurses to come out here to help and to train.

Sometimes what we do here is never going to be enough.

Nyanda will be truly missed by us all – our first precious angel has flown.

* * * * * * * * * * *
It seems strange to add ‘good news’ to the end of this entry – but after the sadness of this morning – there was some light in the afternoon. I spent the afternoon collecting a set of 10 day old twins – one boy and one girl. Their mother died just after giving birth and the Father is unable to cope. They seem well and alert , but have diaoreal infections and some skin lesions which we will get checked out by a Doctor tomorrow.

For twins they are quite a good size….but maybe I am just used to very small babies now? Seba is 1.92kg and Omali is 2.54kg.

Please have all my staff and babies in your thoughts on this sad day.

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