We had our first Christmas miracle on the Saturday before Christmas.
I got a late-night call Wednesday, and learned that a mother who was 8 1/2 months pregnant was experiencing preeclampsia. This is a possible fatal condition affecting both mother and child. I told the husband to call an ambulance immediately and we would pay the ambulance later.
Thursday morning as we drove slowly on the mountain roads to go to our clinic, the father was nervously waiting along the side of the road for us in the village of Santa Marta and said his wife had been too scared to go to the hospital as I had insisted. I was very worried.
I parked the pickup truck, and Dr. Efrian and I climbed a steep hill to their simple cement block home. The mother was in very serious shape because she also had a heart condition. Her body was swollen and she had trouble moving and breathing. We could not hear the baby’s heartbeat and we assumed the baby had died.
We called the ambulance to come and decided to wait. (Over the years, we had made friends with the ambulance drivers and they now come when I call them – a little extra “payment” helps us to get good service. )
The ambulance rushed her to the Guatemala City hospital but they warned us that it looked like the mom was not going to make it.
Well, we had 79 patients that day in clinic and ended the day too tired to check out anything further. We did talk to a family member later that day who said the mother and baby were still alive but the mother was quite sick.
By Saturday, not having heard any update on the mother and baby, I drove to the village to check on them.
I was so surprised to see the father smiling, carrying the most beautiful baby boy! The baby was doing fine; they had just returned from the hospital. He told me the doctors said that the mother needs heart surgery and will remain in the hospital for a while, but she will survive.
I rushed to the clinic to get formula and warm blankets for the baby (it had been 36 F at night). I truly believe it is miracle that they are both alive. A Christmas miracle in the village, with a new baby!
God is good and we are so happy.