Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Alseny's Transformation

Meet Alseny. 
This little peanut arrived in November at the age of four months.  He weighed in at six pounds.

His cleft lip and palate prevented him from getting the same nutrition as his TWIN sister, Mariam. 
This is not the first set of twins we have seen, I wrote about another set in Togo, but I am going to share the scenario again because it just highlights the effects of this birth defect so well.

Here are the twins - Mariam and Alseny upon their first check in with us on Nov. 15th (yes, the date is important).
Mariam is an average sized baby, breastfeeding regularly from their mama.  Alseny is not receiving anywhere near the same amount of nutrition as his "big" sister.

I don't need to point out all the areas you can compare here.  It's just stunning.

Alseny's fight for life is strong though.  He is alert, active, responsive and engaging.  Our infant feeding specialist steps in to help provide some tips to plump him up so he is big and strong enough to undergo surgery. 

Mama has fought hard for his life - in a culture where this is viewed as a curse - on your entire family and village - the norm is to abandon the babies in the forest to die and escape the curse that has come upon you.  So the courage it takes to love your child wholeheartedly here speaks volumes.

Here he is on NOVEMBER 27th - yes, just 12 days later.  You might not see the difference immediately, but scroll back and compare  - his ribs aren't protuding, there's a bit of meat on his legs, his arms, his cheeks have some flesh to them instead of just being pulled taut over his skeleton.
His sister Mariam is whispering sweet nothings in Alseny's ear.
Here he is (12 days after arriving), now weighing in at 4.2kilos (9.25 lb! He has added 50% to his weight!)

Big sister Roughiatou (roo-guee-ah-too) has come with mom to help care for the twins during their time in Conakry awaiting surgery.

Mom, big sis, Mariam and Alseny

Proud mama

Is there anything more beautiful?

We watched Alseny grow at the Hope Center - our weekly visits saw a new - fatter boy each time! Here he is in December with Kylie.

And now....

Meet the February Alseny!  He has surpassed his sissy, Mariam.  He is happy, chunky, and ready for
We look forward to rejoicing even more with momma as her happy (now FAT) baby gets a chance to view life in a whole new way.

How can this be the same teeny baby that lay nearly lifeless on this scale less than three months ago?

God is a god of miracles.

Here we have this beauty before surgery.

 The night before surgery mom, big sis, twin sis, and Alseny move onto the ward to prepare for surgery.

And the surgery went very well.

 Alseny gets lots of special love and care from his nurses in the OR, PACU and back in the ward.

 Tuesday of this week I got to see my darling back at the Hope Center

 His lip still has some sutures but it's healing so nicely. 

Lovely, lovely Alseny!


  1. It makes you laugh and cry @ the same time! What a precious little boy!

  2. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story!