Conque could see that the baby girl, Nika, was in dire need of medical assistance and asked the mother to begin recreation therapy twice weekly with her. She assured the mother that she would help her find and access all the resources possible to help the baby.
Conque was able to get Nika access to a Haitian hospital in the capital of Port Au Prince with a program for children with hydrocephalus. The trip took ten hours by bus, but it was worth it. Nika was selected to be one of the children who would receive life-saving surgery to place a shunt in her brain to drain the fluid. At five months old, she had her first neurosurgery.
Unfortunately, Nika’s mother abandoned her at the hospital. Eventually, she returned for her baby, but over the next few months, Conque would spend endless hours pleading with Nika’s mother to help her daughter, to bring her daughter to appointments, and to take part in programs to help her daughter’s health improve. However, her mother continued to neglect Nika’s care. Conque wrote about this struggle on her blog:
I was becoming increasingly concerned for Nika’s recovery, seeing as almost two months later, her mother had failed to bring her in to see the doctor. I was also very interested to see if the surgery we had worked so hard to get was even successful. I was worried for Nika, but all I could do was pray that God would protect her and bring her comfort right where she was. It wouldn’t be until June 2014, four months later, (Nika was nine months old) that she was finally brought back into the medical center. I was relieved to see Nika alive. I was then saddened to discover that the surgery had not worked for her, the fluid was quickly coming back, and she was having reoccurring seizures. Because of the lack of care, and her declining health, Nika was rapidly developing malnutrition.Nika was enrolled in a free program for malnourished children, but her mother did not consistently bring Nika in each week. Conque realized that Nika was malnourished not because of her diagnosed health condition, but because her mother was neglecting her. During the process, Conque discovered that Nika’s mother had been a prostitute and had possibly ingested poisons in an attempt to self-abort, leaving little Nika with her condition.
Finally, in August of 2014, Conque was able to make her way to Nika’s home, where she found the baby girl alone on a sack of rice, surrounded by garbage and dogs. She was eleven months old, but she weighed only six pounds, much of which was from the amount of fluid building up in her brain. It was a miracle she was alive.
The next day Conque asked the president and CEO of Danita’s Children if they could take Nika into their orphanage. They agreed and so did Nika’s mother.
Nika had a long road ahead of her and the odds were not in her favor. Conque learned that Nika’s true diagnosis was hydranencephaly, in which the brain’s cerebral hemispheres are missing. Ninety-nine percent of babies with hydranencephaly die before age one, according to Nika’s doctor. A lot of prayer, doctor visits, and a feeding tube helped Nika overcome those odds. With Conque as her guardian, Nika went from being close to death with her organs failing to getting a medical visa and flying to Florida to receive a new shunt.
After that shunt was placed in May, her head circumference decreased by nearly two inches and 5 pounds of fluid was drained.
“Nika is continually making progress and developing with every passing day,” writes Conque. “With every breath she takes, she defies the odds and proves the impossible is truly possible with God.”
Source: LiveAction News