PHOTO DONATION: Ēriks Meinarts
Eight months ago 17-years-old Karina gave birth to her two daughters within 32st week of her gestation. Being preterm born infants, the girls were very small, even tiny. Zane was the healthiest of the twins. She gradually put on weight and two month after her birth the girl was able to leave the hospital. But the second twin, Ilze ,had many various problems, such as, anaemia, fatal complication of transfusion, neonatal encephalopathy, and purulent meningitis. The heaviest problem for this little girl was the development of a hearth rhythm disorder; therefore she underwent an operation for implantation of cardio accelerator in August 2008.
When I called the young mother and offered to bring some babies’ clothes, I asked for the size. Then I truly realized how serious the situation is because mother replied that the 8 months old girl needed clothes of size 56-62. For those who have forgotten infants’ sizes I’ll remind that this is the size of a newborn baby, but Ilze is already 8 month old!
With heavy hearth I’m heading to the family’s house. Together with the photographer Eriks Meinards we enter the small room where we see just two baby beds, parents’ bed, a little smoky furnace and a TV set. Mummy is holding little Zane, and the girl give us a happy smile.
But then I see another smiling tiny girl, who is sleeping in the bed and looking at me. She is as small as a newborn baby and then I notice a big red pimple-like skin protuberance on her face. When mother changes the girl’s diaper, I can see that those protuberances cover the entire baby’s body. My heart is bleeding when I notice the heart accelerator which is fully visible under her skin. I am almost crying: what has this little baby done that she has to suffer such a misfortune?! I believe that the photos will assure you how much this little girl is in need for your help.
At the moment when you are reading this story, I hope that those pimple-like protuberances have already been cauterized at a laser clinic, but Ilze still needs so many things, - the first of them being a proper examination. The massage and baby gymnastics are required as well but such treatment is available only at the nearest town Bauska, located 10 km from their village.
The girl-twins could also use a twin trolley, clothes and toys.
Let us help!