In August, my sister Rachel and her family made the trek to visit us here in Nalerigu. We had quite the African adventure. Just to get to Nalerigu, we had to be escorted on foot through a river by the locals when their dam broke and took out the bridge due to heavy rains.
On their last day in Nalerigu, Rachel wanted to buy a few gifts to bring home to friends and family. The shop owner wasn’t around in the morning, but we noticed her light on as we came back from hiking at the escarpment. We were inside the shop approximately 5-10 minutes, just before 7pm. I heard commotion and voices outside the shop. Finally, a man came into the shop and told me to “come and see” something. He told me in Mampruli that a newborn baby had been placed in a bag and left on the ground. I wasn’t sure that I had heard correctly, but I went out right away to see for myself.
My sister was rightfully confused, so I translated for her as we walked to the spot. Between the shop and an adjacent football field is a small path in the shadow of some trees and a pile of cement blocks. It was there on the shadowy path, I found a black polyurethane bag with a newborn baby boy inside. He had been carefully placed there. His back was up in the air and his head was face down in the bag. He was breathing. The blood was still fresh on his forehead. The placenta was in the bottom of the bag still connected to the umbilical cord which was still attached to the baby.
I brought his head out of the bag and held him close to my body and stimulated him to keep breathing. Rachel held the flashlight on the pathway as we quickly brought him into the hospital. I brought him into the delivery room in the maternity ward. I aspirated out the secretions from his nose and mouth. Two nurse midwives received him, clamped and cut the umbilical cord, vigorously warmed him and put him under the radiant warmer lamp. He was crying and breathing on his own. His fingers and toes were pink with good blood flow. The midwife looked at me and said “He’s fine, doc. He’s fine.”
He was admitted to the NICU and given the name Manboora. Manboora means “I want him” in Mampruli. When a woman has multiple miscarriages, the next baby who is born will be taken out to the trash heap in a ritual show. The next person who walks past the trash heap, will pick up the baby and give the child a name – signifying that this baby is wanted and loved. Manboora is a typical name given in this situation. It is also the local name that was given to Trey.
He remained in the NICU at BMC for almost two months. His oxygen saturation was low, so he was placed on oxygen for approximately 1 week. He had a bout of malaria that required a blood transfusion but he recovered quickly.
The Social Welfare department has been notified about his case and I reached out to our networks to try and find a Ghanaian foster family for Manboora. All the while, I checked in on him every chance I had. The hospital staff and the lovely NICU nurses were taking great care of him.
This week our prayers were answered and a Christian couple we’ve known for several years agreed to foster him with the aim of eventually adopting him. Praise the Lord!
We know they will love this little boy and take him into their family as their own – just as God has rescued and redeemed us through Jesus’ death on the cross – and has adopted us into his family!