8 MarRonan’s progress.
Baby Ronan arrived to Butterfly Home on a cold afternoon the end of January. He was given his English name by our Irish volunteer nurse Méabh. During Méabh’s time in the Butterfly Home she kept a diary on Ronan’s progress and we wanted to share it with you all so you can see his transformation so far…
“He came wrapped in a blue blanket looking for one thing we know all about here in Butterfly – love. Ronan was exhausted when he arrived. He was malnourished and dehydrated. There was a striking look of vacancy in his little eyes. His mouth remained open as he looked desperately for food. At only four months old, he was unsure of what life had in store for him.
We lay him on a soft table in the treatment room. Underneath him, was a fluffy blanket covered in yellow ducks. He watched us carefully as we checked him from head to toe. We made note of all of the special care that Ronan was going to need. Our main priorities were to increase Ronan’s weight, to develop his ability to feed orally and to heal his sore and broken skin. Holding Ronan in my arms for the first time was a moment that I will never forget. On one hand it broke my heart to hold this beautiful baby boy, so vulnerable, so unwell and so afraid; and on the other hand I was so overwhelmed with happiness and hope. I knew that his arrival to the Butterfly Home meant that his whole life was about to change forever. Baby Ronan was going to experience real love and care for the first time in his little life – and I had the privilege of giving that to him. I couldn’t believe I was lucky enough to be part of a team that would introduce the wonderful concepts of love, laughter, hope and care to a child. We tried Ronan with his first bottle feed within an hour of him arriving to Butterfly – and he took to it really well. He had a strong suck and he knew exactly what to do. He lay comfortably in my arms and never took his eyes off me as he drank his bottle. The piercing look if vacancy was beginning to fade.
We placed a small tube into Ronan’s nose to give extra milk into his tummy – this would help him to gain weight more quickly, giving him more energy both to feed orally, and to begin to enjoy his new world. Ronan slept well his first night. He was bundled with lots of blankets to keep him warm and cosy by his wonderful Ayis. To his right hand side, there was a huge aerial hanging of multi- coloured butterflies. There was a lot of hope in store for little Ronan.
I couldn’t wait to get back to him the next day. Everyday ran according to Ronan’s schedule for the next few days – when were his feeds due, how did he tolerate them, how was his skin healing, was he gaining more strength, was he interacting? He was a little bit confused when I first gave him kisses…but he soon learnt to love them! Then came baby Ronan’s first smile. For the first time in his little life he had learnt what it was to smile. Actually, Baby Ronan quickly became addicted to smiling.. we soon learnt that he had extremely ticklish cheeks … Another few days went by, and we discovered that Ronan not only had tickles on his cheeks, but he also had lots of tickles on his tummy!!
Ronan gained nearly 500grams during his first week in the Butterfly home and he soon became strong enough to lie in the activity room. He began to interact with us and it was beautiful. He also enjoyed interacting with the other children, and took a special liking to our lovely Hailey. Hailey is really missing her best buddy Orin, who is still in Shanghai so Ronan has temporarily taken his space! Hailey was a little unsure at first at who this new friend was, but quickly they have become good friends.
It’s been just over a month now since Ronan arrived into his safe haven, the Butterfly Home. He is growing bigger, stronger, happier and more handsome by the day. The privilege of taking part in the admission and rehabilitation of Ronan is an experience I will never ever forget. Nursing a child back to life is no easy feat, but is something that is done on a daily basis by the caring staff in the Butterfly Home. I left the Butterfly home in the middle of February. I kissed Ronan goodbye and lay him into his Ayi’s arms, wrapped in a big blue blanket and sucking his soother. I miss him every single day. However, there is not an ounce of me that is sad about leaving him. Baby Ronan is in the most perfect of places. A place of high class expertise, immense attention to detail, care, hope, and, most of all, love.”
Thank you Méabh for all you did for Ronan and the rest of the Butterfly children. We appreciate the time you spent with us and the skills you shared with our team.