We’ve had the privilege to know Rezlane for many years. She first arrived at the Heartline Maternity Center in April of 2018.
Like many mothers in the program, she was excited to welcome her baby into the world. Participation in the Heartline program ensured she and her new baby would receive kindness along with dignified, high-quality maternal healthcare throughout her pregnancy and even months after delivery.
Baby Wisler arrived in November 2018. Heartline midwives KJ, Tara, and Nadia, were working that day. Baby Wisler immediately required resuscitation; it took the team over five minutes to get Wisler to breathe on his own. They knew immediately that he had severe congenital disabilities. The midwives prepared to transfer him as they knew he would not live without a higher level of medical support. He was diagnosed with Pierre Robin Syndrome and cleft palate. Although it was never officially diagnosed, the team also suspected cerebral palsy.
Director of the Maternity Center, Tara, shared this update on her blog shortly after Wisler’s birth in 2018.
Rezlane and Wisler frequently visited the Heartline Maternity Center as she awaited medical care. Here she found love, community, and support. We treasured our time with Rezlane and baby Wisler and grew to know them well.
Wisler received care at a hospital in Port au Prince for his entire life. Unfortunately, the hospital never followed through on commitments to provide necessary surgery, and whether it was political unrest, staffing, or lack of patient advocacy, the care never came.
As a result of his illness, Wisler had a tube inserted through the wall of his abdomen directly into his little tummy. The gastrostomy tube or G-tube allowed air and fluids to leave his stomach while providing a way to give him drugs and liquids, including liquid food. Wisler had the G-tube his whole life, and it was challenging to keep the port clean, often becoming infected. In January 2019, we provided an update on Wisler’s progress.
When faced with the demands of material poverty, parents will frequently surrender babies with medical challenges to an orphanage or, worse, abandon them in a public place. Rezlane exhibited unconditional fierce love and took on the considerable challenge of his day-to-day care without complaint. Her love for him was beautiful, and it spoke volumes to us all. As the obstacles mounted and Wisler’s health became more demanding, Wisler’s father left Rezlane.
Wisler succumbed to the complications of his illness at home while he and his mother waited for an opportunity to receive the necessary surgery. Unfortunately, while we advocated, the challenges were too many and injustice persisted. Access to care is difficult at best Just a little over two years old, Baby Wisler passed on January 9th, 2021.
“Justice is a commodity – as in you can buy it if you have the means to do so.“
~ Tara Livesay, Director, Heartline Maternity Center
This past June, a beaming Rezlane arrived at the Maternity Center. She had met someone and was 14 weeks pregnant. From the beginning of her placement in the program, she faithfully attended class every week during her entire pregnancy.
In December of 2021, she arrived at that maternity center in labor. We discovered her baby was in a transverse position. A cesarean section (C-section) will likely be required when a fetus cannot be turned into a head-down position. Vaginal birth with a transverse position poses risks to the baby and the person giving birth.
After multiple attempts to correct the baby’s position, the team decided to transport mom and baby to the Partners in Health Hospital. Thankfully, the team at Partners in Health was able to get the baby girl to turn head down, and Rezlane delivered vaginally without complication. She gave birth to a beautiful, healthy little girl. She named her Julie.
Today, Julie is a healthy and growing baby girl, and Rezlane is so very happy. Together, we shared the joy and sorrow of motherhood and Wisler’s difficult medical situation while we offered love and empathy and embraced hope for a brighter tomorrow. Today, we celebrate.
This Mother’s Day, we celebrate the love, sacrifice, and courage of mothers worldwide. Will you honor a remarkable woman in your life by caring for Haitian mothers who mean so much to their families and communities?
This Mother’s Day, give a special gift to the Heartline Maternity Center in honor of a courageous woman in your life and make a lasting impact on mamas and babies in Haiti.
Donate to the Maternity Center, and we’ll send a personalized Mother’s Day ecard to the woman you wish to honor. Your thoughtful gift will ensure that Haitian women and babies receive the highly skilled and compassionate care they deserve.
Photos below are courtesy of our friends at Papillon Marketplace.
New this year! Donate $50 or more to the Heartline Maternity Center, and we’ll send you or the recipient of your choice a handmade ceramic bracelet from our friends at Papillon Marketplace. These beautiful handmade bracelets are made at Papillon’s facility located at the Heartline Education and Employment Campus in Port au Prince, Haiti! These socially conscious products create jobs and promote our shared values of orphan prevention and family preservation.