His name is Teddy.
He was abandoned, quite intentionally, given to a stranger on the street, while the mother pretended to go into a store to buy something. She never returned.
The stranger had the idea to keep him, since he himself had no children. But the child seemed ill. He was taken to DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) and then taken to the hospital. The doctors diagnosed him with hydrocephalus- water on the brain- and said a shunt would kill him. His brain wasn’t fully developed. It was a matter of time. It would be better to just let nature take its course.
He was referred to us because there are few if any, other institutions other than Gentle Hands that will take the dying. It took me 3 weeks to find time and juggle funds in order to make the trip to another island to pick him up. The details of the trip are not important, really. The opportunity to share with the caregiving staff that watched Teddy for 6 weeks was worth the expense. Time spent making relationships and encouraging social workers and volunteers for loving Teddy, was rare and it made the journey worthwhile.
Now, he is burning with fever and he cries out with any movement. The pressure in his skull pulls the skin taunt.
I want to hold him close but it hurts him.
I cannot tell if he can see or hear. It appears not.
But I hold his hand. And when the seizures come, which they do, I pray for mercy.
Sometimes the fever breaks, the seizures quiet and he lays motionless, the steady movement of his little chest is all that shows there is still life.
Honestly, I don’t have time for the questions, the speculations, or the frustrations. I have learned that it is not my job to ask. No answers ever come, anyway.
When I am entrusted a child such as this, I love them as much as I can. I whisper that Jesus loves them. I hold them as gently as I can and tell them I will not leave them. They are safe.
He is screeching again. This seizure hurts. I hold my breath as I try desperately to make him more comfortable. And in time, he is quiet again.
It is hard to watch him suffer. Hard to think about the unfairness of his situation. I wish I could make it all better.
Oh, precious broken little lamb.
Father, have mercy.