Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

Respect for Life in the Slums of Cite Soleil



Do four pound babies in one of the worst slums in the world really count?

It seems they do at St. Catherine’s Hospital in Cite Soleil.

This precious little girl was born on Friday morning (three days ago) but was having trouble breathing by mid-afternoon.

So the nurses in the OB Ward wrapped her in a baby blanket, handed her to her sore sixteen year old mom, and told her to go to Pediatrics.

Mom carried the baby alone as she ambled over to Pediatrics which is in a different building about twenty yards away.

A Peds nurse unwrapped the baby and casually pronounced the baby dead. The baby was cyanotic and not breathing or moving.

Another “health care provider” immediately grabbed the baby and administered “bouche-a-bouche” (mouth-to-mouth) resuscitation.

The baby was placed carefully on the nurses charting table. Her young mom watched showing no emotion whatsoever. And parents in the Pediatric Ward stretched their necks and silently watched from their own baby’s miserable cribs.

The little baby with no name started to breathe and move and she turned pink.

A tiny nasal prongs was taped into the newborn’s nostrils and attached to a huge five foot paint-peeling green oxygen tank near by. Three liters of oxygen streamed into her airway.

A tiny bore nasogastric tube was passed and the baby’s abdomen was decompressed to help her diaphragm work easier.  A 24 gauge IV was placed on one attempt into the back of her right hand. Sugar water dripped in.

The baby opened her left eye and looked around.

Her respirations were fast but her color was good and pink.

Throughout this effort, the Haitian nurses and doctor talked like usual, even joked, but no one screamed or yelled or went crazy. There was definite respect for this little life on the edge.

Life is important in the slum.

John A. Carroll, M.D. is a physician working in Port-au-Prince.

John A. Carroll, M.D. is a physician working in Port-au-Prince.

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future
Rob Urie
Name the Dangerous Candidate
Pepe Escobar
The Aleppo / Mosul Riddle
David Rosen
The War on Drugs is a Racket
Sami Siegelbaum
Once More, the Value of the Humanities
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
Neve Gordon
Israel’s Boycott Hypocrisy
Mark Hand
Of Pipelines and Protest Pens: When the Press Loses Its Shield
Victor Wallis
On the Stealing of U.S. Elections
Michael Hudson
The Return of the Repressed Critique of Rentiers: Veblen in the 21st century Rentier Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Drumbeats of Anti-Russia Confrontation From Washington to London
Howard Lisnoff
Still Licking Our Wounds and Hoping for Change
Brian Gruber
Iraq: There Is No State
Peter Lee
Trump: We Wish the Problem Was Fascism
Stanley L. Cohen
Equality and Justice for All, It Seems, But Palestinians
Steve Early
In Bay Area Refinery Town: Berniecrats & Clintonites Clash Over Rent Control
Kristine Mattis
All Solutions are Inadequate: Why It Doesn’t Matter If Politicians Mention Climate Change
Peter Linebaugh
Ron Suny and the Marxist Commune: a Note
Andre Vltchek
Sudan, Africa and the Mosaic of Horrors
Keith Binkly
The Russians Have Been Hacking Us For Years, Why Is It a Crisis Now?
Jonathan Cook
Adam Curtis: Another Manager of Perceptions
Ted Dace
The Fall
Sheldon Richman
Come and See the Anarchy Inherent in the System
Susana Hurlich
Hurricane Matthew: an Overview of the Damages in Cuba
Dave Lindorff
Screwing With and Screwing the Elderly and Disabled
Chandra Muzaffar
Cuba: Rejecting Sanctions, Sending a Message
Dennis Kucinich
War or Peace?
Joseph Natoli
Seething Anger in the Post-2016 Election Season
Jack Rasmus
Behind The 3rd US Presidential Debate—What’s Coming in 2017
Ron Jacobs
A Theory of Despair?
Gilbert Mercier
Globalist Clinton: Clear and Present Danger to World Peace
James A Haught
Many Struggles Won Religious Freedom
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Dear Fellow Gen Xers: Let’s Step Aside for the Millennials
Uri Avnery
The Peres Funeral Ruckus
Tom Clifford
Duterte’s Gambit: the Philippines’s Pivot to China
Reyes Mata III
Scaling Camelot’s Walls: an Essay Regarding Donald Trump
Raouf Halaby
Away from the Fray: From Election Frenzy to an Interlude in Paradise
James McEnteer
Art of the Feel
David Yearsley
Trump and Hitchcock in the Age of Conspiracies
Charles R. Larson
Review: Sjón’s “Moonstone: the Boy Who Never Was”