Amid graduate school, Sarah felt a calling to advocate for kids with disabilities in Haiti.
In 2013, she moved to Haiti, where she worked as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. While there, Sarah worked with numerous families and their kids, including one exceptionally unique youngster named Nika.
Sarah & Nika’s story began in January of 2014, when a young lady came in holding a three-month-old infant who had a brain condition that brought about a buildup of cerebrospinal liquid on the brain.
Nika, whose head was swollen and enlarged, required quick care.It appeared her introduction to the world mother was more worried with the disgrace to special needs than getting Nika the care she required. On the uncommon event Nika was taken out into the world, her mom would cover her to conceal her deformity.
Unfortunately, this is normal in Haiti. Many individuals see disabilities as something negative — and that any individual who touches the individual can be cursed. Sarah soon learned that Nika’s birth mother had attempted to end the pregnancy by drinking poison, and even went so far as to offer Nika to the legislature for “research.”
Sarah kept on working with Nika and her mother, yet as time passed, the newborn child would lose more weight to the point of extreme malnourishment. It was then that Sarah realized Nika wasn’t emaciated because of her diagnosis, but because of extreme neglect.
After this shocking discovery, Sarah spoke with Nika’s birth mother to let Sarah give the poor child the care she so deserved.
“The first week Nika was in my care, it hit me just how neglected and malnourished this sweet little girl was,” Sarah wrote on her website, Little Warrior Nika. At the point of her care, Nika’s internal organs were beginning to shut down. With her grim diagnosis, doctor’s didn’t believe she’d see her first birthday.
“Miracle upon miracle, she continued to survive,” Sarah wrote.
After six months of around the clock care, Sarah was finally granted legal guardianship so she could fully commit to 24/7 care. Sarah’s partner, Stephen, shares in her mission to provide Nika with a loving home for as long as she is gracing this earth.
Since then, she has had numerous operations that have improved her life greatly. After her second neurosurgery, her head circumference decreased by two inches and she lost FIVE POUNDS of fluid weight!
“Cue the tears…. Nika tried out her new stander in physical therapy today!” Sarah writes. “She wasn’t supposed to survive the malnutrition…. but today she stood….She wasn’t supposed to thrive after having hydrocephalus untreated for so long…. But today she held her head up….
She wasn’t supposed to live with most of her brain missing…. BUT GOD!”
It has been two years since Sarah adopted Nika. She continues to defy all odds and now lives in South Louisiana with Sarah and her partner. Thousands across the world have been following the updates of “Little Warrior Nika” proving that she is “worthy of being fought for, prayed for, and cherished.”
Sarah is currently raising money to ensure the care Nika needs are met. If you would like to donate please visit: https://www.youcaring.com/nika-477069
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