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Southwest Florida Doctors and Hospital Donate Shunt to Abandoned Haitian Baby in Desperate Need
Contact: Sandra Smith, Executive Director, Love A Child, 239-210-6107

FORT MYERS, Fla., Sept. 5, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Swift action from local Southwest Florida medical professionals may have saved the life of a very sick baby in Haiti this week. Baby Elijah, who was found abandoned at the front gates of the Love A Child orphanage in Fond Parisien, Haiti three months ago has been fighting for his life in a hospital in Port-au-Prince. From severe malnutrition to increasing complications with hydrocephalus, which is an accumulation of fluid in the brain, Elijah was in desperate need of a shunt for a life-sustaining operation. Thanks to Dr. David Klein, Dr. Douglas Hershkowitz, and the staff at Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte, a pediatric shunt was generously donated and will be used in a surgery scheduled Saturday, September 6.

Elijah, who is four months old, was found in the bushes outside of the Love A Child orphanage on June 1. At the time, he appeared to be only a week old. He was very thin with sores all over his tiny body. After being treated by a medical team at a hospital near the Love A Child village in Haiti, Elijah was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, "water on the brain." Suffering from many seizures, which worsened over time, Elijah was cared for by the team of missionaries at Love A Child, a Christian humanitarian organization serving the needs of children in Haiti.

With the situation turning grim earlier in the week, Love A Child's administrative staff at their headquarters in Fort Myers quickly began calling local hospitals and medical offices that might have the needed shunt in order to drain the fluid in Elijah's brain and help to stop the seizure activity. Dr. David M. Klein happened to be on the receiving end of one of those calls on Tuesday morning. He was told by the Love A Child staff member that the plan was for the shunt to be flown to Haiti the following day and then Elijah's surgery could be scheduled. A neurosurgeon in Haiti was available to proceed once the shunt arrived. Dr. Klein took immediate action and made several calls to his contacts.

According to Dr. Klein, "I thank Tom Rice, chief executive officer, Vickie Pettigrew, operating room director, and Dr. Hershkowitz, of Fawcett Memorial, for their involvement in helping to save this baby's life. We are all anxiously awaiting news of the outcome of his surgery."

The result is nothing short of a miracle; Dr. Klein successfully helped the Love A Child team coordinate the shunt's safe arrival to Haiti. Elijah's surgery is scheduled for tomorrow and all are hopeful for his healthy recovery.

For more information, please visit www.loveachild.com.