Home » Nursing in Haiti » Maggots


Some things I have seen here in Haiti are things I thought I would never see in my life. Things I never even fathomed I would have to deal with.

I am writing this post a good 3 weeks after the situation because I have been unable to bring myself to put into words what happened.

I was teaching the nursing assistant class when the principle of the school came to the doorway and wanted to me to take a look at a little baby that had arrived with her mom and aunt.

The baby was wrapped up in a foul smelling blanket and as the mom pulled back the blanket for me to see I could tell the drainage was coming from its head. The baby had a hole the size of a silver dollar on the top of her head. Looking closer I saw that the hole was FULL of maggots.

I have never dealt with maggots before let alone ones taking up a body cavity. I don’t know how to get rid of them, I didn’t know where to start. Thankfully the principle of the school is a nurse and a visiting Nurse practitioner Debbie was there to help. Phil happened to be walking past the clinic at this time and he lent a hand as well.






In total we spent 4 hours with this precious 3 month old baby extracting maggot after maggot from her head. There were tunnels where the maggots had burrowed through the skull into precious brain tissue. Phil held a lollipop to the baby’s mouth and gently rubbed the baby’s back as we worked on the top of her head. Over those 4 hours we pulled out at least 300 maggots from this tiny babies head.

When we felt we could do no more we wrapped up her head, and arranged for the baby and her mom to get to a hospital in Port-au-Price where they would be able to do surgery on the baby.

As we watch the family leave with tearstained faces our hearts were heavy. Heavy with sadness and heavy with questions. Why does a three-month-old baby have to be subject to something so terrible? Why would the mother wait so long to bring her baby in?

The hurt was huge, we felt completely broken. Broken to the core, but as I thought about it more I realized this brokenness was not a bad thing. This brokenness shows we care. We are caring for the ones that Jesus loves and our hearts can only be broken when we let ourselves fully love others. So we remain broken, we remain hurt but we know that Jesus is hurting as well. We hurt alongside others and then the hurt seems a little less hard to bear.





4 thoughts on “Maggots

  1. Hi Ang

    It seems you understand His purposes quite well. Though there may not be a comforting answer as to why a little child would be so sick, He had a plan to provide a message of love and care to a hurting mother and child and He chose you to deliver it. I can’t imagine the comfort that mother experienced as you shared with her and her child, such unconditional love.

    I am thankful and encouraged by your example of faith.

    Your friend,

  2. Just finished reading and seeing pics of the three month old when he arrived,I can’t control my tears,but knowing the outcome eases my tears. PRAISING THE LORD for HIS FAITHFULLNES!!!!! Linda White

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