By Tamiyha Thompson
When workers with a Lake Worth-based nonprofit organization found a toddler with a rare birth condition in an isolated village in Haiti last year, they vowed to find her treatment to save her life.
“When I first saw her I cried, I didn’t want her to die,” said Sylvie Florestal-Sainvil, who found Lillie suffering from infection and malnutrition while on a mission to Haiti with Peace of Mind Outreach.
Baby Lillie was born without a fully developed rectum. The 21-month-old girl could only rid her body of solid waste through a surgically inserted tube placed into her stomach.
“When the baby was born, I was surprised,” said Ceverot Charles, the toddler’s father. “We had to go from one hospital to another.”
Upon returning to Florida, Florestal-Sainvil began raising funds while searching for an American hospital that would provide the life-saving surgery. These medical procedures are expensive and so far, most if not all of Lillie’s bills have been paid for by donations.
On June 27, well-wishers waited with bated breath in the waiting room at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach for doctors to do the five-hour surgery. Baby Lillie’s mom and dad were waiting with Sylvie. “The room was filled with a lot emotions, tears were rolling down my face,” Florestal-Sainvil said.
Seven hours later, they got the good news that the surgery was successful.
“I thanked god,” Florestal-Sainvil said after the surgery.
“I was very excited because even in Haiti they said she wouldn’t come out alive and she did,” Charles said.
Lillie and her parents who have little to no money are staying with members of non-profit organization.
The girl is expected to need more surgeries in the future. If you would like to donate food, clothing, and or money, contact Peace of Mind Outreach, visit pomoutreach.org or 561-762-5444