Here’s a heartwarming story for you… A Haitian mother was recently reunited with her eight-month-old baby who she believed died in January’s devastating earthquake.
While the Haitian earthquake claimed the lives of thousands of men, women and children, the disaster actually helped little Landina receive the medical attention she needed.
At the time of the earthquake, baby Landina was being treated at La Trinite hospital in Port Au Prince for burns she’d suffered to her skull during a December house fire caused by candles. For two days she was buried in rubble before being rescued and taken to a field hospital run by Doctors Without Borders. Her right arm had been badly injured in earthquake and had to be amputated, but David Nott, a British surgeon at the hospital discovered her injuries from the fire were even more potentially deadly and the skull damage she suffered left her brain exposed to risk of a fatal infection. The doctor helped set Landina up with a British charity specializing in craniofacial reconstructive surgery.
With her medical records destroyed in the earthquake the charity, Facing the World, had no knowledge of whether or not the baby had any living relatives, or even names to help them search. Facing the World brought the baby to London, paying for her travel and medical costs and acting as her temporary guardian.
In March, Channel 4 News’ Inigo Gilmore returned to Haiti to help the charity hunt for Landina’s family.
With the publicity surrounding the story, several people pretended to be family members, thinking they could benefit from the relationship.
Gilmore interviewed people at the first hospital Landina had been treated at and was told that her mother was possibly living in a slum area of Port-au-Prince called Bizoton. He put out a radio announcement and located Seignon, a 26-year-old mother of four.
Seignon had an admission card from the hospital bearing Landina’s name, Channel 4 News said.
“When the notice was put out on a radio, a friend raced to my house and said, ‘Please sit down.’ She said, ‘This may sounds like something from the movies but sometimes movies do come true. I need to tell you that Landina is alive.'”
Seignon added: “I didn’t believe at first, and even after the reporter came and showed me the pictures it was still hard to believe.”
After a DNA test proved that Seignon was Landina’s biological mother, the charity helped her travel to London to spend six weeks with the baby she hadn’t seen since before the quake.
Visiting Landina at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in the U.K. capital, the mother told Channel 4 News:
“I had thought Landina was dead and when I heard she was alive I was in shock,” the eight-month-old infant’s mother, Marie Miracle Seignon, told Britain’s Channel 4 News. “This is very emotional for me.”
“Seeing her now in reality is a shock to me because I last saw her as a little baby with two hands, now she has only one. Even though I had seen her in pictures I didn’t believe it. Now it’s real.”
This is great news!
Doctors Without Borders and Facing the World did a wonderful job caring for this baby and reuniting her with her mother. We really hope this little girl continues to get the medical care she needs.