The Marvel in the Maternity Department

Merveilleux is a French word that translates into English as wonderful, marvelous, great, wondrous, lovely, miraculous. One baby girl, aptly named by her parents, Merveilleux, is Bongolo’s youngest surviving baby ever to be born at Bongolo Hospital. 

Baby Merveilleux, born January 10, 2020

On January 10th of this year, Doctors Izzi Elliott and Renee Valach worked together during an emergency pre-term birth of twins. The young Gabonese mother came into the maternity department after her water had broken at 26 weeks and 2 days gestation. Dr. Izzi immediately performed an emergency Cesarian Section and Dr. Renee, standing by, received and resuscitated both premature babies, a boy and girl. Tragically, the baby boy lived only 3 days before passing away. Statistically, the survival rates for baby girls is higher than that of baby boys.

Dr. Renee with the twins after delivery

Baby Merveilleux continues to survive and thrive making her the marvel of the maternity department. “I’m super impressed with how she is doing with her weight gain,” said Dr. Izzi, of the 27 day old. This miracle baby girl is already breaking records with her tiny might and fight for life! Dr. Izzi believes Merveilleux will likely stay at Bongolo for 3 months. The biggest concerns for babies that young are infections in general, risk for nectrotising in the intestines and infection around the tubes going into and out of the baby. “I’m very hopeful for her,” said Dr. Izzi, “Baby Merveilleux comes from a sweet family; I was in town the other day and the father of the baby saw me and insisted on helping me with the gas bottles I was buying during my grocery trip.” 

Baby Merveilleux and her mother

We hope to see the name Merveilleux written on the “Wall of Names” in Dr. Izzi’s office. Each baby that Dr. Izzi has delivered and checked out of the hospital has their name inscribed upon that wall. It is a great reminder of God’s Goodness and the many babies who are healthy when the sad days come and things go tragically wrong  like when Merveilleux’s twin baby brother died. God knows every name, even those not written on that wall. He is a Great God and continues to work at Bongolo Hospital.

Baby Merveilleux in the incubator in the premature room in the Maternity Department

Please pray for Merveilleux’s parents and extended family as they celebrate the wonder of their miracle baby girl while at the same time mourn the loss of their tiny baby boy. Pray for Merveilleux’s name to be added to the great “Wall of Names” in Dr. Izzi’s office! 

Dr. Izzi and her Wall of Names

Written by Alace Straw, Photography by Ulrich Ilema