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Evelyn’s Basket of Love and Life

Jane Bartel and Susan Moretz of North Carolina surprised HA when they came to visit and delivered Evelyn’s Baskets of Love and Life. Jane’s baby granddaughter Evelyn was born with a cleft palette. The team that worked to correct baby Evelyn’s mouth included a Guatemalan surgeon Dr. Figueroa. In the course of recovery, Dr. Figueroa told Jane that sadly many Guatemalan babies born with cleft palates die of starvation, because of their inability to nurse. As baby Evelyn grew, Jane thought about the families with little to offer their new babies.

Jane decided to make a difference in their lives and offer hope to the families. She works with Felix Santizo, of San Lucas Tolimán, and has helped Guatemalan families and their babies with their operations and recovery. Evelyn’s Baskets contain a breast pump, two specially designed bottles with nipples that are meant for newborns with cleft palettes, two less expensive bottles that will adapt to the special nipples, two tea towels and detergent, so that the bottles are kept clean. There is also a book of photos of newborn babies before their surgery, and later when they are recovered. The Baskets are meant to give HOPE to the families. The photos were amazing.

When Dra. Suzana told the women of a baby born at HA in late December who had not gained weight so that he could have his first surgery, Jane wanted to meet the family and deliver the Basket herself. Social workers, Chonita and Chenta, and Kathy Roach accompanied the women to visit the family in Panabaj. Because the baby could never nurse, the mother can no longer breastfeed, so Jane purchased formula for three months.

Jane also left an Evelyn’s Basket at Hospitalito Atitlán with the instructions to call Felix in San Lucas when a baby with cleft palette is born. Felix will come to talk with the family and help them through the first difficult days of using the new baby bottles.

Thank all of you for you inspiring work which makes a huge difference in the lives of so many familes!