Waiting to enroll in the health care plan…

The roosters crowed.  It was time to wake-up.

As Norman Rockwellian as this sounds, it’s true – one does literally hear crowing roosters when the sun rises in Ghana.  I felt like I needed to put on my milking dress and get out to the cows to relieve their bulging udders.

I loved it.  And I’m not a morning person.

On our agenda for the day was to enroll the current residents in the home in a health care plan so their babies and themselves would be taken care of should a medical need arise.

Two weeks before we arrived, Comfort’s daughter gave birth to a healthy and precious baby boy.

Unfortunately, her labor experience wasn’t so great.

Doctors found a fibroid the size of a grapefruit near her ovary and they were too worried to deliver the baby and remove the fibroid at the hospital in which her medical insurance was valid.  She was referred to a private hospital.

A private hospital sounds nice, of course, until I tell you that when she arrived, she was placed in a room with roughly 40 other laboring women and no available beds.

I’ve done the labor thing three times now.  I can’t imagine.

Unable to watch her child be in such pain, Comfort paid someone in the hospital to get her daughter a bed.  As a cultural educational point, you should know that bribes are common in Ghana.  For example, it is completely normal to slip a police office 20 cedi’s to get out of a speeding ticket.

It was determined that she needed a C-section.  There was no way the baby could be delivered safely with such a large fibroid blocking his path.

She waited for a week for that C-section, all the while laboring and experiencing a pain I can’t even begin to fathom.

Each Fern House resident was enrolled in a health care program for what equates to roughly $34 dollars each year.

This might sound like a pretty good deal until you realize that this coverage is really quite limited.

For example, when you go to the hospital to have a baby in Ghana, you are required to bring your own bed linens, towels, food, pads, blankets, and diapers for the baby.  The hospital provides literally nothing.

When this unheard-of-in-the-U.S. fact was shared with me, I realized what a princess I had been to complain about the mere possibility of having a roommate in my recovery room after I had given birth to Spencer.

For crying out loud, Natalie.

One of the residents of the home had her baby girl alone in an abandoned building.  She was discovered by a woman walking along the street who heard her cries for help.

Somehow the baby girl was delivered and the cord was cut and both mother and daughter lived for a few days on their own until Dana, who happened to be in Ghana at the time, and Comfort searched for them and they were found.

So there is, of course, a need to provide health care coverage for the residents so they won’t be trying to have their babies alone in an abandoned building.

She now lives at the Fern House and is being encouraged to parent her child and learn a trade because as of right now, she will be raising Baby Dana alone.

And yes, Baby Dana was named after Dana, the founder of “The Fern House”.

In Ghana, young women are oftentimes turned away by their families should they become pregnant out of wedlock and a father can deny he is the father simply by saying he isn’t.

Yes.  That’s all he has to do.

And the need for “The Fern House” is validated.

The Two Dana’s…

To be continued….

To donate to The Fern House, please click here. Scroll down to “Pregnancy Resource Center” and select your option.  Please note that your gift is tax-deductible!

To read the rest of this series, please begin with the posts included in the “Ghana” page at the top right.


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