She was born a normal healthy child, she could see, move and cry when she’s hungry. However, at nearly 2 months old, her mother noticed her daughter’s head growing slightly bigger. She was taken to hospital and was referred to a specialist who confirmed that baby suffered from congenital hydrocephalus (an excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain).
The doctors observed that Baby Penina’s condition could not be operated on locally. As such, the parents immediately applied for overseas medical treatment since 2014. Further observations confirmed that children with this condition will be lucky if they make it through their first birthdays. The odds were against our brave hearted child.
As her head continues to grow, taking care of her became a challenge to the underprivileged family from Savaii. “This was the beginning of Baby Penina’s journey with the angels,” according to Moega Utuva, Penina’s mother.
Baby Penina was the youngest of 11 children. The parents rely on their plantation for a living. As such, they needed help, and in 2014, the parents sought SVSG’s welfare assistance for Baby Penina which continues to date.
Her birthdays were extra special as it marked another year of God’s grace on our dear child. One year turned to two, three, four and now going on to her fifth birthday in October. Our angel’s journey is all in God’s hands.
To-date, Baby Penina is the only survivor of congenital hydrocephalus out of the many others who were under SVSG’s welfare support, and have since passed on. With the support from the Little Angels Foundation of New Zealand (LAF) since 2016, SVSG has been in a better position to provide for Baby Penina’s daily needs.
Thank you to the Director of the LAF, Taa Lo Tam and the Foundation, for making a difference in the life of this little angel.
When SVSG visited Baby Penina before Father’s Day, the strains of her illness were visible. Her head is much heavier and has grown bigger. According to her mother, Baby Penina now rubs her head and moans every time she goes to sleep, the only signs to know that she is suffering.
Otherwise, she can still eat, laugh and dance, as if she was telling her parents and siblings that all is well. Thank you so much Baby Penina for reminding us all about endurance and valuing the gift of life. Thank you also to the Little Angels Foundation for the donation of $400 presented to baby’s mother during the visit to help out with Baby Penina’s daily needs.
President of SVSG Samoa