Wednesday, July 25, 2012
New Life in the Shelter.
Sunday afternoon I went on my weekly trip to the Homeless Shelter. Upon arrival Mary was on her way out to the hospital to go and give birth to her 5th baby. The hospital is just up the road and she wanted to walk in order to speed up the process, so I stayed at the Shelter and told her to call me and let me know how it goes. I wanted to go with her but she had her husband and only one person is able to go in with her so I let him go with her. At this point her contractions were 13 minutes apart.
About 30 minutes later Mary returned to the Shelter saying that her husband didnt take her to the hospital but made her stand begging at the traffic lights to get rent money. She had R100, paid her R60 rent and had the R40 change in her hand, as she is there going through a contraction her waters broke right there on the stairs. I told her go get her bag from your room and I will go get the car I will take her to hospital myself. I get the car and pull it up infront of the shelter. I dont see Mary anywhere so I run upstairs to find her.
What I found was Ronelle and Chantelle pinning Mary's husband to the wall and Mary on the floor, water everywhere screaming "IT'S COMING". I have no clue what is going on all I know is I am not going to let this baby be born in a crack den. I grab Mary up off the floor and with the help of one of the guys we manage to get her to the car. Ronelle comes running behind with Mary's bag. When in the car the story unravels........ Marys husband is a cocaine addict, he had pounced on Mary to get the R40 off her so that he can go get rocks. She wouldn't let go of the money so he BIT her!!!! Yep you heard me right....... in the middle of her contractions and water breaking every where he bit his wife's hand to make her give up the cash!!!
Drug addiction is an ugly evil creature that makes its host do the most insane things.
We get to the hospital and have to make our way to the 8th floor. Mary can hardly stand and is screaming "the baby is coming" at the top of her lungs. When we finally make it into the labor ward the Sisters there totally ignore Mary for the first 10 mins, she is screaming and wanting to push, they are telling her to stop making so much noise and don't push cause they have to do her paper work!!! As I'm typing this its making me laugh. At the time I was NOT laughing, in fact I got so angry that I fully kicked off.
You see the problem is here in South Africa Class discrimination is rife. The second the Sisters found out that Mary was homeless they started to treat her like trash. Ronelle is fluent in Zulu and I have enough Zulu to understand the gist of a conversation, the head Sister shouted down the passage to the office, "this one is from the shelter, no rush she can just wait." She then turned to Mary and started to treat her like an animal. Rough handling her and shouting at her, barking orders. It was horrific. I couldn't just sit there and so I kinda got in her face and had a bit of a go.
Mary is a good woman, she loves her family and does what it takes to care for them and these women were hounding her and barking at her like a pack of wild dogs.
After I stepped in things changed. They rushed her to a birthing room and 8 minutes later baby Maria came into the world.
Mary was kept in hospital due to her BP and sugar levels being all over the place. She was discharged yesterday and when she arrived back to her room in the shelter she discovered that her husband had taken all of the baby's things and sold them! I am so sad for Mary, I had bought her some lovely new clothes and a big pack of Pampers for Maria and he had sold them for rocks. Some friends had donated some clothes and they have gone too. She now has nothing for her new born baby other than the 2 outfits that she had taken to the hospital with her. She deserves better than this. I am so angry and so heart broken for her and baby Maria.
If you feel that you would like to help Mary and Maria please let me know or got to my PayPal button at the top of this page and donate. EVERY penny helps.
Love you. xx