Given A Death Sentence: Nika was born in the most unfortunate of circumstances. Her mother was a prostitute and she was born with several life-threatening brain conditions. But one saintlike missionary, Sarah Conque, made it her life’s mission to rescue little Nika from her detached mother and mediocre medical care.
Initially, the doctors in Haiti, where Nika is from, diagnosed her with hydrocephalus. This is a rare condition in which excessive fluid builds in the brain, and it’s something Sarah says many Haitian babies suffer from. According to the doctors prognoses, 99% of babies with this condition die within the first year. Sarah didn’t stop fighting for Nika after the devastating news, she proceeded to go one step further for this precious girl.
Nika’s Guardian Angel: During her initial two-year missionary trip in Haiti, Sarah fell in love with Nika and tried her best to work with her mother to get her the best care. Despite having access to free weekly medical treatments, Nika’s biological mother failed to make any effort to take her ailing daughter to the appointments. Before she left to return to the United States, Sarah promised to come back for Nika and get her the help she needed!
Regaining Her Health: Just like she promised, Sarah returned to Haiti after completing her master’s degree program. She was committed to helping Nika build her health and manage her illness – but without having complete access as a guardian, there wasn’t much that Sarah could do without the compliance of Nika’s mother. She tried her best not to let Nika’s passive mother get in the way of her mission to improve her health.
Against All Odds: After further medical probing, demanded by Sarah, the doctors discovered that Nika also suffers from hydranencephaly. That means a large part of her brain is missing, and it’s filled with spinal fluid – it’s also an indication that Nika had a serious stroke in utero.
Sarah shared on the Little Warrior Nika blog what Nika’s mother told her may have caused the stroke. “I learned that the mother [possibly] tried to terminate the pregnancy by drinking different types of poisons. Furthermore, the mother told me that she had tried to sell Nika to the Dominican Republic for ‘research,’ but they wouldn’t take her. Sadly, as horrific as this absolutely is, this is not an uncommon story for many children with disabilities in Haiti.”
Sarah knew that Nika’s mother could never love the precious baby girl in real way if she treated her like this, and she needed someone to really look after her. Even though her mom barely kept up with the treatments, Nika was showing serious signs of improvement – but without steady treatment, the fluids could quickly return. It was all up to Nika’s mom to do the right thing.
New Beginnings: Unfortunately, Nika’s mother was becoming more and more inconsistent with her treatments and Sarah could tell that her health was slipping. The final straw occurred when Sarah and a local pastor went to find Nika and her mother, only to discover something absolutely horrific.
“I entered the house, only to discover Nika completely alone in the house lying on a rice sack and surrounded by trash, circled by dogs. She was eleven months old and weighed only six pounds. An estimated three to four pounds of that weight being fluid build up.”
She went to the Danita’s Rescue facility the following day and petitioned for Nika to be placed in their care. They approved her request and returned to the mother’s house.. Without hesitation, Nika’s mom handed over care of the child and, just like that, the battle for a stable home was over! She moved into the orphanage with Sarah that day. Then, after extensive paperwork, custody was handed over to Sarah!
Building Her Life In The United States: It took months of treatment to get Nika into a somewhat healthy condition. Every single day was a fight to keep Nika alive, but it was totally worth it for her proud new mom. Nika had surgeries to drain the fluid from her brain, implants to stop filling in the future and other complicated procedures. Then God blessed them one more time!
“Once again, God brought the right people to help and He made the way for Nika. In May 2015, she was granted a medical visa to enter the United States. On May 19, 2015 she arrived in America! On May 27, she had her second neurosurgery and had a VP shunt implanted. This surgery drastically improved her quality of life. Not only did her head circumference decrease by almost two inches, but she also lost two inches in height. She lost five pounds in fluid weight, too!”
Things were looking up for the happy mother and daughter – Nika was getting healthier every day, despite her rocky past and grim prognosis.
Happy Birthday, Nika! Nika even got to ring in her second birthday in her new home with her new mother, her boyfriend, Stephen, and all of Nika’s new friends and family members. She looks beautiful (and very excited about cake)!
She Is A Blessing: Each day with Nika is a blessing, and Sarah is thankful for the time she gets to spend with her amazing daughter! “With every breath she takes, she defies the odds and proves the impossible is truly possible with God.”
Nika really is a little miracle and her strength inspires everyone she meets!
New Traditions: The future looks bright for Nika – she has dedicated doctors and a mother who will stop at nothing to provide for her daughter. Now they get to relax a bit and enjoy the little things outside of Nika’s medical problems, like dressing up for Halloween!
Celebrating Easter: Nika’s health has improved every day and she even got to experience Easter for the first time with her new family! Sarah explained that their journey from here on out is all in the hands of God.
”We believe that God makes each and every one of us according to His plan, and we choose life, every time. We know that the textbooks have a lot to say about our bodies, but we rejoice in the knowledge that we aren’t just bodies, we all have a spirit and a soul, too. We choose to love no matter the prognosis and we believe that EVERY human life has incredible value.”
It’s easy to see that Nika’s life does have significant value!