Nito touching lives in RMI

Nito Butterfly Foundation members with Majuro hospital staff during last Friday’s donation of medical supplies and equipment to the hospital. Photo: Eve Burns.

“When you’re a nurse, you know that everyday you will touch a life, or a life will touch yours.”

The above axiom (by an anonymous author online) portrays the rare bond created between a dying child and a nurse at Majuro hospital in February 6, 2016.

American nurse Deborah Yoder was among the medical staff with Ceihera “Nito” Kedi when the three-year old took her last breath. “It was just four years ago that Nito’s beautiful eyes looked into mine as she lay in that hospital bed, her sweet voice begging me for help and for water in Marshallese,” Yoder later wrote in a letter introducing the California-based NGO Nito’s Wings she established to work alongside Nito’s Butterfly Foundation (NBF) in Majuro.

NBF was established in 2017 on the anniversary of Nito’s passing with the purpose of providing medical and financial support to babies in critical condition and their families in the Marshall Islands.

To date, NBF has made numbers of donations to the hospital, to include much needed life-saving equipment for the pediatric clinic and most recently the dental department.
The combined forces of NFB and Nito’s Wings will see the establishment of a new pediatric intensive care unit, a separate ICU just for babies, NBF President Lily Jurelang told the Journal.

“Last week we opened a 40ft container filled with life saving equipment that hospital Chief of Staff Dr. Robert Maddison said were essential given this difficult time,” Lily said.

“Pending the Covid-19 travel ban, a medical team will be on island in April to provide training for the pediatric ICU, courtesy of Nito’s Wings,” Lily added. “The space is there. We are grateful the Ministry of Health and Human Services is opening its arms and assisting us to create the PICU. We are also grateful for our local partners, especially Majuro Atoll Local Government for their support in transporting our equipments.”

Before returning to the US in February 2016, Deborah Yoder began the process of creating an NGO to help the deBrum and Kedi family following the passing of three-year old Ceihera Nito Kedi.

Fast-forward to January of this year, the now flight nurse managed to gather volunteers from the Adventist Health Feather River and Marshallese communities from the greater Sacramento and Bay areas to load a 40ft container that was received by Nito’s Butterfly Foundation and the Ministry of Health and Human Services last Friday.

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