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January 22, 2010

A baby for the USNS Comfort

usns comfort preemie

In a day filled with still more moans and cries, broken bones and infected wounds from earthquake victims, the USNS Comfort got a surprise Thursday: a 4-pound, 5-ounce preemie named Esther. Her arrival - seven weeks early - in the Comfort's operating room marked a milestone of sorts. It's believed to be the first onboard delivery since the ship was converted to a floating hospital 22 years ago.

The expectant mother arrived on the ship Wednesday with a fractured pelvis. She said a building fell on her during the earthquake, and she had received virtually no medical care since.

"It's amazing that baby survived," said Lt. Cmdr. Susan C. Farrar, an OB/GYN physician from Portsmouth, Va., who delivered the child by Caesarean section. "She's been in a bed somewhere, with those injuries, since last Tuesday."

Here's my complete story about Esther and the day's events.

Posted by Robert Little at 9:10 AM | | Comments (1)


The mother's name is Collette and the wonderful people of Heartline Ministries, including Troy and Tara Livesay, have been taking care of her and her then-unborn daughter, since the earthquake. You can read about their plight and her story, here:

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About the reporters
Reporter Robert Little, a native Baltimorean, has worked at The Baltimore Sun for 11 years. A former national correspondent, he has reported on military medical issues, and was the recipient of a George Polk Award for a series of articles about an experimental drug used on U.S. service members in Iraq. He also reported from Louisiana in 2005 on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Photographer Kim Hairston, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, has worked at The Baltimore Sun for 21 years. She studied photojournalism at Ohio University as a master degree candidate. While on assignment for The Sun, she has covered a number of assignments including Catholic Relief Service outreach in Ecuador; AIDS and squalor in Soweto, South Africa and hurricane relief in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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