Faces of Long Island: Side Agustin

They had travel a days walked to reach our boat. Their dying little baby wrapped in a sling across the mothers chest. It was a miracle that he had made it this far. His name was Side Agustin. Three weeks prior he had nearly tasted death. They had already lost one son; the thought that the other might die was unbearable.

They had complete faith in God to answer their prayers.

He stayed in that state for six weeks. During those six weeks his parents prayed furiously for their baby’s life. They prayed that help would come and healing would be given to their son. After two weeks the baby’s health spiked. His slow, weak breaths became stronger. He was able to hold down milk, which nourished his body. Side stayed like this for a week. Miraculously, around the same time Side’s health started improving, the parents heard the news of a ship coming to the island that would be bringing medical help. I can imagine that the parents were not at all surprised. Based on the amount of faith that I had seen expressed by others on this island, I have no doubt that this family had complete faith in God to answer their prayers.

I asked to be polite, I knew they would wait forever if they had to.

I saw the little family sitting in the corner of the af deck on the boat. They seemed out of place in the midst of the cataract patients. I wandered over to them and tried asking if they needed help. The mother, not understanding much English, simply showed me her sons face. We had already had a family come with one sick baby, so I knew the drill. I ran to find the the ship manager but unfortunately he had left the ship to visit the medical clinics on land. The only qualified people we had on board were the ophthalmologist and his nurses. I got the family cups of water and asked them if they would not mind waiting a while for someone to come see their son. I asked to be polite, I knew they would wait forever if they had to.

I am not sure how long it took for the ship manager to return to the ship, all I know is that most of my cataract patients were finished and gone. When he stepped on the boat, I was the first face he saw.

But this is the funny and wonderful thing about God…

On the af deck, they set up a table with a towel over it and hung an IV over the beam of the boat. This was the baby boy’s operating room. Side had malaria, and all the gruesome symptoms to go with it.  A sick baby, on a remote island, with no medical care, for six weeks… it was a miracle he was still alive. But that is the funny and wonderful thing about God. He does not look at the logistics, He does not consider the possible and impossible. He hears our cries for help and answers them, no matter what the circumstances are. God saved a baby boys life that day, and we were lucky enough to be a part of it.

Photo By: Luisa Becker

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