Domingos Antonic was 8 months old when his parents brought him to the hospital in Malanje, Angola. Domingos weighed only 7 kilograms (15.5 lbs) when he came into the hospital. His fever was raging, foam was all over his lips, and he lay completely still in his mother’s arms. He was suffering from acute anemia and couldn’t breathe. He was infected with malaria. He had been sick for days. While his parents made the right choice to bring Domingos to the hospital, the medical staff did not have the necessary supplies to save him in his late stage of malaria. It was too late. At 3:50 p.m. on Sept. 25, 2006 five minutes after this photo was taken, 8-month-old Domingos Antonic died. His parents watched helplessly as their son died from a preventable and treatable disease. His veins were so small it was hard to give him the transfusion he desperately needed,” Quipungo said. “A pediatric surgeon would have been able to cut deeper and find a vein. It might have saved his life.” Asked what else would have saved his life, she answered softly, “Oxygen.” The hospital does not even have an oxygen tank. The heartbreak is even harder to deal with knowing that malaria is a disease that can be prevented and cured, she said.
Adapted from Interpreter Magazine, July/August 2009, p. 15-17