A 43-year-old mother of four is seeking help for her two-year-old daughter, Lupe Faaeteete.
Ne’etia Fa’aeteete, of Tapatapaō, was selling vegetables in front of her home yesterday when the Village Voice team met her.
“There is a reason I have to do this apart from trying to raise money for my family,” she said.
“I have a daughter who was born prematurely who doesn’t take any other milk except for the Golden Farley brand that was recommended by the doctors,” she said.
“If I don’t sell all of these, I won’t be able to feed my daughter and if she takes any other milk other than the one recommended by the doctors, she gets sick.”
It breaks her heart when she is not able to sell any vegetables because it would mean baby Lupe having sleepless nights.
Mrs. Faaeteete’s compassion towards her daughter speaks volumes because she has come out of her comfort zone to seek help from the community.
“I know asking a person for help to supply milk for your child isjust embarrassing, but as a mother, if worse comes to worse, you will climb the mountains and go through valleys just to find some help.
“As much as I am very much ashamed of doing this, I need help.”
Mrs. Faaeteete said baby Lupe was born when she was seven months, hence her critical situation.
“When Lupe was born, we were told by the doctors that she needs to be well looked after,” she said.
“We were told that she is premature and that she also has seizures.
“I don’t regret having her, but what I do regret is the fact that my husband and I can barely take care of her.”
Her daughter’s situation is the reason she and her husband cannot work.
“We are a poor family my husband and I don’t work because of our daughter’s situation.
“I can’t leave the house because I have to take care for my daughter everyday and every night and my husband can’t go to work because I need him around for our chores and our plantation.
“Especially when baby Lupe gets sick, I can’t handle it by myself, so we both can’t work and all we rely on are our vegetables.”
But even with their vegetables, it still cannot cater for the expensive cost of milk that baby Lupe consumes.
“Every day is a struggle for my husband and I, especially in caring for our baby girl.”
So what happens when baby Lupe’s milk runs out?
“Well, we have no choice but to get her Anchor or Devondale milk, but it makes her even more sick,” Mrs. Faaeteete said.
“She gets diarrhea and she won’t stop crying because it doesn’t fill her up.
“We also try to give her papaya we would boil the papaya and then we give her juice, but it still won’t help because she would vomit and have stomach pain.
“As a mother, I would cry because I don’t know where else to go and who to turn to for help.”
Mrs. Faaeteete added they had to turn to the Samoa Victim Support Group for help numerous times.
“I went to them for help and I asked them if there was any chance that they can supply milk for my daughter and I have told them about our situation and the reason my husband and I can’t work,” she said.
“They told me that they will help me and that they will start supplying my daughter’s milk before the end of 2017, however it’s 2018 and I haven’t heard from them since.”
Having no water is an added burden for the family, especially when it is essential for baby Lupe’s situation.
“We really need to have access to water,” she said.
“You see when my daughter gets a seizure; water helps to calm her down.
“When her seizure strikes, we would put her inside a bucket of water and massage her and that’s when she’s calm.
“As you can see, we don’t have a water tank and we use buckets to store water.
“This is why we need water, so there is so much that we need, but our priority is our daughter.”
With a thankful heart, Mrs. Faaeteete says baby Lupe is a blessing from God.
If you want to help the Faaeteete family, especially baby Lupe, please contact them on cell phone number 7248074.