Wednesday, June 14, 2006


This woman and her family came to the clinic at the IDP site the day before I took this picture. The medic I was with saw them that day, this baby boy was having a hard time breathing and it was the first time I had ever seen a human look as if they would die. We came back this day and indeed the baby had died. The mother craddled the baby as if he was still alive. It just emptied you out to witness. I couldn't say anything, I left money when we left. If she had made it to the clinic sooner... if they hadn't been on the run... mothers losing children to preventable diseases is one problem we can try and help.


FCB said...

That's a hard picture to look at.
I wonder how long I would hold my child before I could accept their death, and put them down, forever.
God spare us, spare them.

matblue said...

It was a hard picture to post. I didn't feel good about taking it, but the Karen want the world to know what is happening. They are aware of their situation and they want change.

Gregg said...

Thank you for ending the description that accompanies this photo with a positive sentiment. We can and must do what we can to help.

Feraya said...

I am a mother and it breaks my heart to see this mother with her baby. The immense grief that she must be experiencing is impossible to imagine. Thank you, Mat, for telling us how it really is.

I have put your wonderful blog on my website - Please visit if you have a minute.

matblue said...

I have two kids as well, I can't imagine losing them either. This picture doesn't hardly tell the grief that she was going through. We had left her the night before and her child was having a really hard time to breathe. We heard in the morning that he died. We went to see her and as we approached the makeshift clinic we could hear her wailing. There was a music player on really loud, I assume to comfort her, but it made more misery somehow. She was holding the baby as if he was still alive and rocking back and forth just wailing. I could hardly look at her. I felt awful about having a camera and wanting to turn it on. Thankfully the medic I was with Dhey Htoo knew more what to do and she talked with her and comforted her. I could see tears in Dhey Htoo's eyes and it made me realize no-one escapes the pain of this kind of thing even medics. There was also another woman with us from the Free Burma Rangers, she also comforted the woman and asked what she needed. The lady responded that she wanted some new clothes to bury her child in. The bamboo hut was filled with other people who were injured or sick as well and you could feel everyone hurt for her. There were four men on the other side of here who were missing feet from landmines and one teenager had three bullet holes in him. I'm sure they all would have taken that childs place for the woman. We sat with her for about 15 minutes. I shot video, didn't say a word. A camera helps you hide for the reality of the situation and I was. We all left her money when we left. I felt miserable about it. But what else is there? Not much good from seeing a mother hold her dead child. I hope she got to buy new clothes for him and had a proper burial. I saw some video of the boy that was taken by the Free Burma Rangers a few weeks before, they were in a hiding spot from the Burma Army. The boy was in a hammock swingin back and forth in the distance. I hope he's doing the same now. I will post a still from that clip. I used that clip of the boy on the contact menu screen of the Partners Relief and Development film we recently did as a homage to him.
Dear Feraya, Thanks for writing and reminding me what's important.

Anonymous said...

These pictures are very touching, as a father, I place myself in their position and weep bitterly. I do however have help, which the Lord has shown me. I desire to go to Burma and Bring relief and strength to these people. I would like to be in contact with a Bible School, there or in Thailand. I can be a great help. Do you know how I may contact someone? Harvey