Lele, the 6-Month-Old Baby Under Quarantine

Source: China Daily
Medical workers feed Lele at Wuhan Childrens Hospital. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
A 6-month-old baby infected with the novel coronavirus and quarantined alone in a hospital has found a few "temporary mothers".

The baby boy, nicknamed Lele, has been in hospital since Jan 31 while his family members his grandparents and mother, a medical staff member infected during her work are also receiving treatment in isolation. Lele's father is still abroad.

"The family is getting through a tough period, so we can take care of the baby to help them through the hard times," said Fang Yunrong, a chief physician of Wuhan Children's Hospital.

She called for help from other two head nurses, Chen Xiaoxi and Chen Jun, who got to know Lele's habits for example, what kind of milk powder he prefers from Lele's mother.

However, babysitting Lele has increased the workload of the already busy medical staff.

"The first night when Lele came, the whole inpatient area could hear his cries," Chen Xiaoxi recalled.

She said the baby was too young, so he can only cry to show his sickness and unfamiliarity with the new environment.

The medical staff had to work in three shifts to babysit Lele as his "temporary mothers". These "mothers" said Lele was unwilling to drink milk using a bottle at the beginning, so they tried their best to play with the baby in order for him to feel comfortable and drink more milk.

Chen Xiaoxi said the night when the baby first came to the hospital, she held him in her arms like a mother and tried to lull the child to sleep, but failed.

A medical worker holds Lele at Wuhan Childrens Hospital. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

"I really worried at the time. Then I found out Lele was crying because he doesn't like to lie in people's arms, but to be held upright instead."

She said she put the baby to bed when he gradually fell asleep around midnight, but got a call for help 20 minutes later from a nurse as Lele started to cry again.

"We had to coax him again," she said.

These "temporary mothers" even wrote babysitting instructions for Lele, for example, suckling and changing his diaper every three hours, to help other nurses better look after the baby.

Lele now has become acquainted with his "temporary mothers", and laughs when the medical staff puts him on their knees, moving him up and down.

The medical staff said Lele has a good appetite despite suffering from the novel coronavirus.

Chen Jun, another head nurse, said, "Many of our nurses are still single or haven't had their babies yet, but they are learning and have become good at babysitting Lele."

Fang Yunrong, the chief physician, said Lele has light symptoms but still requires close attention to identify any signs his condition may worsen.

According to the hospital, Lele has been transferred to the respiratory department and is being taken care of by Hu Xian - another nurse, whose baby is one day older than Lele.

"I thought of my own baby when I saw Lele. I will try my best to look after him," she said.