Five-year-old Yong entered orphanage care in Guizhou in 2011, one month before his fourth birthday. When he was found, he had a large facial tumor, and the staff at the orphanage wanted to get him the help he needed. They took Yong to hospitals in Guizhou, Yunnan, and even Shanghai – but they were told the mass was just too complex. Three months ago, his tumor began growing rapidly and started to impact his ability to swallow and chew. Knowing that there was a real possibility that the tumor could soon close off Yong’s airway, LWB was asked if there was any way he could get medical treatment overseas.
Many wonderful people offered to help contact hospitals and surgeons to see if anyone would be willing to take on his case. We arranged for an MRI to be done locally in his home province, and surgeons and radiologists in the US and London examined the images. When we were told that the tumor might be malignant, due to its growth, we sent Yong to Kunming to have a surgical biopsy done. We were so thankful when the results came back that the tumor was benign, but we knew that his life was still in jeopardy if the tumor continued to grow at its current pace.
Sadly most hospitals we had contacted in the US said the operation would be too major to accept as a charity case. Just this week, however, we received the wonderful news that Yong has been accepted for care at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles — if we could raise the funds for his surgery. The hospital would like to see Yong in Los Angeles on March 1st, so we are working now on the paperwork to get him a medical visa to the United States.
Yong’s surgery will be extremely complex. Many of his facial nerves have been stretched in major ways, and doctors will do everything possible to save his ability to show facial expressions. The blood supply which is now feeding the tumor will bring special challenges to the operation as well. Because of the magnitude of this first surgery, his medical costs will be high. When we first saw the estimated amount, we of course took a very deep breath, but how do you put any price on the life of an innocent child? And so we are moving forward in faith that the funds for this first major operation will be found.
Yong’s operation is estimated to cost $100,000, which will cover the doctor and surgeons’ fees and the American hospital bills. Of course this is so much more than the typical costs of the surgeries we do in China. To raise the funds for Yong’s medical expenses in the US, we have created a sponsorship page for him here. ANY amount you can give would be so deeply appreciated, whether it is $5 or $5,000. Yong will need an army of angels to come together to fund the medical care he so desperately needs, and we’ve all seen the miracles that occur when people give from their hearts.
We are extremely grateful to all of the officials in his province who realize that Yong first needs this urgent operation to protect his airway, and then secondly needs a loving family of his own to see him through any future medical care he will require. They are working quickly on his adoption paperwork and will be submitting it soon to the national government. Our sincere hope is that someone will see this precious five-year-old boy and just know he is meant to be their son. Everyone who has met him in China says he is such a sweet and polite little boy.
Thank you to everyone who has been praying for Yong as we came up with a medical treatment plan. Now let’s all come together for his surgery – and give him the chance he deserves for a better life.