In mid August, a tiny baby girl was found abandoned with an extremely bloated stomach. She was taken to an orphanage in rural Anhui, and the staff there called LWB immediately. We moved her urgently to Anhui Children’s Hospital for testing, and doctors diagnosed her with severe malnutrition and blood poisoning. They estimated her to be approximately 5 months old even though she weighed just 2 kg. Little Jillian, as she was named by our volunteers, had a long road ahead of her to survive. She was immediately given blood transfusions because of her extreme anemia.
Many tests were run on Jillian, including radiography, an MRI, and extensive blood work. We thankfully learned that she did not have any abdominal obstructions. Doctors told us that she had such serious food allergies that she was unable to tolerate either regular formula or soy without causing damage to her intestines. We were all so sad thinking about her birthparents trying for months to feed her while having to watch their daughter get weaker and more sick when she was unable to tolerate regulate nutrition. Our hospital manager was able to purchase a synthetic formula called Neocate, which is a hypoallergenic formula used for babies with extreme allergies. Her nanny told us that the change in Jillian was almost immediate. She began drinking 40 ml of formula every 3 hours, and very quickly her nanny told us how bright and intelligent Jillian was. She just needed food she could process!
Jillian finished her treatment of IV antibiotics for her blood poisoning and continued to thrive with her new formula. Look at this change in just a few weeks of being hospitalized! Little Jillian had gained almost an entire kilogram.
After a month of being hospitalized, baby Jillian arrived by overnight train to our healing home in Henan. The nannies there quickly got her settled in, and Jillian’s TLC truly began. She is now able to eat 100 ml of formula at a time, and she lets her caregivers know she is hungry again every two hours! She has some catching up to do, doesn’t she? Jillian is also a night owl, preferring to be held and talk to her nanny during the night when all the other babies are asleep.
Doctors feel that Jillian needs to be on Neocate for at least six months. A case of this highly specialized formula costs an amazing (deep breath) $1000! If you want to be part of Jillian’s journey to full health, you can donate to our Preemie and Special Formula Fund or become a monthly sponsor of her care at the Starbridge Healing Home.
Jillian – you are a survivor! We absolutely love watching you grow.