On Christmas Eve, a tiny preemie baby was found in rural Anhui. Baby Stephen, as he came to be called, weighed a little more than two pounds and needed immediate intervention to remain alive.
Thankfully, his orphanage called us right away, and he was moved to the top children’s hospital in his home province where he began a fight for his life.
Baby Stephen quickly developed a serious lung infection. In order to help him breathe, he was placed on a ventilator. Doctors began a series of antibiotics, but tiny Stephen just couldn’t get better. Subsequent testing showed he was born with several heart defects, including a PDA and VSD.
Many premature infants are born with small PDAs (a hole between the pulmonary artery and aorta), which often close on their own. Stephen unfortunately has a large PDA, which has not closed with medicine. This has caused him to have low oxygen levels and difficulty breathing, and doctors at his hospital tell us he needs surgery to pull through. They are not equipped, however, to operate on such a tiny little warrior.
We reached out to our friends at Little Flower, and they immediately helped set up a consultation with Bayi Children’s Hospital in Beijing (one of the top pediatric heart hospitals in all of China). The doctors at Bayi spoke to the doctors in Anhui, and it was decided that little Stephen needs to make the journey up to Beijing in order to have heart surgery. On Saturday morning, a doctor and nurse from Bayi will be traveling to Anhui with the necessary medical equipment to take Stephen to Beijing by bullet train.
We would certainly appreciate every good thought and prayer sent Baby Stephen’s way. This will be the most critical journey of his life so far, but it is his only chance at life.
We are so grateful to everyone who has donated to support his medical care in the NICU so far. He has definitely shown us all how very strong his spirit is to survive, so let’s be cheering him on as he makes his way to Beijing. You’ve got this, Stephen!