Sierra is almost three years old, and has spent the last three and a half months in the hospital. In the early summer months, Sierra arrived at an Anhui orphanage and was discovered to have an abscess on her back. LWB admitted her for diagnostic tests, and soon the doctors concluded she had spinal tuberculosis.
Over the last three months, Sierra has received surgeries to clean out the infection in her spine and hip as well as IV medications to treat her tuberculosis. As our hospital managers have visited her and gotten to know her, they continue to comment on what a sweet and smart little girl she is. Sierra loves books and is already learning to read, so we had the manager purchase some new books for her to enjoy and help pass the time.
Our hospital manager spent time visiting with her about the stories and said she was so thrilled: “Today I took some children’s books for Sierra. She was very excited to see the books. I spent some time with her reading one of the books. I showed the pictures to her and told her the story of ‘plucking the turnips.’ She was fascinated by the story.”
Unfortunately Sierra has experienced some difficult side effects from the medication as well as countless tests and needle sticks to start her IV. But her appetite is returning, and she continues to be a joy to all who have come to know her. The other parents and children on the ward have experienced her sweet spirit and willingly share their toys with her. One little boy left his colorful balloon for her to play with, and another child in the ward gave her his toy bus to play with.
Our hospital manager shared these observations with us: “Today when I arrived at the hospital, Sierra’s caring foster granny was teaching her to count numbers. She is very smart. She has already learned to count from one to ten. Sierra is gentle and sweet, and maybe because of her orphan status, other patients in the same room all love her very much.”
Sierra is not yet healthy enough to discharge. We just learned today that she will need another surgery to clean out more infection in her back, and we would so appreciate all healing thoughts and prayers for this precious little girl as she fights to rid her body of this illness. As we surround little Sierra with our healing thoughts and prayers, may the world become a little smaller as we share the hope for a long and healthy life for Sierra with a family of her own who adores her.
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