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Final Day of the Hefei Cardiac Exchange

On their final day in Hefei, the doctors had a wonderful visit and discussion with the cardiac staff of Anhui Children’s Hospital (ACH). LWB has worked with ACH for over 13 years, and two of our cleft surgery exchanges were held here. Anhui Children’s Hospital cares for many of the babies from our Healing Home program, and we always know they will get excellent, compassionate care. Incredibly, this hospital sees over one million patients per year!

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Sunday Surgeries and Updates: The Hefei Cardiac Exchange

Sunday was another great day in Anhui at the first international pediatric heart exchange with Hefei Cardiac Hospital, Little Hearts Medical, and Love Without Boundaries. Our medical exchanges are true collaborations between the medical teams, and this trip allowed for many discussions on the latest advances in research and patient care. During rounds, the doctors checked carefully on each of the children who received surgery on Saturday.

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First Surgeries of the Cardiac Exchange

Yesterday was a very full day at Hefei Cardiac Hospital for our inaugural cardiac exchange.  The medical team began with morning rounds to check on the three children having surgery and to do more evaluations of the others who are waiting.

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Lincoln Prepares for Heart Surgery

Little Lincoln was born with Down Syndrome and an ASD heart defect (atrial septal defect). He entered our Anhui Healing Home last winter at five months old, and the nannies immediately fell for his quiet, gentle nature. He thrived in their care, and when he was a year old he graduated to foster care. In February, Lincoln became quite ill and was hospitalized with pneumonia. Doctors did repeat cardiac tests and let us know that Lincoln’s heart function was worsening. He would need to undergo open heart surgery to have a chance for a healthy life.

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Oliver and His Mother

The devotion of Oliver’s mother has been an inspiration these past few months. As you may remember, Oliver was born with Down Syndrome and a severe heart defect. After taking her son to several hospitals and asking if they could heal his heart, Oliver’s mother was repeatedly turned away. When she learned that LWB supporters had funded heart surgery for Oliver, she was so grateful that her precious boy had a chance for a healthy life.

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A Kiss From Oliver

Around Valentine’s Day, we shared with you the story of Oliver and his mama. Oliver was born with Down Syndrome and congenital heart disease in 2016. Although his family was thrilled with their new son, they were scared to see that his lips were often blue. Oliver suffered from breathing distress, frequent fevers and coughing. His mama knew something needed to be done to help her precious boy, and she took him to several hospitals desperately searching for help, only to be repeatedly turned away. Thanks to supporters of our Unity Initiative, we were able to promise Oliver’s mama that her son would get the best care possible at Children’s Hospital of Fudan University.

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A Visit to Qiandongnan Foster Care

‘Pack light’. As I ascended the steep steps in my heeled boots to our first foster family home in Qiandongnan, I was beginning to regret my footwear decision. The concrete steps were of uneven height, and no sooner did we get to the top of one flight then there was a corner and another flight of similar steps ascending ever upwards. It was with a sigh of relief that we walked along the front of a small apartment building and I was told that this was where the two families fostering Lewis, Chandler, Hanna and Clyde lived — in fact, all on the same floor. Knowing that we were almost there, the last flights of internal stairs in the building were a breeze. I just wanted to meet the children.

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World Down Syndrome Day 2018

Did you ever wonder why March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day?  March 21, or 3/21, signifies the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down Syndrome. Around the world, people are proudly wearing crazy socks and celebrating the joy that people with Down Syndrome bring to the world. Today we would like to shine the spotlight on ten children with Down Syndrome in our programs who are waiting to be chosen for adoption.  Here they are from oldest to youngest:

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A Visit to Tongren Foster Care

The visually stunning and culturally diverse province of Guizhou was the next destination for me and Cindy, our China director. Situated to the west of Hunan, it is mountainous; little wonder that bicycles are not the most popular mode of transport here. Travel from Loudi was through countless tunnels, and I drank in glimpses of terraced fields and forested mountain peaks, some with exposed rock and others without; and of villages nestled in valleys.

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A Visit to Loudi Foster Care

Having farewelled the children, families, and staff in Xinzhou, our Foster Care Director Cindy and I were soon speeding towards Loudi, central Hunan, on another fast train. With a short stop in the capital Changsha, I had four hours to enjoy the changing winter landscape and blue skies outside my window, the latter a rarity in most Chinese cities. Flat plains of fallow fields changed to mountains and tunnels as our train approached Changsha. As the city outskirts came into view, I recalled my much-loved book, Doctors East Doctors West, that sits on a bookshelf at home, and marveled at how much China has changed since its author Dr. Edward H. Hume opened the Yale-in-China Hospital in Changsha 101 years ago. I thought about the medical exchanges LWB has had over the years and the medical exchanges and sharing of knowledge that will happen in the future.

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