In July, our blog called “Out of Despair, a Chance for Hope” featured a boy named Ye Yu from the countryside of Anhui. Ye Yu’s soulful expression and story of his parents seeking to fund their son’s heart surgery against all odds resonated with our supporters, and the response was phenomenal. In just seven days, his surgery was completely funded! Read more.
Tag Archives: Unity Fund
Fourteen-year-old Chun Xia lives with his mother in an extremely poor area of China. When his father passed away two years ago from heart failure, Chun Xia took it quite hard and suffered from headaches, loss of appetite and fatigue. At first, his mother didn’t worry too much. When his complaints became more serious every day, his mother took him to a big hospital in the city of Xian as their area has a serious lack of medical resources. The hospital discovered that like his father, Chun Xia also suffers from congenital VSD in addition to pulmonary hypertension (PH). Congential VSD is not considered a particularly serious heart disease, but surgery can be quite risky when combined with PH. Chun Xia and his mother were quite shocked and upset by this news as they did not have any idea that he suffered from the same heart problems that caused his father’s death.
With hopeful hearts, Chun Xia and his mother traveled to Shanghai in search of medical help. Read more.
LWB’s Unity Fund began several years ago to provide critical medical care to children living in extreme poverty. Usually in this program, the government provides a portion of the surgery funds, the parents provide a portion, and then LWB provides the remaining funds needed for a child to receive surgery. We have said before that the families who contact us for this program are always desperate, and many times when our team members in China hear their stories, their hearts are burdened. Today we want to introduce you to a little boy named Ye Yu, whose father wrote us a letter this past weekend begging for help for his son.
Did you ever wonder just how LWB got started on its mission of helping orphaned and impoverished children in China? If so, we think you’ll enjoy reading about how our programs began small and grew to help more children than our founders ever imagined! Amy Eldridge, LWB’s Executive Director, writes about LWB’s Medical program — the one that began it all. Read more.
The cleft exchange medical team has arrived safely to Kaifeng in anticipation of the surgeries beginning early Monday morning. In addition, 26 babies arrived on Sunday from orphanages throughout China, and our team helped them get settled into the hospital. We wonder if you can identify the province this group was from by their baby carriers?
We have four wonderful physicians on this trip from Minnesota – Dr. John Ness, Dr. Chris Tolan, Dr. Neil Derechin, and Dr. Kathy Clinch. They spent Sunday doing pre-op physicals on the children and making sure each child was in good health for their life changing operations. Read more.
When LWB first started our Unity Medical Fund, it was with the hope that we could actually prevent children from becoming orphaned. Through our medical work in China, we had learned that many parents abandon their children born with medical needs when they are unable to pay for the surgeries their children need. Our LWB managers had been approached multiple times by pleading rural parents who didn’t have the funds to get their child admitted to the hospital for care. They would frantically say, “we will give you our child if you will just save her life.” There is only one word to describe what I saw in too many rural parents’ eyes when they could not afford to help their child: desperation.
It’s that time of year again—time for LWB’s Mini Christmas Auction to help provide medical care for orphaned and impoverished children in China. Recently we have been inundated with requests for help from impoverished families whose children are in desperate need of life-saving heart surgeries. One story in particular really illustrates how much our Unity Fund can mean to a family trying to stay together during very difficult times.
In 2005 one of the LWB directors was traveling to our cleft exchange in Henan Province. On the train he saw a young couple holding a baby boy with cleft lip, and the mother was quite distraught. After watching them for a while, he introduced himself and asked where they were going. It was then that the mom broke down and told him that they were from a province far out west. They did not have the funds to pay for the surgery to repair their baby’s cleft lip, and so their extended family had told them that they must abandon the child so as not to bring shame to the family. They were so ashamed by what they felt they had to do that they were traveling all the way across China to abandon him. When our director called to let us know what was happening on the train, we decided to encourage the couple bring him to the cleft exchange site so that our medical team could repair their baby’s lip. Instead of returning home to their home province in despair, they joyfully returned home with a baby who had been healed. For many years we have remained in touch with them, and the family is doing beautifully. It was experiences like this chance encounter that made us realize that perhaps we could help rural families stay together, instead of having to make the terrible and tragic decision to abandon their child in the hopes that their children would then receive medical care.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” – Plato
Last week the medical program was notified about a family in desperate need of help from our Unity Fund. A husband and his pregnant wife went to a new city to look for work. The wife was orphaned at the age of eight and suffered heart disease. Because they were so poor, the wife insisted she keep working despite her pregnancy and poor health. Several weeks ago, their baby arrived prematurely and, sadly, the mother died during childbirth. This very poor young man now had to pay for a funeral for his wife and also the mounting medical bills to save the life of his child.
Last November, a very sick newborn baby boy was found at an Anhui orphanage (“A Baby Alone”). He was born with anal atresia and required immediate surgery to survive. The orphanage called us, and thanks to our generous donors, LWB was able to provide him with this surgery. We gave him the name of Corey, which means “God’s peace.”
During his initial surgery, his birthmother was found and came forward (you can read more about her difficult circumstances on the blog, “An Update on Baby Corey.”) It was with great joy that mother and baby were reunited.