It is with the most joyous of hearts that we announce that the full amount needed for Yong’s surgery has been raised. Yong has waited years for the medical treatment he needs – and your caring and compassion for this beautiful boy have made his surgery a reality in just five short days.
We are saving all of the notes people have sent for Yong, with the hope we will someday be able to give them to the family who steps forward to adopt him. We want him to know just how many people think his life is really important. Kids like Lauren and Jacob from Kentucky who emptied their piggy banks to donate $15.62. Incredible kids like Natalie, who saw Yong’s photo and just knew she wanted to help him. She created a website encouraging people to skip eating out for one meal and instead donate to help Yong receive surgery. We’ve received donations from all over the world, including Granada, Singapore, Spain, the UK and more. We’ve read notes from children that asked for donations instead of birthday presents, college kids that are apologizing because they can’t donate more than $20, and parents donating in honor of their children. This is real love in action.
Many people have offered to contact surgeons and hospitals to see if the surgery could be done for less, and so I wanted to explain this a bit more. We had Yong’s MRI films reviewed by hospitals in China, the US, and the UK – and the one thing that every physician agreed on is that Yong’s surgery will be extremely complex. Obviously the tumor is massive, impacting his facial nerves, vascular system, and the bones in his face. His eye is also involved, and even his ear on that side has been impacted. The surgery team needs to be led by an expert in the field, and we are so grateful that Dr. Mark Urata from Children’s Hospital in LA has agreed to take the case. He is the head of the division of plastic surgery at CHLA, and we know that Yong will have an entire team of specialists creating the best surgery plan possible for him.
We are so grateful that so many people have come together to help Yong. All needed invitation letters from the hospital and LWB have already been Fed Exed to China, so the final permissions for him to come to the United States can be issued. Most government offices there are closed right now for Chinese New Year, but we are hopeful that his passport will be issued just as soon as they get back to work. Yong will then need to travel to the US consulate in Chengdu in order to get his medical visa, and then this beautiful little boy will hopefully be on his way to America.
As I mentioned in our first blog on Yong, when I first was told the amount needed I felt like I couldn’t breathe. But now I have learned yet again that the power of love is miraculous. THANK YOU – from all of us with LWB – for believing this little boy deserves a chance at a better life.
~Amy Eldridge, Chief Executive Officer