Our director in Beijing took Yong and his foster dad back to the Bayi Hospital today. We were hopeful that the doctors would do a few more tests and then sign the approval for him to come to Los Angeles, but they now feel they can do the surgery in Beijing and are not in need of our assistance for him. We spoke with many officials about this news, and they are confident the surgery can be done at this hospital.
We know this will come as an enormous shock to you – as we are honestly still processing the news ourselves. Since we were first asked by Yong’s orphanage to help him, after multiple hospitals in China had said they could not do the surgery, we have been so grateful for the compassion shown from doctors and surgeons around the world offering their expertise on his case. When we brought his story to our supporters, we were moved to tears by the outpouring of concern and kindness shown to him – with all of the funds needed being raised within days to make sure he could get the medical care he deserved. The notes and letters we received for Yong were written with such love and filled with such honest wishes for his well being. The support and encouragement surrounding this little boy was truly palpable.
While I personally do not know about this particular military hospital, I do know that the Tomorrow Plan has some really wonderful hospitals which help orphaned children in China. I was told today that many charities use this hospital for their pediatric cases. I would be so grateful if you could continue to cover Yong with prayers and good thoughts as the doctors in Beijing do this very complicated surgery. They have told us that the surgery could impact his ability to chew and swallow, so we are praying for the best outcome possible.
We of course will refund all of the donations made to LWB for Yong, unless we hear that a supporter wants their donation to help another child having surgery on our sponsorship page. This is the first time that thousands of donations have been made for one child, and so I would ask that everyone please know it will take us some time to work through this process. Our volunteers will be writing every person who gave. While the majority of donations came from online, many came through the mail as well, so please know you will definitely be hearing from us individually, but it might take a few weeks to reach everyone.
I am of course quite stunned by this news, and I want to personally apologize to everyone who opened their hearts to this beautiful five year old. We have brought children to the U.S. for surgery several other times in the past, and we arranged everything in the same way we had previously. We were not aware of the new guidelines set by national on having a child be seen at a Tomorrow Plan hospital first. I know that Yong’s story has impacted so many of you, and has especially touched the hearts of children all over the world. We received donations from kids’ piggy banks, and many children gave funds to Yong rather than receive birthday gifts. I think it is so very important to encourage compassionate and giving hearts in children, and so it hurts to think that this news could perhaps be difficult for them to understand. Whenever we ask for support for the kids who come into our hands, we always do so with the very best of intentions. I send my deepest apologies to each and every one of you who will read this news today and most likely feel a myriad of emotions, from sadness to anger to confusion and concern. Please know you can contact me personally if there is anything I can do to answer your questions. I am just so sorry.
Yong has become very special and precious to so many of us. Let’s all cover the surgeons at Bayi Hospital with our thoughts and prayers as they prepare for this complex operation. Our director in Beijing went to the supermarket today to get Yong the things he will need while he is hospitalized, like slippers, milk, bathroom tissue, and a book he can read and draw in. He has been holding the panda bear she bought him at the zoo yesterday very tightly.
I will of course update everyone as we get news.
~Amy Eldridge, Chief Executive Officer
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