LWB Community Blog

Gong Lu is Discharged!

Yesterday morning, there was no oversleeping. After the morning before, I woke up at 4 am J. Ms. Xu had asked me to be at the hospital at 7 am. Gong Lu, after sleeping much of the surgery day, had woke up at 1am and 4 am and was “chatty”. I was happy to see she was feeling better.

She had master ed the smiley face pain chart, but was really feeling good. I was amazed at how little pain she was in. In order for her to be discharged, we had to push to fluids. She ate a nice breakfast and was such a good girl. Her face was quite puffy and she had one eye swollen shut when she awoke. After a while of being awake and sitting more upright, the swelling started to go down and she was able to open her eye. All of this was totally normal for the type of surgery she had just been through. She was discharged late morning with an Ark ansas Children’s Hospital t-shirt and a wagon ride to the front door.

Before we left the hospital, I was able to run upstairs and visit with the doctors and medical staff. After spending a week with all of these people in China in September, they seem like old friends. It was so much fun spending time with them again – they are all so kind and caring. I will miss them all!!

What can I say, she is truly beautiful. She was adorable with her old nose. In fact I didn’t even notice her old nose; you see beyond that immediately after spending time with her. I look at the old pictures and even with the swelling there is a remarkable difference in this little girl. But the bigger question is what does she think? If the amount of time that she has spent looking in the mirror is any indication – she is mesmerized by her appearance. We all keep telling her she has a beautiful nose and she keeps staring and staring at herself.

I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon and evening playing and holding her at the foster family’s house. She just wanted to sit and be held. The active, bubbly little girl was gone today – understandably. I loved being able to cuddle with her. She was so cute as we were looking at books, we came across one of the toddler books with a mirror – she kept turning back to that page to just gaze at her face.

While sitting around, I had fun trying to communicating with Ms. Xu. I have a very limited Chinese vocabulary as she does with English. But we both started trying to teach each other our languages – what fun!! She is such a sweet lady and is so good with Gong Lu. It was actually amazing that we were able to understand each other. I really enjoyed my day with them!

There have been some wonderful cards and packages that have arrived for Gong Lu. Yesterday, she received some beautiful cards. Gong Lu loved looking at every one of them. In addition, she received an adora ble pair of Strawberry Shortcake light-up tennis shoes. She loved them and wouldn’t let them out of her sight. Those shoes were right next to her bed as she went to sleep.

I had the pleasure of helping to get Gong Lu ready for bed, getting her comfortable, and then tucking her in. She was very tired and I hope had a good night’s sleep – Ms. Xu needs one too. As I left the room and gave her a kiss and told her I would see her again soon in New York – I am so excited that I get to see her when she is healed. Tears came to my eyes as I looked again at this miracle. Someone will truly be blessed to have this child as their daughter.

I also thought, as I droved back to my hotel room for the last time, about all of the other children that we have been able to touch and what a gift each one of these children is.

Thank you for helping to make this child’s dream come true.


Karen Maunu

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