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Celebrating Chinese New Year: An Update on Colton

In celebration of Chinese New Year, we’re sharing updates on children served through our Unity Initiative. This program, for kids in poverty who were born with medical needs, is bringing hope to rural families. On our last blog we shared about little Anneke and how her surgery will now allow her to go to school. Today we want to update you on Colton, a handsome little boy who just had his second birthday. Colton had heart surgery back in May during LWB’s first cardiac surgery exchange in Anhui province.

Colton’s father is the one who applied for help through our Unity fund, writing an impassioned letter explaining the family’s circumstances.  He wrote: We are a family of seven people – my wife, my elderly parents, my three children, and me. My wife is both deaf and unable to speak, and my parents are ill, so my entire family depends on the small amount of income I can bring from finding odd jobs to support them. We are very poor.  My son was often sick, with repeated fevers, and so I took him to the capital for an exam. There I learned he had heart disease. On hearing this, I felt that heaven was going to collapse. We have borrowed heavily to pay for his medications, but we have no one else to turn to. But my son has to get the surgery! We are desperate for help. I plead with you to save my son. Please!

Colton in the hospital

We were so thankful to those who stepped forward to help Colton get the surgery he needed. What a joy for his family to know his operation was finally complete.  After recovering fully in the hospital, he was soon able to be discharged back home.

Colton sitting up post-surgery

Our team in Anhui, along with some medical staff from Hefei High-Tech Cardiac Hospital, went to visit Colton and his family to bring New Year’s greetings, along with some special treats.  They drove several hours to a rural area outside of LuAn and then walked down a dirt path to reach Colton’s home. His older sister had run out to greet them and lead the way.

Colton and his sisters were very excited to see the new year’s cookies and fruit. The siblings were dressed in festive red to begin celebrating the Year of the Pig.

The entire family gathered in the courtyard to share the wonderful news that little Colton is now fully healed. They said he is full of energy and has no longer faced any sickness. Colton’s grandfather said with emotion, “We have overthrown a heavy mountain in the year of 2018.”

Colton’s two big sisters couldn’t stop grinning through the entire visit. They adore their baby brother, and we’re sure he’s getting lots of mothering with these two energetic sisters looking out for him.

During our visit, Colton’s father shared with us his deepest wishes for his family. He gets up very early each day, at 4 a.m., for a new job driving a tuk-tuk to distribute freight throughout the county. Whether it is cold, windy, or raining, he drives seven days a week because he wants a better life for his children. He said that while life is still hard for them, Colton’s healing has given them new hope.

Colton’s father told us he has a dream, a dream to “finally shake off their poverty.”
One thing we saw for certain on this visit is that this family is already rich with the most important blessing of all: LOVE. We wish them every success in the future.

Colton’s family sends their sincere thanks to everyone who made their son’s surgery possible. On behalf of them, little Colton, and everyone at LWB, we wish you good fortune, good health, and bountiful joy in 2019. Happy Year of the Pig!

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