Cleft Mission – Day 4
Today when we got to the unit the first thing we noticed is that there were no more children in beds in the halls. All of the babies were well and the repairs look good (I know I keep saying that, but it is really very cool).
Ye was the first baby to go downstairs today. Ye had an elevated white blood count a few days ago so we bumped her a day and gave her IV antibiotics. By yesterday afternoon her WBC’s were back to normal so we proceeded with her surgery today.
While she was upstairs we had to say goodbye to 5 babies. I was fortunate enough to get to help carry Ping to the car. She just stared bright eyed at me the whole time. It was amazing to see so many beautiful children with new smiles climb into the van to head back to their homes.
The second case today was An. He was not on our original schedule so we are still trying to find funding for him on our website. His bilateral cleft lip was very severe, and I knew we just had to fix it for him to even be able to eat well. He is from the Hefei orphanage and when we went to visit the SWI we were able to play with him. Paige was especially fond of him and played a game with him for a long time where she took a stuffed animal and made the animal “kiss” him. He really liked that and gave her some really big smiles. His surgery took a very long time but the results are unbelievable. He will be in pain for several days because of the extent of the work that was required. In fact he has been fussy most of the afternoon.
Third was Zhi from a town about 2 ½ hours from here. I was standing in the OR talking to Dr. Ness today while he was finishing up on An. I asked him what his favorite surgery was to do. He said he liked to do a unilateral cleft lip the most because it was just instant gratification and the results are so good. Zhi is no exception. Right now he is sleeping very well.
You might remember that the tiny peanut from the cleft house (Tyler) has been given the nickname Superman. He has done super well today and has slept most of the day. His repair is great, and I am anxious to see photos when his super huge dimples make their re-appearance. He just woke up recently and now he is fussy.
Big boy Danny has been up and walking around a little bit more today. Dr. Ness told me last night that the type of surgery we had to do on him is very painful so I’m glad he was able to sleep for most of two days. He is planning to go back to school (our LWB Believe in Me School in Huainan) on Monday if he is feeling well enough. He enjoyed his first get well card so much that I ended up giving him about 4 more. I also gave him a pencil and a few index cards in case he wanted to draw. I give him a Superman award for being super brave.
There is a beautiful lady named Zhang Ke who I think is the hospital official in charge of groups like ours. She has been a great host and is very friendly and efficient. Each day she spends so much time trying to make sure our lunch is exactly on time and exactly the way we like it. Today Zhang Ke brought her daughter and her daughter’s friend to come practice their English with us. They were both lovely girls and their English was already very good. They ate lunch with us and at the end of lunch the friend stood up and delivered this beautiful speech about how she thanks us for taking care of the Chinese children and how she will do her best to be successful so that she can someday do charity work herself. It was a very special moment.
Le was baby number 4. He had a bit of trouble with the “going to sleep” part of surgery, but after all was said and done his repair is great and he was sleeping peacefully when we left for tonight.
Xing was the very last baby from today. She has amazingly chubby cheeks that just scream to be pinched. Her hair is cute and it sticks up straight. Her photos were posted earlier today.
Thank you again for your prayers, for your support, and for your interest. Here are some more photos from today. Wish everyone could be here with us experiencing these wonderful moments with the kids.
Goodnight from Hefei.
Wendy Petersen, RN