LWB Community Blog

Cleft Surgeries for the Datong Orphanage

This past weekend, four adorable kids from the Datong orphanage in Shanxi province began a long journey to finally receive life-changing cleft surgery. First came a five-hour bus ride to Beijing, followed by a five-hour train ride to Shanghai.  Because we want every child to get the best repair possible, we arranged for them to be seen by a wonderful surgeon at Fudan University.  We thought the children and their caregivers would be exhausted, but they were pretty happy when our China manager met up with them. We would like you to meet these brave travelers:





Surgeries began the morning after the children arrived, and we were so happy to see how quickly Libby bounced back.  She was very quiet after her operation but still interested in everything happening around her.

Our visiting volunteers Sherri and Kelci brought her some special surprises.  Her favorite was the doll, and Libby held it next to her under the covers.

Next, our volunteers visited the room where the boys — Finley, Hank, and Zeke –were staying.

When they arrived, Finley was up and eating post-op. Fortunately, we had a few leftover bibs from the Cleft Medical Exchange which were given to his foster mom.  She said that he is quite mischievous and tries to grab at everything around him. He seems to be very curious.

Finley also has a condition known as congenital giant nevus, but the doctors feel that it isn’t anything to be alarmed about at this time.  Doesn’t he have a beautiful repair?

Hank came down with a fever and unfortunately didn’t have his surgery, but he seemed to be quite comfortable in his nanny’s arms.

He wouldn’t let our volunteers hold him, preferring the safety of his foster mom’s arms, but he was definitely interested in the new toys they were handing out. He also liked being strolled in the hallways of the hospital.  As soon as he feels better, he will be cleared for surgery.

Zeke has a very sweet 16-year-old foster sister who traveled with him.

After his surgery, he slept the whole time, cuddled happily in her arms!

We are so very thankful to everyone who made these four cleft repair surgeries possible. There are three more children from Datong who still need your help:




Once their surgeries are funded, we will make arrangement for them to travel to Shanghai as well.  Please consider making a donation in any size so that these three kids will have the same opportunity for healing.

Together we can give them the best chance possible at a brighter future!

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  • LWB says:

    Hello Sabine. Zeke was not in our foster care program at the time, and so we do not have any information on his foster sister. We wish we were able to help more.

  • Sabi e says:


    I have a question.
    Do you know the name of the fostersister from Zeke?
    My daughter, born in Datong looks a lot like her. She is 15 years old.
    I hope you can help me.

    With kind regards,
    Sabine de Ruiter