Coming Together to Save Lives
I have now been part of the nonprofit world for ten years, and when I first began with LWB, I had this wonderfully naïve idea that everyone in the charity world would all be on the same team, with the same goals of making sure as many kids as possible get the help they deserve. It was very, very hard for me those first few years to realize that the nonprofit world can be quite brutal at times. I guess just like with everything else that involves money, there can be a dark side as well. And so whenever I see charities all working TOGETHER to change lives, I feel it is something to be celebrated. I read a quote once that said something like, “It’s when we start working together that the real healing takes place.” Baby Jacob is a perfect example of how much good can happen when different charities come together for a common cause.
LWB has a very good relationship with a rural orphanage in Anhui, and they called us the same day that a new baby was brought into their care wearing beautiful red clothes. Although we know nothing about his parents, we can’t help but think that they must have adored their son and were absolutely heartbroken to leave him at the gate of the orphanage — but perhaps they felt that this was their only chance to save his life. Little Jacob was estimated to be about five months old, and he clearly had a heart defect. We sent him immediately to the hospital for an examination, and the echo and CT showed that he has one of the most complex heart defects possible, truncus arteriosus. Many babies with this condition pass away within the first few weeks of life. Surgery for this condition is very complex and needs to be done as quickly as possible.
Just two weeks earlier, I had received an email from two charities who have a passion for kids with heart defects: China Little Flower and Little Hearts Medical. We had just begun discussions about how charities could best work together to help kids with severe CHD when we were presented with little Jacob. I am so happy to report that within 48 hours, a wonderful plan has been put into place for this beautiful little boy. He will be leaving our Anhui Healing Home today to travel up to Beijing for surgery.
He will recover post op with Little Flower and then hopefully can enter foster care with LWB at some point in the future, while waiting for his file to be prepared for adoption. What I loved the most about watching this all unfold was seeing how every person involved, from the surgery donor to the charities to the doctors, were only concerned about doing whatever possible to save baby Jacob’s life.
Jacob will arrive in Beijing by train on August 15th. Please keep this beautiful little boy in your prayers for healing. The surgery is high risk, but the doctors have done several successful repairs of this same condition this year. Be strong, little Jacob. Your journey is just beginning.
~Amy Eldridge, Chief Executive Officer