LWB Community Blog

Falling In Love with Emily

Emily with Li Ying

Last month 49 children received cleft lip or palate surgeries during LWB’s Cleft Medical Exchange in Kaifeng. One of those precious children was a very special little girl named Emily. Eighteen months ago Emily was born, missing both legs and one arm. When Amy Eldridge, LWB’s executive director, and Sheri Russon, LWB’s administration director, visited China in March, they met sweet Emily at her orphanage in Guangdong Province. They knew that this little one would need a little extra help finding her forever family and set the wheels in motion for her to be able to receive surgery during the cleft trip.

During pre-operation tests in preparation for the cleft trip, it was discovered that Emily had another need that would make her lip surgery more difficult: a heart defect that will also require surgery. While in Kaifeng, Emily received wonderful care from her nanny, Li Ying, who grew up in the same orphanage that Emily is from and is now a teacher at the orphanage. Emily’s surgery went smoothly, and the trip volunteers said it was impossible not to fall in love with Emily. She liked to be propped up in a sitting position so she could quietly observe everything happening in her hospital room and reach toys near her.

Emily before cleft surgery

Emily is now living at LWB’s Heartbridge Healing Home and will have her heart surgery soon. We hope that she will be matched with a family of her own in the near future. Baby Emily has a rare determination inside her, and we believe that she will overcome every obstacle that comes her way.

Emily at Heartbridge


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