Farewell to Laurel and Her Dad
Saying goodbye is often sad, but when we’re able to say goodbye knowing that a child we’ve come to care for is now able to function in life without crippling and constant pain, it’s a bittersweet farewell.
Laurel came to our Loving ARMs Healing Home as a recipient of help through our Unity Initiative. She lives with her family in a remote part of the Tibetan Plateau, and she and her father literally had to climb a mountain to get medical care (read more in “Climbing Mountains For Laurel“).
After having corrective surgery to deal with pain and complications of a surgery she had as a toddler, Laurel and her dad were able to share a room in our healing home while she received daily therapy and training in self-care for her medical condition.
While in residence at our healing home, Laurel and her devoted dad were occasionally able to get out and simply be tourists, with the side benefit of Laurel being able to work on her Mandarin skills. What a joy to see this seven-year-old girl who had been in so much discomfort relax, smile, and enjoy acting like a kid and experiencing new sights and tastes.
In December, Laurel had her final surgery. She and her father were proud to present a Tibetan hada to the doctors who helped them. Hada is a white long silk scarf represents the highest respect and thanks of the Tibetan people.
A few weeks ago, Laurel and her father returned home at last. We wish we could have been there for the joyful reunion with her mom!
You may remember hearing about another family from Tibet — Samuel’s family. Our supporters generously donated enough money to purchase five yaks for Samuel’s family. In fact, the donations were so generous that we had “yak money” left over. So with the extra funds, we were able to purchase three new yaks for Laurel’s family!
All three yaks are pregnant and expecting baby yaks. So next year, Laurel’s family should have six yaks. Six yaks can provide lots of milk and cheese for this family!
Laurel’s family was thrilled with this gift, and they signed a guarantee that they will not sell or kill the yaks.
We are so relieved that Laurel and her father made it safely back home before a winter blizzard could have closed off the mountain pass to their village, seen above.
It was truly an honor to help this wonderful family get not only desperately needed medical care but yaks to sustain their quality of life in the future. Thank you to everyone who helped make both of these things happen!