LWB Community Blog

Hannah from Heartbridge

Hannah arrived at Heartbridge on May 14th,  just a few days before our manager Cindy made her mid-month visit.  Hannah has a very complicated set of special needs, with a VSD (hole between the chambers of her heart), Mirror-Image Dextrocardia (her heart is on the right side of her chest), and also Pierre Robin Syndrome.  This is a cranio-facial abnormality in which the lower jaw is much smaller than normal.  In Hannah’s case, this has caused a high-arched palate, cleft lip on the right side, a very small mouth, and her tongue is missing.  Upon arrival at four months of age, Hannah weighed 4.3 kg (almost 9.5 pounds), and was able to drink 120-150 ml of formula at each feeding (4-5 ounces). All things considered, I am impressed that the orphanage was able to get Hannah up to the “zero percentile” line for weight before she arrived at Heartbridge.  I am very impressed with Hannah herself too; she must be one tough little girl!

Hannah was snuggled into a bouncy chair, sound asleep when Cindy arrived on the 18th.   Currently she spends most of her time sleeping, which is the very best thing for her.  Feedings take quite a long time, and are exhausting.

By the last day of May, we were very happy to learn that Hannah had gained 10.5 ounces in her first two weeks at Heartbridge, and she is now taking 150-180 ml (5-6 ounces) at each feeding.  Every ounce counts!

It’s a positive sign to see Hannah making good eye contact with Cindy and her nanny.

All things considered, nurse Mona tells us that Hannah’s condition is good.  “Hannah gets enough rest and sleep during the day and night. She is feeding well, but slowly. She smiles when tickled. She cannot lift her head 45 degrees yet, and she doesn’t like to lie on her tummy. She does like to look and reach for the hanging toys while lying on her crib. She’s a very quiet sweetie.”

Little Hannah does not yet have any sponsors, so if you know of anyone who might like to help her, donations can be made at our Healing Homes sponsorship page.  You can find Hannah listed under “Heartbridge: Hannah – Jinjiang”.

I was really quite worried when I first read about Hannah and saw the photo sent by her orphanage, but it looks like she has the strength and will to get through her many challenges.  I am so grateful to everyone who worked to get little Hannah safely to Heartbridge.  Once she has put on a few more pounds, she will be able to have heart surgery to correct her VSD, and once she has recovered from that surgery, our medical team will arrange for the repair of her cleft lip.  Thanks to all who have touched little Hannah’s life and given her this opportunity for health and healing!

Jan Champoux is Heartbridge Coordinator for Love Without Boundaries Foundation.  She lives in Nebraska, USA with husband Rob and four children. Jan and Rob have a son and daughter in college, and also a son adopted from Korea, and a daughter adopted from China, both of whom have finished fifth grade.

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  • Wehaf says:

    Given the combination of VSD and palate issues, I wonder if she might have velo-cardio-facial syndrome, aka DiGeorge syndrome. If she hasn’t been evaluated for this, it might be appropriate to consider it, as thyroid issues are very common, and it is very important that any thyroid issues be treated as early as possible.