LWB Community Blog

Heart Children Update

Today we heard that Ying is operable! He has been diagnosed with tricuspid atresia with pulmonary stenosis. After he recovers for a few days from his heart cath, he will be scheduled for his heart surgery. Please continue to keep him in your prayers.


A Family for Chen

Every so often, there is a child that comes along that I wonder if we can make a difference and help. Baby Chen was one of these children. I first received her information in May 2006. When we received her information, she was diagnosed with club feet and a heart defect. We decided to start with her heart defect first. Her funds were raised and she was sent to Hangzhou Children’s Hospital in June. Unfortunately, when she arrived, she had a severe infection. The doctors started treating her infection with antibiotics and started running tests. They found that she had sapremia, a kind of blood poisoning, and we were told that she would need antibiotic treatment for nearly two months. In addition to her sapremia, they found that she had an immune deficiency syndrome, which made it hard to control her infection. The doctors told us that they had tried the very best antibiotics and they had all failed. Because there was little chance of helping her, she was discharged and sent back to her orphanage.

I have a very hard time when we can’t help a child and because this child had touched my heart, I continued to get updates on her, to see how she was doing. Often I heard that she was running a low-grade fever. I so wished that there would be something that we could do.

In March 2007, I visited this child’s orphanage and got to meet her. Seeing her in person and knowing that she was doing fairly well, gave me the push to try again. We decided to use Art Auction funds and send her to Hangzhou as soon as she could be scheduled. She arrived in Hangzhou on May 4. We were saddened to learn that when she arrived, she was still running a fever. Her blood tests that were run were still abnormal. We knew that her only chance was to try to get her heart defect fixed, but we knew with her constant infection, she was at a higher risk. On May 16, 2007, her surgery to fix her TOF was performed. Although her surgery was a success, we were all concerned about her ability to recover. After a little over a week in ICU and another week of recovery in the normal ward, she was discharged. How exciting that she had made it through.

We knew that we couldn’t stop with just fixing her heart. She still had clubbed feet and we knew that to have the very best chance of finding a family, we should try to fix her feet. Within a week of being discharged, we transferred her to Guilin for club foot casting. Kirsten and Brian Trower, two incredible people, not only run a foster home, but also outreach foster care. They placed Chen into a foster home and began to cast her feet. It was amazing watching this child. She began to blossom. Not only was she getting stronger because her heart was healed, but she was also learning the love of a family and getting her feet straightened all at the same time. Not only that, but her fevers went away and she became strong and healthy. I loved reading the reports with her smiling, laughing, and talking. She even had her first experience swimming and she LOVED it! In November, her casting was completed and she was now in fulltime bracing for 3 months.

Soon after her casting was completed, we heard that an agency had her file and they began to find her a family. Today we heard the very best news of all…..Chen has a family. What glorious and wonderful news that touch so many of us who have followed this little girl for so long. Many of us have tears of joy for this beautiful child.

Chen has a family!

Karen Maunu
Medical Director

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