Jenn’s Story of Triumph
Back in December, 2014 we were called by a rural orphanage in central China who had just discovered a tiny newborn outside their gates. Jenn, as she came to be called, weighed just two pounds, and she was left on one of the coldest nights of the year.
Miraculously, she somehow found the strength to survive, and we rushed her urgently to the nearest hospital with a pediatric ICU. She was diagnosed with both hypothermia and prematurity and began a true fight for her life. For the next two months, she spent her days inside a warm incubator. Since her immune system had not developed before she was born, she fought infection after infection.
In China, it is up to the families to bring in daily food for their loved ones — even for newborns. So in Jenn’s case it was up to LWB to provide her with what she needed to begin trying to feed by mouth. Thankfully, we have a partnership with a top formula distributor in China who was able to obtain specialized PreNan formula for baby Jenn. This calorie-dense formula, purchased thanks to supporters of our Preemie and Special Formula Fund, has special ingredients to help the digestive systems and brains of preterm babies to continue developing as if in utero. While there is no way to know exactly how early Jenn was born since she was abandoned without a note, her tiny size indicated that she had come far too soon.
Jenn ended up spending all of December and January in the pediatric ICU, making regular and steady gains in her weight. We were so thankful when she hit the three pound mark, and then celebrated in joy when she made it to a whopping 4.2 pounds, because that meant she could finally be discharged to our Heartbridge Healing Home. Once there, she settled into the serious business of what preemies need the most – sleeping most of the time and then waking up for the all important job of eating. As you can see from Jenn’s wonderful cheeks below, she was filling out beautifully within a month of being at our healing home!
Within a few more months, Jenn had gained all the weight needed to have our nannies start working with her on meeting developmental milestones, including the all important tummy time. By the time she was six months old, she had almost caught up completely.
In June of this year, little Jenn graduated from our healing home program into foster care. She was placed with one of our experienced foster moms, and we continued to supply her with lots of formula and fortified rice cereal.
After just one month in foster care, a local family met Jenn and decided she should be their daughter! Jenn was formally adopted in mid-August, and we wish her all the joy and happiness in the world.
Thanks to supporters of our Emergency Medical Fund, Preemie and Special Formula Fund, Heartbridge and foster care programs, Jenn’s life was first saved and then transformed. No longer an abandoned orphan, she is now the healthy and treasured daughter of a family in her birth country.