Joyful Jackie Needs Our Help
All of us at LWB have closely followed a little girl named Jackie who has been a student in our Believe in Me orphanage school program for many years. To say this little girl radiates joy is an enormous understatement, and everyone who has met her in person has been touched by her huge smile and sunny personality. One thing that everyone notices right away when they see Jackie, however, is that she is absolutely blue – a deep cyanotic blue from being born with heart disease.
Almost two years ago, LWB first wanted Jackie evaluated to see if surgery could help her heart condition. However, we then learned that Jackie had been taken to the orphanage because her biological father was unable to care for her. Since she had a known birth father, she of course was ineligible for adoption, but it also meant she was ineligible to be sent by the orphanage to the cardiac hospital for surgery as they would need her father’s permission.
For almost two years we had team members in China searching for a way to get parental permission for her to be sent to Shanghai for an exam. We never gave up hoping that a way would be found. We knew that with many heart defects, there is a risk that pulmonary hypertension can develop to a point where the child then becomes inoperable – and we did not want to see that happen to this beautiful and vivacious little girl.
Just last week, we got the wonderful news that the father had finally been reached and that he had given permission for LWB to have his daughter’s heart condition evaluated. We sent her immediately to a local hospital to have an echo done, and unfortunately the results were not positive. Jackie’s preliminary diagnosis is Tetralogy of Fallot, which is ideally repaired shortly after birth or as early in infancy as possible. Jackie is now almost seven years old, and so there is a very real risk that we have missed the window of opportunity to do surgery.
The only way to know for certain is to send her to Shanghai for a heart catheterization which will show whether or not she is still operable. We are making plans to send Jackie to the hospital for this procedure just as soon as possible. Her father does not have a phone nor a permanent address at the moment, so we need to find him one more time to get everything legally in place to move her to Shanghai and allow the orphanage nanny to give permission for the test to be done.
Please join with us in praying that this beautiful little girl can still receive the surgery she so obviously needs to live a long and healthy life. It has taken us two years to finally reach this point where she at least has a chance to have her heart fully evaluated. We stand in hope that somehow she will still be operable.
We are raising $3,600 through our Unity Fund for the heart cath procedure, and for Jackie and her nanny’s travel costs. If you would like to be a part of her story, you can donate any amount by visiting her sponsor page.
Thank you for caring about this beautiful little girl who obviously loves her friends and is loved by so many. We will keep you updated on her test results.