LWB Community Blog

Oliver: Because Some Valentines Can’t Wait

With Valentine’s Day is just one week away, we are beginning our celebration early in honor of a little boy named Oliver who desperately needs our help.

After suffering from infertility for eight years, Oliver’s mother was thrilled to find herself pregnant in 2015. Immediately following little Oliver’s birth, however, they were given the news that their miracle baby had been born with congenital heart disease and Down Syndrome.

In China, around 95% of women terminate their pregnancies if they learn before birth that their child has Down Syndrome. For those families who discover their child has this special need after delivery, abandonment is very common. Orphanages in China are caring for many children who have Down Syndrome as many Chinese families are not willing or able to take on the challenges of parenting a child with this need.

Oliver’s family, however, could not imagine abandoning their precious son. They absolutely adore him and are willing to move heaven and earth to make him well. Oliver’s blue lips tell just a part of the story of his failing health. He suffers from breathing distress at night and frequently comes down with fevers and coughing due to his weakened heart.

There were two enormous hurdles standing in the way of saving Oliver’s life. His family is extremely impoverished and heavily in debt due to medical bills, and sadly they had been unable to find a hospital willing to help their son.

Oliver’s family has traveled to three different cardiac hospitals searching for help for their little boy, only to be told they should take their son home to die. When our China director met with Oliver’s devoted mom, she broke down crying saying how hopeless she felt that no one seemed to believe her son’s life mattered. Over and over she had been told that nothing could be done for her beloved baby.

We knew exactly where little Oliver needed to be seen. The surgeons at Fudan University in Shanghai are some of the top cardiac surgeons in the world, and they have taken beautiful and compassionate care of the babies we have sent there with Down Syndrome. We asked our director Zhang Ming to please call Oliver’s mother to let her know we wanted to send him for more testing, but he said he would only call her if we were 100% committed to Oliver’s care.  Zhang Ming said he would not put hope back into her heart unless we were absolutely sure the surgery would take place. We told him we knew our amazing LWB supporters would rally around Oliver and give him a second chance at life.

The phone call to Oliver’s mom was a very emotional one. In tears, she admitted they had been worried that they would have to give up their beloved son to the care of an orphanage because they didn’t have any more money to provide his medical care.

We know you’ll agree that we cannot let that happen.

Oliver’s mother and aunt brought him to Shanghai late last month where he had several tests to determine if he was operable. The cardiac surgeons at Fudan gave us the great news that he qualifies for surgery, with a 95% chance for a full recovery.

We are asking you today to STAND WITH OLIVER and help save the life of this beautiful little boy. We know you will agree that his life truly matters.

The costs of Oliver’s surgery and medical care are higher than usual due to his complicated defect and the fact that he will receive his operation at one of the top cardiac centers in China. However, we know that incredible things are possible when we come together to help.

In honor of your own beloved Valentines, won’t you please stand with Oliver and his family? We need a multitude of heart warriors to make his healing possible.

Please join us and give what you can as we help this tiny Valentine finally get the healing he deserves.

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