LWB Community Blog

Sarah: From Heartbridge to Home

In the fall of 2014, LWB was contacted by an orphanage in Guangdong province about a little girl who was almost three. When she had entered their care, she was very weak and short of breath, and her lips and fingers were deep blue.


We were able to move Amanda to Shanghai for medical evaluation, where we learned she had a serious heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot, which is normally repaired in infancy. Following her complex surgery at Fudan University, Amanda became a resident of our Heartbridge Healing Home. She needed time to heal and catch up on the developmental milestones she had missed due to her illness. We immediately fell in love with her beautiful, somber face.

Amanda healing home

Amanda could barely hold her head up by herself and did not speak or walk. She was more like an infant than a little girl of preschool age.  However, the Heartbridge nannies were soon able to coax smiles out of her…and from then, there was no stopping this girl!  In just a few months, she was running all over the home.


One year ago, Amanda was adopted and came to the United States to live with her loving family of two parents and eight brothers and sisters, four of whom were also adopted from China.  On the tenth anniversary of our Heartbridge Healing Home where Amanda recovered, her mother contacted us with an update on her daughter’s incredible progress!

Sarah Thaggard

Amanda is now known as Sarah, and her mom tells us that she sees one of the top cardiologists in the nation. Sarah has received a clean bill of health and only needs an annual check up unless complications arise. Otherwise, she has no activity or diet restrictions and is on no medication.

Sarah bday
She had a birthday and is now one year older!

Here are some other fun facts about Sarah:

She loves to read books.

She loves her brothers and sisters.

She knows all of her ABC’s and one-two-threes.

She loves her bike and her bicycle helmet.

She loves living on the farm.

She loves M & Ms and popcorn.

She has to have congee (rice porridge) at least three times a week.

But most of all, she loves being part of a family again!

Sarah’s mom wants to send her deepest thanks to everyone who made her daughter’s surgery and healing home care possible.  In her words:  “Thank you for all that you do for these children and the families that love them.”

Sarah made a video for LWB and its supporters who sponsored her and other children on their road to healing. She says, “Thank you to all my friends! Thank you! “

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