Stories of Hope: Ryder
Why hello, Gerber baby.
Look at you with your squeezable cheeks, bright eyes, and a hint of a double chin. Look at you all comfy and safe, with warm blankets, loving nannies, and arms ready to hold you.
What a journey the past year has been, and how we wish you didn’t have to make it.
Right before Christmas of last year, you arrived in the world. The first few days of your life are the only ones we don’t know, except for the sad reality that you were found outside on your own in freezing weather. When you were brought to the small local orphanage, you were clearly in critical condition. Thankfully, the director contacted us immediately, and you were admitted to the NICU and placed on a ventilator.
The doctors shared the sobering news that your tiny five-pound body was fighting severe pneumonia, electrolyte imbalance, and septicemia. Additional tests showed you had two heart defects as well. For ten long days, we wondered if you would ever be able to breathe on your own.
And then, oh so slowly…you began to turn the corner. We all cheered loudly when you were able to come off the vent, and we could finally see your handsome little face through the incubator.
In January, we thought you were strong enough to discharge from the hospital at last, but then COVID-19 caused the hospital to go on lock-down. You were stranded in the ICU, which we soon realized was the safest place you could be, as cities and towns in your province began closing one by one. Thanks to our amazing LWB community, your growing hospital bills were covered.
This community and its support was such an incredible gift for a little baby who was once completely on his own.
Eventually, it was safe enough for you to be brought to our Healing Home. The nurses and doctors had fallen in love with you, Ryder. They went over all your discharge notes carefully with our manager, Paddy, before gently handing you off to his capable waiting hands.
You settled right into life in our home and embraced having nannies who met your every need.
What a year it’s been of completely loving Ryder. What a change we’ve seen as you got to experience all the simple joys of just being a baby.
And even the occasional piggyback ride around the Healing Home to greet the other children.
Ryder still has occasional health challenges, most likely related to his congenital heart defect, but now that he’s safely in our care we can move him immediately to the hospital whenever he needs extra intervention. For now, we are watching his heart issues closely and hoping the hole between the lower chambers of his heart might slowly close on its own.
It is not an exaggeration in any way to say that this precious little boy would not be on the earth today without the support of our generous LWB community. Today we give thanks for the life of Ryder and for everyone who supports our essential work with orphaned children.
We don’t think anyone could look at this beautiful little face and NOT believe in our motto that Every Child Counts.
For all the little Ryders around the world right now, who have found themselves living without a mom or dad of their own — we promise we’ll never stop trying to help every child we can.
This holiday season YOU can be a part of this help as well, by making a donation to our Power of Hope campaign. Our new giving cards make wonderful holiday gifts for the special people in your life. One of them even features Baby Ryder and can be purchased here.
Keep watching our blog for more Stories of Hope. When we come together to help vulnerable children, the most wondrous transformations occur!