Stories of Hope: Tobias
In June of this year, an LWB team member stopped at an orphanage to pick up a little girl we were hoping to help medically. He thought it would be a fairly routine trip, as we had all the permissions already in place. While waiting for her final paperwork, he walked over to one of the orphanage cribs and saw a thin little boy who was clearly in distress. The child’s abdomen was severely bloated and distended, and when he placed his hand on the little boy’s stomach, he could feel it was hard as a rock.
When questioning the nannies, our team member was told that little Tobias had been born with anal atresia. With this medical condition, the digestive track opening to the anus is either missing or blocked. In simplest terms, it means any food that a child takes in would have no way of leaving the body. For most children, anal atresia can be fatal if left untreated.
Since the orphanage hadn’t been able to provide the surgery Tobias needed, he was in a critical state. Our manager carefully lifted Tobias into his arms, and the LWB van urgently made the long journey to a top children’s hospital in the region.
The surgeons who examined Tobias let us know that part of his intestines had already died, but they felt they could save his life by cutting out the dead tissue and making a temporary colostomy. Thanks to this generous LWB community, the funds were soon raised to do just that.
When the parents on the children’s hospital ward learned that Tobias was an orphan, their hearts were deeply moved. Although he was two years old, he was unable to roll over or sit up. His limbs were floppy, and his legs were stuck in the position of a little frog. The moms and dads on the floor all took turns holding him and trying to teach him how to use his muscles.
It soon became clear that Tobias was bonding strongly to his LWB nanny who stayed in the hospital with him. Nanny was more than happy to carry him around the hospital ward so he could start seeing the world beyond his orphanage crib.
Following his operation, Tobias needed to stay in the hospital for almost an entire month. Thanks to his pain being alleviated as well as excellent nutrition, he was like a new little boy. We all celebrated when we saw his very first smiles in the hospital.
What a truly glorious sight to see his sadness and pain replaced with grins and giggles!
In August, Tobias was finally able to discharge from the hospital and move to our China Healing Home. He quickly decided that having devoted nannies at his beck and call was pretty darn wonderful. Ever since, that sweet smile has hardly left his face.
Tobias’ recovery hasn’t been without incident. Because he had gone so long without medical care, we expected there would be some obstacles along the way. But even though he’s had to return to the hospital multiple times, he came through every procedure smoothly and has taken it in stride, just as long as his trusted nanny was with him for comfort.
The doctors were amazed at how quickly Tobias recovered post-surgery and began flashing his adorable grin. He was embracing life because he finally felt the transformative power of being loved.
Since September, Tobias has been having many new experiences in the healing home.
He got an invitation to his very first party (where he got to try cake for the first time).
He discovered the thrill of driving an electric toy car (and the joy from loudly honking the horn!)
Now out of his orphanage crib and cheered on by his nannies, he’s also discovered that he’s OH SO CLOSE to taking his very first steps on his own.
His favorite place, though, is still up in the arms of his nannies, and they’re happy to oblige this darling snuggler.
The healing made possible by your generous gifts is vitally important. You only need to think of what Tobias has endured to know that, without a doubt, he’s a miracle boy. We look at his precious face and realize yet again such an important truth:
As long as there’s life…there is HOPE.
And for that, we give our deepest thanks.
Want to bring healing to another child waiting for someone to believe in them? Make a year-end gift to our Power of Hope campaign today. Together, we can do so much good in the world!