LWB Community Blog

Surgery Mission – Final Day

Hong was the first child on the surgery schedule today. He came back from surgery with his eyes wide open and was so alert. We had not had a baby come down to the ward from surgery so awake. He and his ayi were looking at each other and she kissed him over and over.

Shuai was our last bilateral repair of the week. He is our very quiet baby and is so good. The repair of his lip was absolutely amazing!!

Our two Guangdong babies, Xian and Xuan are two of the sweetest babies. So many volunteers have fallen in love with them. Many volunteers have claimed these girls as “their own”. One of the Shanghai volunteers has come in each night to hold and cuddle Xuan. The volunteer has been working hard to make her legs stronger and just hugs and cuddles her each night. You can already feel the bond that they share. Xuan loves to look at the colorful photos that hang on the walls in the hall and is always looking around. Xian loves to grab her own feet and is also so alert. Both of these babies are just so sweet and most of the volunteers had to go take a peek at how they had changed post surgery.

Ping was the very last surgery of the day. All morning she was giving huge grins. Everyone took turns holding her and she had the absolutely largest grin. She was enjoying the attention so much that she seemed to forget she was hungry. What a happy baby!!!

For lunch each day, a restaurant called the House of Flour has delivered and donated the most delicious lunches. These lunches have consisted of sandwiches, salads, rice dishes, and pasta – something different every day. We have also received treats of cheesecake and other wonderful desserts with the lunches. Today we were honored to have the owner and the chef come and deliver our meals in person. They got to see and hold some of the babies and we were able to tell them in person how grateful we are for their generosity!

Yuan Yuan continues to feel better. Today she ate lunch, played with bubbles, and played a tickle game. A group of volunteers went to Walmart today to get her a new wardrobe of girly girl clothes. It was like Christmas for her as she looked at them. They would hold them up to her and say how pretty she was and she would get huge grin. She also was back to saying Nihao and shaking everyone’s hands. Everyone just melts. At the end of today she surprised us all by walking down the hall to where we were. She is slightly unsteady on her feet but over all is back to the fun and ever smiling Yuan Yuan that we all fell in love with the first day.

Little Yu was very busy again today. You can tell that she would like to be eating more than just formula. She happened to find our snack room today and kept getting a treat to take to her ayi. When her ayi wouldn’t open it, she would get another one. Between cookies and buns, I think her ayi had a pile of about 10 things. She also played the upside down peek-a-boo game with our facilitator Stephanie. Stephanie had her belly laughing, the first time we had see this from her serious busy look.

Emily, one of our nurses, took Tao into our storage room. She placed him on a blanket to play with him. He enjoyed throwing the toys all over the room instead of playing with them and by the time he was done, the room was in total destruction. What a silly little boy. What a change from the tiny little baby we received this summer that had a heart defect and a cleft lip and palate. Now this child is almost totally healed – what an incredible change to see this big happy baby.

At the end of the day today there was a festive spirit in the air. Everyone one is celebrating the completion of a hugely successful mission. It is a bitter sweet evening as we have made so many new friends. We were reminded that no matter how big the ocean or how different the cultures, when it comes down to it we are all just people who love these sweet kids.

In the evening, we all had a wonderful banquet – all the doctors, nurses and volunteers from both the US and China. You could see and feel the friendships that were made this week, as we were able to celebrate all of the success of the lives that have been changed forever. Almost 30 children have received life-changing surgery. Our dinner was celebrated in a restaurant that was in the large world globe that sits on the edge of the river. We all talked about how we had seen this large round building the night before on our river cruise. How fitting it was to be in this restaurant because being on a trip like this, it really makes you feel how small the world is. Even though we are from countries on opposite sides of the earth, we are all just people united by our dedication to helping children.

Karen Maunu
Wendy Petersen

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