Little Zhi is 9 months old and was born with a severe heart defect. He's been in the hospital recently, but when he was ready to discharge, his orphanage asked if we might be able to help nurse him back to health. If he can grow bigger and stronger he would be a candidate for surgery to repair his heart defect.
When he arrived on Monday, we were very discourage to see how thin and frail he was. At 9 months he weighed just 7 lbs. We started to worry that he might not live long enough to qualify for surgery. Unfortunately, that is a reality for many babies we accept for care.
On Friday, just 5 days later, he did look better. His little face was starting to fill out and when we put him on the scale, we were amazed to find that he'd gained 490 grams! (That's over a pound, for you metrically challenged Americans!) His photos on Friday speak volumes:
We don't know what the future holds for little Zhi, and whether he'll ever be chubby, happy and able to have surgery. Right now he's still very unstable and we are taking it just one day at a time. That's all we can do. But even in five short days, we can see the difference made by good nutrition, a high standard of nursing care, and lots of kisses and cuddles. Small successes like this are what keep us going -the very best motivation and encouragement anyone could ask for. Whether this little guy lives another 5 days, 5 weeks, or 50 years, we know we've made a difference. What more could we ask for?
UPDATE: Zhi passed away on April 22, just two weeks after he arrived.