For August, we have decided to feature little Cai as this is his birthday month! He will turn 1 year old later this month on the 20th. Cai came to the Beijing Infant Care Home earlier this year at the end of March from central China. He was 7 months old at that time.
Cai was born with a severe heart defect and Down Syndrome. He was very frail and week, when he came to us, weighing only 8 lbs (3.7 kg). We decided to take him to a cardiologist for a full checkup and to see when he could have surgery for his heart defect. Unfortunately, he was too tiny for surgery at that time.
Little Cai had a hard time putting on weight. His breathing was also not good and he was in and out of the hospital with pneumonia. But Cai continued to push through each day. By the end of May, he finally reached 9.3 lbs (4.2 kg) and so was admitted to the hospital for his surgery. Cai’s open heart surgery was successful and his heart defect has been fully repaired now.
However, his post-operative care was quite complicated. He lost a lot of weight during this time. And was in the ICU for a long time on a ventilator. When he finally came home to us, he was still on oxygen and could not eat by himself. We continued to provide him with the special care he needed to become stronger and healthier.
Last month, in July, Cai was able to breathe without any extra help and he also started eating on his own! All of his caregivers are so proud of this milestone! He has also gained weight and returned to his pre-surgery weight. We know he will continue to gain weight and become stronger in the next months!