For March, our featured child is Xiao. Little Xiao is a real miracle. He was abandoned as a newborn infant in August of 2014 with multiple problems, including a heart defect, anal atresia and spina bifida. Within the first 12 days of his life, he had two intestinal surgeries that both failed. After the second surgery failed, the local surgeons decided to give up. He was sent to Little Flower for hospice care.
When this beautiful little boy arrived at our home we discussed the various options for treatment. We could not bring ourselves give up and let him die because of a simple, correctable defect, so we transferred him to Beijing so that surgeons could try to repair the damage from the first two surgeries. During that surgery he was diagnosed with short bowel syndrome. We knew that meant a very long road for this little guy, but hoped that he might beat the odds.
Because of the failed surgeries, much of his intestine had been removed; this made it nearly impossible for him to absorb nutrition. The doctors tried many, many things to help him, including various feeding pumps, numerous types of specialized infant formula (and even donor milk) as well as parenteral nutrition. He was discharged from the hospital over and over, but repeatedly needed to be re-admitted with dehydration and serious infection. He was not able to gain any weight and as hard as we were fighting, we just weren’t sure he would be able to pull through. His hospital bills were growing and it was getting harder and harder to raise funds for this little boy whose prognosis was so poor.
Finally, a very special donor agreed to help him and we were able to admit him to the hospital for long term care and specialized feeding. We hoped that if his remaining intestines had a chance to rest for a prolonged period, perhaps they would be able to recover. It took him a few weeks to stabilize, and then slowly he started to gain weight. When he was 10 months old he had another surgery to close his colostomy. This little fighter was not going to give up! However, it still took another 5 months for his intestines to heal enough for him to wean off the parenteral feeding. Gradually, he began to get his nutrition from his bottle and baby food.
After 10 long months of hospitalization, Xiao returned home a changed boy! He is now very stable and able to eat just like the other babies. He sits up, crawls, and babbles – he has a lot to say! He still needs surgery for his spina bifida and possibly for his heart condition, but we are SO glad that his gastrointestinal issues are finally under control. We are grateful to the doctors who were willing to take a chance on this “hopeless” little guy and worked so hard to provide the medical care that he needed to survive.
Little Xiao’s adoption file has been completed and we are hoping that his family will find him soon.