Sunday, October 24, 2010

In Loving Memory - Baby Le

February 1, 2010 - October 24, 2010

Sweet Baby Le passed away in Beijing today. We'll miss you, little guy. Rest in peace!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Ye and Yu

Here are some updates on babies who have been mentioned in the past on the blog

Baby Ye has gotten bigger since arriving, and now weighs in at 4.7 pounds (2.15 kilograms). That doesn't sound like very much until you remember that she was only about 3 pounds when she came to us. We continue to hope for growth and weight-gain for her tiny frame

Baby Yu, whose twin sister passed away earlier this month, has been eating well and maintaining a strong heartbeat. She is now sharing a crib with little Ye to continue giving her the assurance of another baby close by, even if it can no longer be her sister. She is now at 5 pounds and will hopefully continue growing stronger by the day.

Long is growing, visibly more plump than when he arrived, and has captured many hearts at the baby home. He flirts with all of the helpers, and they laughingly talk about how handsome he is. We warned you that he has a magnetic personality! Continue to pray for timely growth and a miraculously healthy winter to come

If there are little ones you are wondering about, ones we haven't mentioned in a while, please let us know in the comments; we are more than happy to tell you the latest on these darling little ones.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Miracle of Ponseti

Dr. Ponseti died about a year ago, but he's still one of our greatest heros. Who was he, you ask?

Ignacio Ponseti was an orthopedic doctor who developed a non-surgical method of treating club foot. So what does that mean? Maybe you've never met anyone with this condition, or even seen an untreated club foot.

About 100,000 babies are born with club foot around the world every year. Roughly 80% of these are in developing countries, without good access to high levels of medical care. Traditionally, infants with club foot deformities have been treated by surgery; which is well beyond the reach of many families who have a baby with this problem.

Ponseti's method of manipulation, stretching and carefully molded plaster casts gently correct the club foot without surgery. Even better, children treated with Ponseti's method do not suffer the same number of complications (relapses, scar tissue build up and painful joints) later in life as those treated surgically. It's cheap, it's easy (easy to learn and easy to use), and it works!

We started casting babies with the Ponseti method about 5 years ago, and are still totally amazed and astonished by the results. In just a couple of months, the foot is corrected to a normal position. The child then must wear a brace while sleeping until 3 or 4 years of age, and that's it! Most children do not require further surgery or other intervention.

Want to see how it works? Here a little boy who received treatment through China Little Flower. The photos show the progressive changes in his feet as the casts were changed week by week (click on the photo to see it larger):

Isn't that incredible? We sure think so.

Baby Le

As so many of the babies who come into our care, Baby Le has a severe heart defect which has weakened him significantly. Before making his way to Little Flower, Le was diagnosed with pneumonia and heart failure. A CT scan also shows a buildup of fluid inside his skull, which can be quite damaging if it is not dealt with quickly. The fluid buildup and heart problems require surgeries which would be too dangerous on his weak frame currently.

His small body is evidence that all of his strength goes toward surviving rather than growing, and he is in our care as a hospice case, meaning that we do not expect him to make it. Most recently, he has developed mysterious boils on his skin, a discouraging sign for such a fragile little one. We all fear that he is not strong enough to fight another sickness at this stage, but looking into his eyes, you cannot help but hope. We will keep you updated on his progress as we know more.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Baby Fei

The first thing you can’t help but notice about Fei is that he is more blue than any four-month-old baby should be. He is kept on oxygen, otherwise he turns even more blue. The hue of his skin is not the thing that will suck you in, though; that is his eyes. His big, dark eyes seem to take in everything, especially anything to do with a bottle. He is fluid regulated because his body cannot handle too much liquid at a time, so he is always excited to eat. His eyes watch the whole room closely, and if something catches his fancy, the thin skin on his forehead wrinkles as he makes an expression of interest. The thin wisps of hair on his head cannot hide the distinct wrinkles, nor would I want them to; they give his face an odd sense of age and wisdom, despite his abnormally small frame. The tube running across his face below his nose only seems to confirm this illusion of old age. His eyes, though, break the illusion and remind us that the young catch so much, see much more than we think. Baby Fei sees a group of loving people comforting and caring for him as he fights to get stronger.

Fei was born with half of a normal heart, only one atrium and one ventricle. There are also defects with the arteries in his heart, a problem with a corrective surgery that is difficult and dangerous. Right now, he is not healthy enough to have the surgery, but he has only a slim chance of getting strong enough for the surgery with his current difficulties. It’s a difficult position but not uncommon with the little ones who find themselves at Little Flower. We will do what we can for Fei and hope that he gets stronger despite all the strikes against him.