Monday, April 27, 2015

October 2014 Featured Child: Dian

Our now big boy, Dian, has come quite a long way in his short 6 months of life. He has grown eight times his initial weight, has overcome his feeding tube, and has discovered a love for talking to his caregivers--especially when he should be sleeping.

We have told you a little of Dian's fantastic story before, but we will tell you again because we want you to see how far he has come!

In early April 2014, we got a phone call from an orphanage that we had just begun partnering with only a few weeks previously. They told us about a very tiny little boy, only 810 grams (1 lb, 12.5 oz), they had just taken to the hospital. "Did we want him?," they asked. We did!

Our medical director took a 9 hour train ride to see what he looked like. This is what she saw:

We weren't even sure if he would survive the train ride home, but despite this risk, we wanted to try. The hospital near his orphanage was doing a great job, but they weren't quite equipped for such a tiny baby. In order to travel to be transferred to a bigger hospital in Beijing, he would have to pass an oxygen test and be able to breathe on his own for extended periods of time. This is because it wasn't possible to bring enough oxygen on the train for 9 whole hours.

He passed, and was amazingly able to breathe on his own. We knew then that he was a fighter!

Our director kangarooed with him. Dian all the way home, feeding him very tiny amounts of milk and letting him hear her heartbeat as he slept. Thanks to donations, we were able to place him in a bigger hospital for more specialized care. A few weeks later we were able to bring him home!

He has grown so much since then!

Now Dian is a happy, healthy 6 month old who loves to giggle, talk with his caregivers (in English and Chinese), suck his fingers, and he very much enjoys bath time. He spends his days working on rolling over and sitting up on his own. Because he was kangarooed so much of his early life, he enjoys cuddling next to his caregiver's heartbeat, even if he isn't sleepy.

 We hope his adoption file can be completed soon so his forever family can find him!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April 2015 Featured Child: Xiang

This month’s featured child is little Xiang, who arrived at Little Flower on August 31, 2014. His journey of arriving at Little Flower is very heart warming and it also captures the extra care needed by premature babies. Xiang weighed only 2 lbs 2 oz (950 grams) when he was abandoned.

Being a premature baby, he needed intense care to survive. His condition was not stable when he arrived, so we admitted him to the NICU of the children’s hospital in his province. He spent ten days in NICU, struggling to breathe and become stable. After 10 days in the NICU his condition was still very critical. He was dependent on the ventilator to help him breathe, had lost weight and his infection was not yet under control. The doctors did not believe he had any hope and told us to take him home to die. But we and little Xiang didn’t want to give up yet.

After he left the hospital we were amazed to see him fighting hard to hold on. We decided to transfer him to Beijing where doctors might consider treating him. One of our staff brought him to Beijing from the town his orphanage is located in via train by ‘kangarooing’ him the entire way. He was so tiny that he needed to be on someone’s skin the entire journey for warmth and to survive. He weighed a mere 1 lb 10 oz (750 grams) when he arrived at our Beijing Baby Home, and so needed all the extra care we could give! At our Beijing home, our staff held him skin to skin for 24 hours straight so he could survive. However, he was still struggling to breathe. He was readmitted to a Beijing hospital with Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS), a common problem seen in premature infants.

After a short stay in the NICU at #81 Children’s Hospital in Beijing he was discharged back to our home still very tiny but breathing more easily. With the help of lots of kangaroo skin to skin time, little Xiang started to push through.

With all the extra care and love, little Xiang continued to grow and become bigger and stronger. His cute smile is simply adorable!

He has made a lot of progress! Now, he is stable and growing. He now weighs 12.2 lbs (5.53kgs) and if you saw him now, you won’t believe he is the same boy! He is a real miracle!