Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Special thanks to the volunteer team from Killester College!

Every year we have several Australian student groups come to Little Flower to volunteer. This month we were joined by a group of young women from Killester College.  They were brave enough to leave their warm summer weather and brave the freezing temperatures of northern China!

The volunteer team

Many of them had previous experience taking care of babies. Even the girls who didn’t have a lot of child care experience did an amazing job in our baby home.

A sweet smile warms many hearts.

Look, we found another cool way to have fun!

Little Ke, who often doesn’t feel well due to his chemotherapy treatment, enjoys having someone cuddle him and play with him.

Little Xiao and his friend found a warm, sunny spot to play near the window.


Sweet dreams, little Yu!

Working with abandoned children is always an emotional, life changing experience.  During goodbyes on the last day of service it’s often the volunteers who are the ones shedding tears. All of us at Little Flower are grateful to the Killester girls for sharing their time and talents with our little ones!

Monday, January 4, 2016

January 2016 Featured Child: Hong

Happy New Year and greetings from Little Flower in 2016! Hong, a 2 ½ year old boy, is our featured child for January.  He was abandoned when he was just 2 weeks old.  His orphanage contacted us for help as he had severe pneumonia, was born with 6 fingers and was suspected to have a heart defect.

His condition was very bad when he arrived – he needed heart surgery urgently in order to survive. He was admitted to the hospital and arrangements were made for his surgery right away.

Although the surgery repaired his heart defect, Hong was still very fragile.  He was discharged home but still faced other challenges.

He began having spells where he would stop breathing and would need to be resuscitated. At first it was just occasionally, but these spells became more and more frequent, until he was having them several times each day. We were not sure what was causing this. His prospects did not look good, but we did not give up. Hong is a real fighter and kept pushing through the next months. In April 2014, we took Hong back to the hospital to try and get some answers. However, the doctors were puzzled by his symptoms and were unable to give a diagnosis. Tests to visualize his respiratory tract also failed– no one had the skills or equipment to find out what was wrong.

In June 2014, Hong went to Shanghai accompanied by one of our medical staff, Lily. The doctors there were finally able to tell us that he had growths on his larynx and also bilateral paralysis of his vocal cords.  They were able to remove the growths and do a tracheostomy to keep his airway open.  We were so relieved to finally have a diagnosis and solution to his problems!

Since then, Hong has continued to grow and develop. He is an amazing boy who understands a lot, although he does not have a voice. Here he takes one of his first steps by himself!

We were told that it was possible Hong would outgrow his need for the trach, or that he might never improve and would need it for the rest of his life.  Just last month, Hong went back to the hospital and doctors were able to successfully remove his tracheostomy tube. After 1 ½ years of having a tracheostomy tube, we are so glad that it was finally removed and he can breathe easily on his own!

Handsome Hong is looking for a family to call home!