Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ten Years Old!

I have a ten-year-old daughter . . . she is so beautiful and full of life! Ten is such a fun age--still a little girl, but also knowing that they are on the cusp of being “bigger.” My daughter has told me that she no longer likes to watch animated movies or play with dolls. She has asked me some very interesting questions this summer. I realize how much she is able to analyze life . . . so much more than a year ago.

Imagine being ten years old and left at the gate of the local Civil Affairs office because your heart defect is so very severe. Jie is this child, and I can’t help but look at her photo and think of my own daughter. I can only imagine how very frightened she must be. Not only that, but she is SO weak from her diseased heart (she has a very serious TOF--Tetralogy of Fallot) that she can’t walk very fast and can’t climbs stairs. The good news is that the heart surgeon has reviewed her echo done locally and believes that she has a very good chance to have a healed heart.

This defect should be repaired at one year old, and she has waited ten years. I can only imagine the grief her parents felt as they left her, their child for 10 years, likely because they thought it was the only chance she had to be healthy. How torn they must have felt. My heart aches for them all.

Please keep this beautiful child in your thoughts and prayers. The cardiologist, Dr. Li in Hangzhou, has said that because her movement is so limited due to her poor heart condition, she needs surgery as soon as possible. We have her on our website to try to raise money for her surgery.

As my daughter thinks about all of the things a ten-year-old should think about, I will be thinking of Jie and hoping that she will have her dream of a healthy heart, so that she too can have a chance to think and dream of all of the things a ten-year-old should.

Karen Maunu
Medical Director