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When China implemented a one child policy, it brought about some situations that we westerners didn’t think about.  I haven’t researched the subject in depth, so I have no statistics to support my hypothesis, so this is my opinion only.  Since a Chinese couple could only have one child, they obviously would want a normal healthy child.  If they had a child with an imperfection, sometimes the child would be abandoned.  This situation could come about with something that some of us may consider a very minor and solvable health issue, cleft pallet.

It has been my experience that children in China are abandoned for a cleft pallet, which we know is correctable.  I like to tell myself that when a child with a condition like this is abandoned, it isn’t because the parents don’t love their child; rather it is because they know they can’t afford the medical attention to resolve their child’s problem.  Therefore, the parents believe they are giving their child the best opportunity to receive the medical attention needed by abandoning the child.  I can’t imagine how heart wrenching that decision must be for a young couple to make.

As you can see in the picture below, this child has cleft pallet.  What I have learned since Global Partners in Life (GPiL) has started assisting special needs orphans with their medical requirements is that usually a cleft pallet requires three operations.  The first surgery closes the lip, the second closes the gum, and the third closes the roof of the mouth.

cleftpallet2_before

Before

cleftpallet2_after

After

 

As you can tell, this child also had some problems with their nose being blocked.  The second picture is of the child soon after the first operation.  The device in their nose was to help hold the nasal passage open while the healing took place.

Here is another child for whom we recently provided the funding for their cleft pallet surgery.  As you can see, their situation was a little different from the child in the first picture.

Before

Before

After

After

The before and after pictures of the cleft pallet surgeries can reveal a dramatic change.  We are very thankful for our donors who contribute to GPiL, so we can continue to have a positive impact on the health and lives of the special needs orphans in China!

For some unknown reason, the special needs orphanage Global Partners in Life (GPiL) supports has had several children that have a hole in their hearts.  After being around several of these children, I can now recognize some of their symptoms.  Usually these children will have blue lips and fingernails.  Also, they don’t have as much energy as the other children.

What may be our largest success story involves a child with a hole in their heart.  From what I have been told, this very small child was in an overcrowded municipal orphanage.  His condition was dire, and the 3 shift leaders got together and decided the child was going to die.  With them all being in agreement about the child’s imminent death, they decided to take the food given to the child and give it to the children they knew would live.  Somehow the lady that leads the special needs orphanage GPiL supports found out about this situation and she was given the child. The child spent 2 months in a hospital before going to the orphanage.  

Once the child had gained enough strength, we donated the money for the surgery to repair the hole in the heart.  While the baby was recovering, a young American teacher in town started fostering the child.  The child continued to improve, and the teacher’s parents legally adopted the baby!  So, this child went from being left to die to living with a wonderful family in America!  

As you can tell from the pictures below, a large incision is needed by the medical team to correct a hole in the heart.  I can’t imagine how sore the children are after this operation, but I am thankful that GPiL has been able to provide the surgery for them! And in this case, the child also received a loving family.hh

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These are two different children and the surgeries were done a year apart.  Thankfully the surgeries were successful!  When people donate to Global Partners in Life, this is one of the ways we use the contributions to help the children!

The picture below is the passport for a friend of mine in China. She is one of the children at the special needs orphanage Global Partners in Life supports. She has many physical issues, but she doesn’t let them bother her very often. She has a severe case of scoliosis. Her hips are out of joint; she has had multiple leg operations; and she has dwarfism. My young friend only eats one meal a day because, if she has a full stomach, her stomach will push against her curved spine, making her very uncomfortable.

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Global Partners in Life partnered with Delta Airlines and the Shriners of Atlanta to fly my friend and a care giver from China to Atlanta and then to Philadelphia. Once they were in Philadelphia, we partnered with the Shriners and the Shriners Hospital to provide medical attention for her.

After seeing two back specialists, a hip specialist, and a pain specialist, they were all in agreement that the risks associated with correcting her back and hips were simply too great. She can walk now, but the operations necessary to correct her spine and hips had a very high probability of doing more damage than good. The doctors at the Shriners Hospital were very generous with their time and wisdom; I am very thankful for that.

My friend had come so far in hopes of having some medical procedures done to help her, but they were not the best long term solutions for her. So many people had helped her and there had been such a large build up to this, but no surgeries were going to be performed (though for good reasons). My friend didn’t say much, but her face told me she was disappointed… and I understood why.

By the time we arrived at a restaurant for lunch, my friend seemed to be in a much better mood. I was very impressed by her character and strength. She was very stoic about her bad news, yet she didn’t seem to let it bother her. She taught me a great lesson that day. For that, I must give her a special thank you. Also, Delta Airlines and the Shriners of Atlanta and the Shriners Hospital of Philadelphia were so gracious to us. They went above and beyond our expectations to help a young orphan girl from China that they had never met. So, to them, I must say a special thank you, also! When my friend landed in Atlanta, the Secretary of State for the State of Georgia made my friend an Honorary Citizen of Georgia. I must give them a special thank you, as well. It was very special for me to see so many people combining their efforts, talents, and resources to help a young girl they had never met. In my opinion, the world needs more people, organizations, and companies like these!