In December 2011, another bundle of joy joined us on this earth, a baby girl named Xin Xin. A moment that should have brought great wonder, brought a dim future for this little one—she was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus.
Hydrocephalus is a buildup of fluid inside the skull, leading to brain swelling. The name literally means "water on the brain." This buildup of fluid puts pressure on the brain, pushing the brain up against the skull and damaging or destroying brain tissues. Hydrocephalus may start while the baby is growing in the womb. It is commonly present with myelomeningocele (aka spina bifida), a birth defect involving incomplete closure of the spinal column.*
Thankfully, our partners in China are turning Xin Xin's once dim future into a bright one. We learned that she recently received her initial surgery, a great blessing. Her road to recovery is long—it holds numerous post operative medical appointments as well as a follow-up CT scan—but we have great hope for this little one. Thanks to Swallows Nest, she will be in the arms of people who love her and are trained in the care of children with such conditions.
The Red Thread Promise will be supporting Baby Xin Xin’s post surgery care until her adoption. It is estimated that she may be in foster care for two or more years due to the severity of her special needs.
Baby Xin Xin is still very young so we don’t know what other complications she may have. Please keep Xin Xin and her caregivers in your thoughts and prayers and consider helping The Red Thread Promise show this little one how much we care.
* Excerpts from the U.S. National Library of Medicine
You’ve seen this adorable face for the past two years in numerous reports. The Red Thread Promise has been supporting little Christopher over that time, providing medical care and hospitalization during the treatment of his sickle cell anemia since 2009.
Just this week, we received word that Christopher will be traveling to the United States to be united with his forever family at the end of January! But his care by The Red Thread Promise will continue. Christopher will spend about 5 weeks with his new family in Texas before he and his parents travel to New Orleans, LA to meet with a sickle cell specialist. This generous doctor has offered to help us continue his care, running the necessary tests, after which she will meet with Christopher's parents to discuss the test results, as well as a short- and long term treatment plan for his care.
Because of your generous donations, The Red Thread Promise can continue to support his medical care until after the doctor has met with the family and a clear plan of action is set in motion. We will send Christopher home knowing we have done the best we can so he can live a happy and healthy life with as few sickle cell episodes as possible.
From health education, to personal hygiene, to ample food and fresh water, to medication, to good mental health, to doctor's visits and surgery, The Red Thread Promise considers a child's entire being when we think of medical care. As a result of this wholistic approach to health care, we are proud to share our success with Camp Jake, the first camp for handicapped children in Haiti.
In January 2012, we took 33 special needs campers from St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children in the heart of Port-au-Prince to a beautiful location near Montrious, nearly 2 hours outside the city. The beautiful environment on the coast was invigorating to the excited participants, some having never left the city during their lifetime until then.
Many activities and programs were planned for the children throughout the week to encourage well-being and good health, including:
We discovered that children we previously thought could not talk or communicate were able to do so, even if only on a limited basis. Those we knew as needing help eating tried to feed themselves. Everyone stepped out of their comfort zone to try something new. Campers shared their hopes and dreams with the counselors and, through their input, are helping us to the mold the next Camp Jake that will be held in July 2012.
In July, we will build on the personal hygiene education began in January, checking on their teeth brushing skills, observing if they remember to wash their hands, etc. We will also offer additional opportunities for living healthier lifestyles even within the confines of their everyday environment and begin offering career skill-building activities to help students become independent adults.
As always, we thank our Global Giving donors for blessing us with this opportunity to work with these exceptional children, providing them with love, healthcare and HOPE.