2012 has brought 2 adorable children to our doorstep. Meet JH and Baby XX.
JH came to Swallows Nest (our partner foster home in the Henan Province) in May of 2011 with Tethered Spinal Cord Syndrome. TSCS, a condition closely linked to spina bifida, is a neurological disorder caused by tissue attachments that limit the movement of the spinal cord within the spinal column*. Thankfully, our partners in China are turning JH's once dim future into a bright one. He has already received his surgery, a great blessing, and the prognosis is good!
Lili, JH's caregiver, says that he is a shy boy and is beginning to crawl and stand alone. He gets along with the other children and is a good eater. (And might we add that he is adorable?!)
The Red Thread Promise is sponsoring JH's care until he is matched with his forever family. His file is currently being prepared for adoption. $175 per month will cover his nanny and foster care, clothing, food and some medical care. Please join us in supporting JH during his time in China. (If you would like more information about his adoption, please contact email@example.com. While we are not an adoption agency, we do love putting prospective parents in touch with children in need of loving permanent homes.)
In December 2011, another bundle of joy joined us on this earth, a baby girl named Baby XX. 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, Baby XX has already received her initial surgery and a follow-up CT scan, great steps toward a healthy future. Since then, she has been cuddled, loved and cared for by the specially trained nannies at Swallows Nest and is doing well. 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 until she is available for adoption.
The Red Thread Promise is committed to supporting Baby XX’s post surgical care until she is matched with her forever family. It is estimated that she may be in foster care for two or more years due to the severity of her special needs. For $175 per month, together we can provide for her nanny as well as her medical needs, food and clothing.
Once again, this is a perfect example of how your generous hearts are helping special needs children in China.
* National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
** Excerpts from the U.S. National Library of Medicine
Sarah's discovered something this year, and it's turned her life around: hippotherapy. For the first time since her diagnosis of autism nearly four years ago, Sarah can learn.
But she won't be able to continue on this bright new path without your help. The Red Thread Promise needs to fund Sarah's hippotherapy for a full year, and we can only do that with your support.
Sarah was born in 2004, the first child in a family that grew in numbers and love. She was later joined by Jordan, who is six, and Zion, now three. In 2011, the family adopted Madison, a special-needs child who turns two in March, 2012.
Sarah thrived for the first year and two months of her life. But at fourteen months, Sarah suddenly stopped vocalizing. “She totally regressed,” Said her mother.
Watching her daughter change from a babbling toddler to an uncommunicative, withdrawn child was painful. It was also baffling.
When Sarah was diagnosed with autism, shock and grief mingled with hope that knowing what caused Sarah’s withdrawal into a silent world might offer hope for their little girl.
In 2009, Sarah began traditional therapy in a clinical setting at McKenna Farms. This is the approach most often used for children with disabilities. Many children thrive in these circumstances, especially in a place like McKenna Farms, whose therapy rooms are in the old farmhouse, a true home, rather than a sterile environment.
But those methods didn’t work for Sarah. For three years speech, physical, and occupational therapists worked with her. “Nothing was accomplished,” her mother says. “She couldn’t sit still, she couldn’t attend, and she couldn’t concentrate. There was zero learning taking place.”
Then, with support from Jacob’s Fund, Sarah began hippotherapy.
Sarah’s world is different now. Her mom told us “On her horse, Sky, she listens and pays attention. She’s able to learn for the first time. She is aware that in order to get what she wants from Sky she needs to communicate. She has to say ‘Go fast, Sky.’
“Hippotherapy has made it possible for her to learn. It’s help that is effective. Now we know she can learn.” As Diana repeats this, her sense of awe and relief is almost palpable.
We share that feeling. Helping Sarah achieve milestones and more fully participate in her family’s life is what Jacob’s Fund is about.
Our goal is to provide support for Sarah’s hippotherapy for a full year, at a cost of $10,000. With your help, we’ll reach our goal and watch Sarah grow and thrive with the help of this amazing therapy
In mid May, The Red Thread Promise is sending a team back to St. Vincent's to cover a multitude of projects. One of those action items is a follow up on the All Terrain Wheelchairs that we delivered in July 2011.
Tom and Kathy will be taking a variety of supplies to give the chairs a "tune up" including: 10 Bell Universal inner tubes, 10 Bell Ride On Universal bicycle tubes, 2 Schwinn bicycle floor pumps, 2 Bell air stomper foot pumps, 1 Black & Decker ASI300 air station inflator, 6 Tire levers and 2 nipple wrenches.
While in Port-au-Prince they will also be teaching the workers at St. Vincent's how to install and test the new tubes as well as some simple routine maintenance to keep the wheelchairs in good working order. We look forward to sharing news of a successful trip in our next GlobalGiving report.
Thank you to everyone who continues to support this project as we work toward setting up a full maintenance center in Port-au-Prince.