Today at the orphanage my Chinese colleague really helped pave the way in a major way.
We first went to the clinic for sick kids and newcomers (arrived within the past month), and “officially” saw 3 kids they wanted us to see, and laid eyes and hands on another 8-10.
The official count included a 5 month old with Down’s syndrome and multiple congenital heart defects. We looked at orphanage records, which were not noted after the child had 3 stable days after arriving from the hospital in early July. We recommended (among other things) daily heart and respiratory rates, blood pressure, and weight, since this child had congestive heart failure before arrival here. We also found out that there is no blood pressure cuff available. So we will also buy the orphanage a cuff as well as a pulse oximeter for children that our nurse will keep available there.
Another baby was a 2 month old born with a fused hypoplastic (smaller-than-usual) left eye and chronic drainage from the nose with documented choanal atresia (the back of the nose does not drain into the throat but is blocked). The baby also had reportedly had a hemorrhage in the brain at birth, and the doctors were concerned that the nose leakage was brain fluid. After being reassured by an ear-nose-throat specialist, they still wanted to ask us if the child needed antibiotics for a sinus infection. We suggested rinsing the nasal cavities out with salt solution would be more helpful.
We also spotted a child with cleft lip and palate, another with a missing right arm and deformed left toes, and a few little 3-4 week old cuties wriggling around wailing for food.
An unofficial baby was spotted by us from a distance last week, and this week we took a closer look. A little girl, 11 months old, weighs about 7 or 8 pounds, I’d guess. Probably Down’s syndrome, very poor muscle tone. My colleague thought she might die any day.
We (she) asked someone in the ranks, and GOT PERMISSION for this child to be fostered by one of our available foster parents. YES!
This may be a situation of foster-hospice, but the baby may make a remarkable turnaround in a home environment.
I have not been taking pictures at the orphanage for a number of reasons, but will try to post one soon of this little girl.
Please think about her as we hope there are no hurdles in her getting signed out tomorrow!