Monday, April 06, 2009

Memorial Box Monday

Since Kate's surgery is less than a week away, I decided to tell more of her story for this week's Memorial Box Monday.

We have been piecing her story together over the past few months and I think we have most of it figured out. God has led us to numerous people who have been able to fill it in with bits and pieces. He is so amazing!

As you know, I knew of Kate for almost three years. I even saw her when we visited Hope Foster Home in 2006! She had only been at Hope for about two months and still looked pretty frail.

Her story is one of deep sadness but also the miraculous hand of God. She was with her birth family until she was six months old. She was abandoned at a hospital, presumably when her birth family realized the extent of her medical needs and could not pay for the surgeries she would need. We have a photo of her shortly after intake at her orphanage and she looked well-cared for. From there, we think the orphanage sent her to a hospital for a few weeks. We cannot figure out what happened, but she went from looking very good, to stage three malnutrition with horrible bed sores. She has many scars from these sores, and several portions of her scalp that are bald from them. We can only assume that the hospital thought she wouldn't live and didn't try very hard to keep her alive.

Meanwhile, God was at work! Love Without Boundaries had been alerted to a 'very blue baby' by a visiting Ex-pat from Shanghai! They arranged for Kate to be sent to a heart surgeon in a different part of China. When she arrived there, the staff was appalled at her condition and said that she would not survive a surgery due to the bedsores. The surgeon said she needed a minimum of three months of care for the sores and then he would consider trying to repair her heart.

She was immediately sent to Hope. Once there, they dressed her wounds and the attempt to save her life began in earnest. This is one of the first photos that LWB has of her.

Her bedsores were septic (infected) and there were many anxious moments that it was thought she would not make it. Her little body, so emaciated, was fighting to stay alive as well as fight off the infected sores. She slowly began to heal.

Within a few weeks, though, she was hospitalized with bronchiolitis. She managed to survive that and continued to grow and improve.

A month later, she got sick again, running a 105 fever. At the hospital, she tested postive for a highly resistant strain of E. Coli and endocarditis (a valve infection).

She was treated with a six-week course of IV antibiotics at Hope but her blood cultures continued to show sepsis.

There was great angst among the staff at Hope and the staff at LWB as to what would be the best treatment for Kate. If they waited until she was completely 'infection free,' her heart might deteriorate past the point of no-return. If they went ahead with the surgery, the risk of death was much higher, due to the infection in her heart valve.

The decision was to move ahead with the surgery. Within two weeks, she was back at Hope and doing well. AMAZING!! She was on oxygen and many medications, but she was alive! She is a fighter, but if not for God's hand of healing, she surely wouldn't have survived. She has been through so much in her short three years. We are very thankful for the many people God used to help her along the way and we continue to trust Him to take her through her surgery on Monday. She is in His hands and so are we.

Post surgery


Joyful Mom said...

Oh my goodness---what an incredible testimony to the GOODNESS of God! What a miracle your precious little one is. You could absolutely write a book on the journey! God has such special plans for this child of God--her story is just beginning. I cannot wait to see how things unfold. Amazing! Thank you so much for sharing--I am so touched. Isn't is just amazing how God led you to her? Chosen by the hand of the Father--destined to be in your family.

Lynsay said...

You have no idea how much I needed to be reminded of her story today. Love and Hugs. BTW....the girls finally got your name figured out, asked me the other day if you had your babies yet!! :)

Mom Of Many said...

WOW! Did I know she was at Hope? Our Isaiah was at Hope for three years (from 2004-2007)...and then he was sent back to the govt orphanage. It's an awesome place and we are so thankful for their love and care!!

We will be praying for your sweet baby girl - that Almighty Jehovah Rapha would heal her! xo

Cari Bacon said...

What an amazing and emotional story! I could hardly believe how frail she looked in that one picture. Kate being so skinning that her skin just wrinkled on her little bones. I am so happy to see her pictures now with her family especially knowing a little bit more about where she has been. Thanks for sharing.

James, Dawn and Family said...

I am in tears! She will do great with the surgery. GOD did not bring her this far for nothing. What a fighter you are blessed with. It reminds me to that Sofi's strong personality & will is from deep within...a will to live that can only be descibed as a miracle. All our children are miracles but Kate has a special annoiting on her life that GOD has planned for. You all get to foster that!!!

Stacy said...

What a life your little girl has lived so far. She has seen the hand of God, but also the frailty of humans. To have been treated so badly when she was a baby, is just heartbreaking. Brings tears to my eyes.

I will say a prayer for your little girl's surgery and a speedy and complication-free recovery. She definitely deserves that!