_The following is an update from Little Red Scarf, detailing the unfortunate, but hopeful, case of a little girl named Wu Xia who suffers from congenital heart disease. Please read on - you will be moved by her story.
Wu Xia has a slender body, wrapped in thick cotton-filled jacket, and wears an old pair shoes made with cloth. She is standing before me quietly, in a well-behaved manner. The red scarf she wears on her head catches my attention. This brand new red scarf seems to be steaming with heat from the quick walk she had coming over here. It was very early when she left home this morning - as a result, her face was red from the cold, and her skin had become quite rough...
__When I first met Wu Xia's parents a few weekly ago, I got the impression that they were feeling uneasy and nervous as they tried filling out the application form. Soon enough, though, they were able to relax when we started to discuss about how the Little Red Scarf Union helped poor farm families with children suffering from congenital heart disease. They told me excitedly and emotionally how they had seen the promotion about the Little Red Scarf, and how they had received information from other parents who had been assisted by our organization. They handed me the application they had already filled out, including a proof of poverty, picture, application form, identification card, and a copy of Wu Xia's birth certificate. As I flipped through the papers, I could smell the familiar but strong scent of "Tukang" (a bed made with terra which is hollow inside to allow hot air to go through and maintain warmth). During winter time, families in the countryside will burn fire to keep their "tukang" warm. It is a very unique smell.
Upon further research, I found out that there were four people in the family and that their farm was less than three acres in size. Their food source relied completely on the weather. During drought years, they didn't have any harvest. Both husband and wife were illiterate, and their oldest daughter had just started the 6th grade. The wife was diagnosed with hepatitis B three years ago, and had started recovering only recently. There was only one room in the house, used as both a bedroom and a kitchen. Outside the house they raised a few old ducks, and this was the whole asset of Wu Xia's family. Their yearly income of 1000 RMB came from the odd jobs Wu Xia's dad took on in town after the harvest. I could imagine why they appeared so nervous and uneasy.
The application was approved right away, and Wu Xia was admitted to the hospital on the same day through the fund of Little Red Scarf. The hospital started routine examination, and started IV and oral medication to control her pulmonary hypertension. Eight days later the doctors operated on Wu Xia, but during the surgery, they found out her case was worse than they had originally thought. The whole operation took more the seven hours to finish, and Wu Xia was transferred into the Intensive Care unit.
Though ten days have now passed, Wu Xia's lung condition is still very poor; and she cannot be weaned from the breathing machine. Her mom and dad wait anxiously outside the door of ICU hoping their daughter could come out of this critical state. Our worker from Little Red Scarf regularly visit Wu Xia in ICU, and they communicate with the chief doctor about Wu Xia's condition. They hope to bring some love and consolation to the worrying parents. Please pray for Wu Xia that she can get through this critical condition and go home for the Chinese New Year, again wearing her Red scarf.
Regular updates on Wu Xia can be found here. This article was edited by U.S. Intern Isabel Auyeung.
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