3/17/14 - Thank you for helping us reach our goal of treating 1000 children that we had set six years ago. We saw clearly in the past two weeks one miracle after another because of your commitment to love, care, and pray for Hongyan.
We would like to share the final miracle which happened today: Hongyan was able to walk for the first time in her life. We were able to follow her journey from a seven year old girl who could not walk and had to be carried her entire life to a joyful, rosy, and healthy girl taking her first steps. Now she is on her way to a new heart and a new life! Let's celebrate with her family!
Thank You from Hongyan's Mother: "We never imagined that there would be a day to see Hongyan's face no longer blue and for such a huge transformation and new life. Thank you the Little Red Scarf, our donors, and supporters who prayed for us daily. You are all Hongyan's heroes. If it weren't for the Little Red Scarf, Hongyan would still be carried by her grandmother right now." Click here for Hongyan's List of Donors.
4/22/14 - Hongyan is able to walk for 40 minutes and took our staff to her school which she is excited to attend this September. She also accompanies her mother and brother while they farm and till the land daily which requires walking 15 minutes to and from her home.
3/15/14 - What a miracle! Hongyan left the ICU this morning and is on her way to a healthy recovery. When the nurses told her that she could see her family again, she could not stop smiling. Look at her complete transformation!
3/14/14 - Hongyan is recuperating well on her third day in the ICU. If her health continues to improve, she will be out of the ICU next week. Her fingers, fingernails, and hands show no more signs of cyanosis (blueness). Her family continues to be deeply amazed and touched by Hongyan's transformation repeating that they "could not believe that Hongyan's face is no longer blue and rosy like a normal person."
3/13/14 - Hongyan woke up last night and has been removed from the ventilator. Her doctor has informed us that half the risks are gone and her condition after surgery is much better than he envisioned. Hongyan is still very weak and will continue to stay in the ICU. Thank you for all of your support! We will continue to update you on her recovery.
Translation of detailed story from our staff, Yunyun:
It's so wonderful! Hongyan has already been taken off the ventilator. This news is the best yet. The doctor said the post-operative risks are already half gone. Hongyan is very strong and courageous in the ICU. She is obedient and listens to all the nurses so the nurses all admire her.
We talked to Dr. Tang and asked about Hongyan's situation. He said, "Hongyan's condition after surgery is much better than I envisioned." Her post-operative blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and other indicators have been normal and stable. At noon, they will give her an ultrasound and if the results are good, then she will be taken off the ventilator in the afternoon. Dr. Tang said her ultrasound results were good. Our staff has been worried about the ventilator.
However, when Yunyun went to check on Hongyan in the ICU, she never expected that Hongyan would already be off the ventilator. Her eyes were closed. When Yunyun walked up to her side and placed a small purple pony toy next to her, she woke up. Yunyun saw Hongyan's rosy face like a normal healthy girl. Yunyun was so happy and took a photo of her face and let Hongyan see for herself and told her, "Your surgery was successful. Your face is now a rosy and healthy color. You are so brave. The doctor admires your courage, but now you have to stay strong for two more days. The nurses will wait until you are very good and obedient, then you will be able return to the general ward. Then we will all be together." Listening to her agree, Yunyun could still feel that Hongyan is still very weak.
The nurse said that Hongyan can see her mother at 3pm and her eyes widened. She has missed her mother. Yunyun comforted her some more and promised her that when she returns to general ward, we will give her a beautiful new backpack so she can start school. "Hongyan, you need to hang in there and get well soon."
After Yunyun left the ICU, she let Hongyan's mother, brother, and cousin see her photos. They were ecstatic because they have never imagined that one day, Hongyan's blue face would be gone. They said, "We never imagined that there would be a day to see Hongyan's face no longer blue and for such a huge transformation and new life. Thank you the Little Red Scarf, our donors, and supporters who prayed for us daily. You are all Hongyan's heroes. If it weren't for the Little Red Scarf, Hongyan would still be carried by her grandmother right now."
3/12/14 - Hongyan's surgery took place from 7:30pm-12:30am PST last night. Thank you for all your prayers because her surgery was successful and very smooth. Her face and cheeks have become rosy already.
Dr. Tang said he was satisfied with the results; however, the most risky time is the two days after surgery while she is recuperating in the ICU. He will be in the ICU on shift all night to watch over her. Her vitals are currently normal. She has overcome the first hurdle, but we ask you to continue to pray for the biggest hurdle to come which is this week in the ICU. Thank you for joining her in the fight for her new life.
3/11/14 - Hongyan will have surgery tonight Tuesday 7pm to midnight PST. Please keep her in your prayers throughout the surgery and into the ICU. The staff briefed her and her mom on all the procedures to help them relax.
As you can see from her photos taken yesterday, Hongyan is very happy and excited for surgery.
3/10/14 - Hongyan sickness is better now. Her IV medication is helping as well because her skin is not as blue as before. The doctors said that if her health continues to improve, they will prepare for surgery on Tuesday.
Here is a photo of her receiving IV medication today. Hongyan is very brave and told us she is not scared of needles.
3/8-9/14 - Chao Foundation sponsored a charity art show to fundraise for Hongyan's high surgery fees. TFish was able to fundraise enough for Hongyan's surgery through donations and buying of paintings. He Yuanming has been an artist for over 35 years. His works were collected and exhibited numerous times around the world in countries such as China, the US, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The Hong Kong Ritz-Carlton Hotel has collected He Laoshi’s three works titled “Galloping,” “Morning Breeze,” and “Eight Horses.” The works of art have been enlarged to become a mural on the ceiling of the lobby and were named “Horse Galloping Across the Sky.”
Aside from being an exceptional artist, He Yuanming is also a very caring person, especially for the poor families in rural China. He Laoshi’s exhibit in the Bay area coincidentally occurs around the same time as our foundation’s Little Red Scarf project approaches its milestone of helping our 1000th child receive heart surgery in rural Gansu province, which was a goal we had set six years ago. After He Laoshi heard about this, he immediately decided to donate eight of his paintings to help these children. On behalf of these children and our foundation, we would like to express our sincere gratitude for his kindness. We also thank our volunteers and donors who generously gave their time and resources to make this art show a success.
3/7/14 - Hongyan's mother is also continuing to open up, and the staff was able to chat more with her to find out that Hongyan's favorite food is rice and fried potatoes. Our staff immediately went and bought that for her lunch because she needs to eat more and get more nutrition before the surgery.
We will be back with updates on Sunday, which is Monday and after the weekend for them. Continue to pray for Hongyan to get well soon to have surgery and for more opportunities to love and care for the family.
3/6/14 - Hongyan's sickness is getting better. The staff told us that Hongyan's mood is much better today. She seems to treasure the stuffed bunny that Thuy had given her, hugging it tightly as she went to sleep last night. She is currently receiving IV medication and the staff feared her hand would be uncomfortable and asked her to let go of her stuffed animal, but she refused to do so. It is promising to be able to see the spark of tenacity in her spirit despite the frailness of her condition. The staff all have now given a name helper bunny, "PanPan".
3/5/14 - Hongyan's surgery has been delayed until she recovers from the flu. LRS staff cheered her up by surprising her with a donated gift. This is Hongyan's first stuffed toy. When we visited her home, she was playing with a plastic spoon and scooping dirt with it. Hongyan, get well soon.
3/3/14 - Hongyan has a high fever today. Doctors said they may need to cancel today's heart surgery due to her fever. Please keep her in your prayers. We will keep you updated tonight if she will have surgery or not starting at 10pm.
3/1/14 - Here is an update of Hongyan in the hospital waiting for her test results and surgery. She is less scared and willing to eat. She is also wearing her new outfit gifted to her by Thuy and looks very lovely. Please continue to keep her in your prayers.
2/26/14 - TFISH staff are currently with her in the hospital while she undergoes some tests. She met with Dr. Tang, one of the best congenital heart disease surgeons in Lanzhou province. Dr. Tang explained that the surgery is very complicated and has many high risks, however he thinks he can perform the surgery.
2/25/14 - Hongyan enters the hospital for examinations to see if surgery can be done since her illness is one of the most severe (tetralogy of fallot). Yunyun walking along with Hongyan and her mother to enter the hospital. LRS' focus and strength is patient advocacy.
The Chao Foundation has employed four full time staff members under the management of the Chao Foundation’s Executive Director, Nancy Nguyen, to perform patient advocacy, reporting, and tracking with the utmost detail and care. Staff are stationed full time at both hospitals to guide and protect the rural families who would have otherwise been exploited by the city systems due to their lack of knowledge and education. These poor families are often sent back home to gather enough loans to afford overpriced hospital fees.
2/24/14 - We listened to each family member share their story. Since her birth, Hongyan has been unable to walk because her heart is so weak. She can only stand up for 5 seconds at a time and has become accustomed to squatting her entire life. Resulting from lack of oxygen, her face, ears, and body are blue. She has clubbing of fingers and toes. She has been carried by her family her entire life. Fortunately, with the surgery, she will be able to walk, attend school, and the lives of her family will be drastically improved.
Hongyan's father passed away two years ago from paralysis. Her grandmother carries her on her back while picking trash to sell to buy food for the family to eat. Hongyan's mother told the staff that she is willing to marry anyone willing to pay for her daughter's surgery. Without the surgery, Hongyan can only live about another two years.
We are asking you to help us raise money for Hongyan, even as much as $10 will go a long way towards helping her receive this life saving surgery.
2/23/14 - Currently Nancy, Thuy, and TFISH staff are visiting Hongyan's home in rural China to verify her poverty conditions and bring her back to the partner hospital in Lanzhou for examination.
2/17/14 - Nancy decides to go to Lanzhou.
2/14/14 - Occurring simultaneously as Congenital Heart Disease Week 2/7-2/14/14, they immediately spread awareness for Hongyan to their family, friends, and on Facebook.
2/07/14 - Nancy contacted the LRS Lanzhou staff and asked about the last five children and mothers before reaching our milestone we had set six years ago. The staff said they were not sure who will be the 1000th child. Nancy brought up "Hongyan" who is on the LRS waiting list and had the highest poverty rating because she did not have any money or loans to contribute to the 30% family portion of the surgery fees. The staff took some time to review the waiting list and finally remembers Hongyan and sends Nancy some photos of Hongyan and her symptoms. They said the mother does not have enough money and might not comply to come to Lanzhou again, but they will call and let Nancy know if they could help them. Nancy said, "I hope that her family will want to come to Lanzhou. I hope Hongyan could be our 1000th child because her situation is extreme poverty, and it would be very meaningful to help her." They were on 995 children treated at that time. Fast forward to 999 child, Nancy, Thuy, and the staff were able to visit Hongyan's home to verify her poverty conditions and help bring her back to Lanzhou for a check up. At the time she entered the hospital, she was exactly our 1000th child.
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