Written by Terese Francis, Charity Coordinator
The family had learnt of Zhang’s heart condition during pregnancy but were determined to do everything they could to save the child. Zhang was born prematurely and has delayed development. He was required to spend his first month in hospital, which was very costly.
Tanya (BSG parent/Hopeful Hearts Liaison) mentioned a few times prior to the visit that the first meetings with families were a little distressing since it is to verify whether their case is eligible for Hopeful Hearts to sponsor. Though the second visit is of happier times when the child is discharged. With this is mind I expected Zhang to be held by his mother and father and finally able to start a new life with no daily life and death concerns. However, this was not the case. Zhang was still in ICU and when discharged he would need to take daily medication for the rest of his, most-likely, shortened life. He will be unable to play sport, which is something we take for granted, especially considering that day being the Primary Swimming Gala with so many parents cheering their children participating in such an event. And to put it more in perspective, while at the hospital Vivien received a message with a picture of her son winning a gold medal, something Zhang’s mother will most likely never receive.
The nurse showed Vivien and myself around the ICU where there were babies a day or two old on life support. There was another child who was less than a year and unable to eat since if she did blood and fluids would leak from her heart into the drainage which was already a quarter full under her bed. Being a mother of two, my heart ached for these children and their families. I wished they had some means of support without having a delay for such serious operations. Once informed that their child required heart surgery, some parents have no choice but to take their baby home hoping their child would not pass away whilst trying to raise money for almost a year.
Even though Zhang’s life will not be as blessed as other children’s, he now has a fighting chance to live which he would not have had without the help of Hopeful Hearts and through the generosity of BSG’s community.
That day I realized how fortunate me and my family are. It was an important message I had to teach my own children, so I showed them the photos with Zhang and his scars and explained that he had to sleep at a hospital without his family. This was extremely simplified for my little ones to wrap around their heads. My eldest, a six-year-old, then said that she would tell all her friends and ask them to all give up their own toys for Zhang and other children like him. I knew then that as the Charity Co-coordinator it was essential for BSG’s students to understand how their donations whether monetary or stuffed toys make a difference in other children’s (and their families) lives.
I learnt a lot that day, such as, did you know:
- Of all the funds raised by Hopeful Hearts, 96% are used solely for medical costs of the children supported. The remaining 4% is used to cover administration costs by the Amity Foundation.
- All cases are approved by Amity and all donations are paid to Amity to ensure legitimacy.
- The cost for heart surgery for a newborn is around 80-10,000RMB. Hopeful Hearts donate up to 30,000RMB per case which means that the families must be invested and raise as much possible before consideration by Hopeful Hearts.
Thank you to our BSG community for your continued support and generous donations throughout the year. Every donation, even the smallest, changes the life of a child and their family. Through your help we will continue to help keep young hearts beating.