As newly elected NAIS Pudong Service Leaders, Nils Scholten and I, alongside Mrs Jules Murphy from the NAIS Pudong Community Group and Miss Cuskin had the privilege of visiting Shanghai Children's Hospital in Pudong to meet three children whose heart operations were funded through the fundraising that was completed last year at our school.
Every year, our Community Group raises funds to cover the costs of such operations and these funds are raised through activities such as the Summer Festival and Christmas Bazaar. Last year, the school Service Group raised even more funds through the generousity of parents and students who contributed to our Hongbao for a Heart campaign, and were able to contribute to another lifesaving operation.
The three children whose operations were sponsored were Mincong, Yun-Yun and Bizhu. We were saddened to hear that all three children were orphans and were currently residing at the Baby Home near the hospital.
Our first stop was to visit Mincong and Yun-Yun in the playroom at the hospital. Mincong, a lively 9-month-old from Yunnan province, was in need of catheterization (surgery through the upper leg) to fix the hole in his heart which was the result of a congenital birth defect. Like Mincong, Yun-Yun, aged 7, also received the same procedure; hers was a little more complex as she had multiple holes in her heart. Both children received their surgery last week and have since been discharged from hospital. It was amazing to see what a fast recovery they have made and in such a short space of time. They were very happy and smiling and showing signs of a full recovery.
Our next stop was to visit Bizhu, a 9-month-old girl who was recovering from open heart surgery in the high dependency unit. While Bizhu remains confined to her bed, she has also made remarkable progress and doctors hope that she will be able to be discharged from hospital in the following weeks and will join Mincong and Yun-Yun at the Baby Home. For now, all three children remain in the care of their solicitous ayis, while they are nursed back to full health.
These children caught the attention of the Heart to Heart association through their association with the Shanghai Baby Home. The Baby Home is connected to the Children’s Hospital and its staff regularly refers children who are in need of treatment to Heart to Heart.
It was wonderful and enlightening to actually see the direct results of our fundraising efforts. We as a community managed to help three children from our collective fundraising last year and the Service Group hopes to raise even more money this year to support more children who are in need of our help. With the care and support of everyone at NAIS Pudong, we know this will be possible.
By Hilary Lee