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Zhuangzhuang
Age: 10 months

On New Year’s Day, a journalist from Henan Province found an abandoned struggling newborn baby and took him to the local orphanage. At the orphanage the pale, skinny baby baby was given the name ZhuangZhuang, “be strong,” which reflected their hope that the tiny baby with health problems would find the inner strength to overcome his obvious physical frailty.

 

Several days later, when ZhuangZhuang arrived in Beijing, there was no sign that he could live up to his name. He was very fragile and his life was in danger. At the train station he was met by China Care’s medical team and taken immediately to the hospital. Because he was so weak, ZhuangZhuang had emergency colostomy surgery for his condition called a high imperforate anus. ZhuangZhuang’s recuperation process was long and rocky- he developed pneumonia and anemia. After round-the-clock tending by the nurses and nannies at The China Care Home, he started showing glimmers of strength.

ZhuangZhuang started to interact with the nannies and just like a curious, healthy baby would, he started to suck on his fingers and take interest in his environment. But little ZhuangZhuang had more health crises to endure. He started developing fevers, lost his appetite and had three seizures. We were all heartbroken when the hospital advised us to be prepared for the worst news.

To our amazement and relief, little ZhuangZhuang’s fight for life never ceased. After a month in the hospital with IV nutrition, he became strong enough to undertake surgery to close his colostomy and create an anus. After recuperating at the hospital, ZhuangZhuang returned to The China Care Home and his condition greatly improved. He started drinking more milk and put on weight, and even got the strength to turn himself over from his tummy to his back. He enjoyed playing with toys and searched the pile for new ones he had not played with before. The sound of his first giggle was a delight to all!

Soon ZhuangZhuang will have heart surgery for the atrial and ventricular septal defects that affect his heart. We all hope and trust that after heart surgery we will hear more giggles and see more smiles from ZhuangZhuang. He has come so far and everyone agrees that “be strong” is a perfect name for this little fighter.