My name is Chelsie and I am a NICU RN from the US that volunteers with Little Flower Projects. I would like to share a story with you about a little baby named Xin.
A little over 3 months ago I was at Little Flower’s Inner Mongolia project and was eating lunch when suddenly someone rushed by and said “New baby!”. We jumped up and followed one of the orphanage staff into a room. She set a baby down on a crib.
This little one was a girl. The first thing I noticed was that this baby was tiny and blue. She was lethargic, felt cool, her skin was yellow, her stomach was bloated and she was obviously not oxygenating well. There was a flurry of activity as we grabbed our scale, pulse oximeter, thermometer and stethoscope. The pulse oximeter showed a low heart rate around 100 and oxygen saturation in the 70s. Her temperature was low at around 97 degrees F and I didn’t want to know how low her blood sugar was.
We got to work to stabilize her. We quickly placed her on our scale and she weighed just under 2 kg (4.4 lbs.). We placed a nasal cannula in her nose that delivered oxygen to her lungs, we inserted an NG tube and started small hourly feeds of donated breast milk, we took off all of her clothes and she was placed on the radiant warmer we had available. Skin to skin with me! She was continuously monitored but not with a machine. With my eyes, ears and the feeling of her little chest raising and falling against mine. Within an hour her temperature, heart rate and oxygen saturation all normalized and she became more alert which indicated that her blood sugar was normalizing as well.
We quickly purchased train tickets to get baby Xin back to Beijing where we could admit her to a hospital that would be able to help her. We suspected that she had some pretty significant medical problems based on her yellow skin and some peeling on her hands and feet, not to mention her lung issues and prematurity. The train ride is 8.5 hours between the Little Flower project in Inner Mongolia and Beijing. It was March and very cold still so Xin needed to be skin to skin for the majority of the train ride and was fed via NG tube every hour. She was also very dependent on oxygen so we had to get special permission from the train company to bring our oxygen concentrator on board. We then used portable oxygen bags to keep her stable on the subway ride and walk from the train station to the hospital. We made it to the ICU in Beijing and she was admitted.
There it was discovered that little Xin had a wide spread congenital infection that wasn’t responding well to antibiotics and her liver was not functioning. We weren’t sure she was going to make it. But she fought hard through 2 long months in the hospital and was released back to Little Flower’s care in mid-May still on liver medication and needing additional treatment for her infection. Currently this little fighter is back in the hospital for 1 of at least 2 more rounds of continued treatment for her infection. Little Flower Projects did what we needed to do save this baby’s life and we are so incredibly happy at the progress she has made and that she is stable and doing well.
We knew that her medical bills were adding up but we continued to do what was best for her hoping that we would be able to come up with the funds to cover it. To date her medical expenses total over $18,000. With her current hospitalization and her planned second, we anticipate her total bill to be around $23,000. This is a large amount of money for a non-profit and all invested into one baby. We have no doubt that this beautiful life is worth every penny! But we don’t currently have the funds to cover her hospital bill. If you are able, please consider becoming a part of little Xin’s story and donating to help us cover her medical expenses. Thank you for your support, thoughts and prayers for baby Xin and for the work that we do for babies like her every day!