Statistics reveal nothing of the drama, difficulties, compassion and commitment involved in attempting to save an infant from certain death. In her moving report, one of our staff members, Lydia Chiu, reveals one of many strong hearts behind Christian Action.
In July 2007, Christian Action was challenged with saving the life of an abandoned newborn baby boy in Xining, Qinghai. The baby had a congenital medical condition in which the esophagus fails to develop properly. Without surgery in Beijing, the baby would die. At that point in time, we didn’t have enough funds for the surgery and travel. How could we possibly save this baby?
After many failed attempts, we miraculously made contact with the baby’s father. Yuan explained that the family had spent all their money last year on medical treatments to save his wife and his eldest son, who ended up dying shortly after birth. He and his wife felt they had no choice but to abandon this dying baby, yet they would have done anything to save him if they had money.
While we waited for Yuan’s arrival from his village 12 hours away, we worked on securing a bed at the Beijing Children’s Hospital, which is always full. We also needed to raise money for the surgery and hunt down a portable pedal mucous extractor from another county to help the baby breathe on board the plane.
Finally, everything was in place. At the airport, while we waited for the flight, the baby’s face darkened and he had to be given oxygen to keep breathing. He would not be permitted to board the plane in this condition. We then called the hospital in Xining but they were not equipped to help. Yuan was given two options: He could either take the baby home or back to Xining Children’s Home. Either way, he would die.
Yuan suggested a third option though: taking the baby to Beijing by train. Mrs. Cheung, Executive Director of Christian Action, and I both cried during the journey there. We saw no hope of saving this baby but thanked God for giving us the opportunity to try.
The baby’s condition significantly improved when the train reached Lanzhou, Gansu, which is much closer to sea level than Xining. It was surely God’s will that the baby had been forced to go by train.
The staff was incredibly busy at Beijing Children’s Hospital when we arrived, but the doctor-in-charge was able to arrange for the baby’s surgery. Doctors in China don’t work on weekends; for this baby, however, they made an exception. “We will work overtime because of your work,” the doctor said. The surgery was successful! Still, the baby was unable to breathe on his own and was on a machine. He would die from exhaustion if this continued for much longer.
All we could do to help was to phone, email and ask everyone to keep praying for the child. Miraculously, a turning point came late one night. When Yuan watched his baby son breathe without a tube the next day, it was the first time we saw him smile.
On August 16, the baby was discharged from hospital. He was named Enze, which means “Full of God’s Blessing.”
NOTE: Since "Enze's miracle" took place Christian Action has been privileged to help rescue and nurture hundreds of babies, children and youth on the Tibetan Plateau.