Dr. Strauss decided today that Katie’s next three IV treatments, in June, September, and December, for three days each time, can be done at home! I can take her to the Clinic to have her IV started, and then we can carry on the remainder at home, as long as her vein stays open for the duration. Hurray!
Some of you will remember that this is the second of two crucial weeks for the Pleven orphanage.
Last week, Dr. Lilova and her team visited the orphanage and assessed the children.
This week, Shelley Bedford is in Bulgaria. She just gave me permission to copy her report of her meeting with Dr. Lilova, and I have done so below.
Today in Sofia, Shelley is headed for a meeting that could have enormous impact on the lives and futures of the children with special needs in the Pleven baby house.
Could you please do three things?
1) Cover today’s meeting with fervent prayer! I’m not telling you the time of the meeting, because that is immaterial to God. Please just pray that He will work mighty miracles on behalf of the children, and cause the officials to have a strong desire to do whatever it takes to get every child listed for adoption.
2) If you wish you could adopt a child with special needs from the Pleven baby house, it is time to stand up and be counted! Please email Shelley Bedford as soon as possible stating that fact. “We have considered adopting a child from Pleven,” or “We hope to adopt a child from Pleven,” or even “If we could, we would love to adopt a child from Pleven.”
This is not a legally binding statement and does not obligate you in any way!
It is simply vital for Shelley to show those who need to know it that these little ones are desirable and adoptable children, and that it will be worth the officials’ time and effort to get them listed for adoption!
Shelley’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
3) Read the following blog post, copied with permission directly from Shelley’s blog:
“In this blog post, I shared the conditions at one orphanage in Pleven, Bulgaria. The response to the cry for help has been AMAZING. A little over $22,000 has been raised since the post was shared on February 25th!
Today, I met with Prof. Lilova at the Tokuda hospital in Sofia (yes, I’m in Bulgaria this week). She went to the orphanage in Pleven for 2 days last week to evaluate all the children. Based on her assessment, a minimum of THIRTY children will be hospitalized for medical treatment, many of them needing multiple surgeries.
Some of them need surgeries. Others just need basic care like dental work for rotting teeth that cause infections in the body, and feeding through a monitored program to avoid health risks.
In addition to these medical needs, Prof. Lilova shared another finding with me. During her exams, she discovered that MANY of the children have had bones broken in their little bodies and then the broken bones were not treated, causing them to heal incorrectly. It is such a large number of children that have experienced this that the head of the Orthopedic Dept at Tokuda is taking a team to the orphanage to evaluate the children later this moth. Prof. Lilova expects that some of the children will need to come to the hospital for orthopedic surgery to reset bones that were broken and not set for proper healing.
Today, we discussed the legal aspects of providing the care to the children. In Bulgaria, everyone is covered under a government health care program. However, that program only covers basic medical care. It does not cover specialized surgeries and other procedures. So, all basic care of the children will be covered under their individual medical insurance. The stuff above and beyond that (for example, one child needs surgery for cataracts and the surgery is covered but the lens that are put in are not) will be covered by the funds raised in the Pleven medical fund. We will receive detailed receipts for each child’s care to show what was covered and what wasn’t. The money in the special bank account will only be used to pay these medical bills, transportation to get the children to/from the orphanage and to pay the expenses for the caretaker to stay at the hospital with the children.
Tokuda hospital is not benefiting financially in any way for treating the children, and Prof. Lilova will not be supervising the use of the funds.
In addition to these things, Prof. Lilova also requested special formula to use to feed the children with. This formula will need to come from the US and the process for shipping it is being arranged now (verifying with the customs office here on how it needs to be done to not charge an additional fee). Diapers also need to be donated to the hospital for the children. Since diapers can be purchased in Sofia, monetary donations can be made to pay for the diapers, which will be purchased in Sofia and delivered to the hospital when each group of children check in.
More money is needed, folks.
THIRTY children need treatment and surgery. That is 30 kids that we know of right now. That number will increase after the orthopedic team visits. The need is great.
Today, 3 more children from Pleven were admitted into the hospital.
I was able to visit them and hold them.
Today, I held a 14 year old girl in my arms. At check in today, she weighed just 14 pounds. Her physical condition is absolutely heartbreaking. There is no other word for it. I held her and talked to her and prayed for her and all that I could think was…..I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry that you’ve been treated this way, that you’ve lived in this condition. I am sorry that you’ve endured this for all these years.
She wrapped her tiny little hand around my fingers and I looked at the skin and bones the size of a 3 month old. She squeezed my finger and smiled. She snuggled into my arms as I rocked her back and forth and talked softly into her ear. She looked up at me and smiled.
Today, I held that little girl in my arms and whispered in her ear that she is not forgotten, that her life matters and that she is finally going to have a voice.
I am asking…no, I am begging…each and every person that is reading this to
BE THAT VOICE.
I have seen a lot in the 5 years that I’ve been advocating for orphans. I’ve brought my own child home in pitiful condition and wondered if he’d ever recover from the neglect he experienced. That is the driving force behind my advocacy.
But this…these kids…
Today, my heart broke all over again for orphans.
I’m all out of pretty words to say.
All that I can tell you is that today, I held a 14 year old girl in my arms and she is skin and bones the size of a 3 month old.
That should say it all.
These children need and deserve so much more.
Please….pray, share and give.
The lives of these children matter.
“I tell you the truth, whatever you do for the least of these, you did for me.”
[Note from Susanna: Since Shelley published the above post less than 24 hours ago, thanks to more loving and generous hearts, the amount in the fund rose to $23,489!
There is one more thing you can do that will directly impact the lives of the children in Pleven. Could you please help to spread the word of this need far and wide?
After details are hammered out, an upcoming post will tell you how you can help get diapers and formula to Tokuda Hospital for the Pleven children who will be admitted there, as well as to the orphanage itself.
My friends, I cannot articulate the JOY that is flooding my heart to WATCH OUR GOD RESCUE THESE CHILDREN.]