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2022 May Heartbeat

three year old chinese boy and his therapist smile at the camera

From the Heart

Sweet anticipation. Hope and joy. The birth of a child brings so many complex emotions, and Lia’s family was no exception. Lia’s family had waited a long time to add a baby to their family and anticipated the birth just before the next Lunar New Year. But in mid-August, months before her due date, Lia was born.

Very tiny baby Lia just after birth with IV in her right arm

Babies born before 24 weeks gestation have less than a 50% chance of survival – even less if the birth weight is below 3 lbs. While we don’t know how early Lia was, we do know that she weighed a mere 2 lbs. At around 26 weeks gestation, the lungs begin to change, and the chance of survival of an infant at 26 weeks is now over 90%. Of course, this requires extensive, long-term medical care.

Facing an impossible medical expense to save Lia’s life

Lia’s family was faced with an impossible dilemma. Lia would need extensive medical care to have a chance to survive – but at a staggering cost of 20,000RMB. Lia’s family was very poor, and there was no way to raise such a vast sum.

The Neonatal doctor at the local hospital called his friend, Nurse Angela, that hot August night. He shared the heartbreaking story and the love this young couple had for their baby girl. Lia was experiencing respiratory distress syndrome because her lungs had not yet developed. Each breath was a struggle for the tiny girl, and she was using every ounce of strength. She needed to be helped immediately to survive.

Baby Lia faces a new challenge

8 month old baby Lia looks happy and healthy

Nurse Angela began making phone calls and looking for donations to help this sweet girl survive. The funds were found, Lia received treatment for her lungs, and she began to grow. The story doesn’t end here. Lia and her family are now facing a new challenge – one where you can be the one to transform a life.

You see, babies born so very early often have issues with vision. And the treatments to help them breathe and survive can also affect their vision. Lia has a problem with her eyes, and it needs to be diagnosed by specialists in Beijing. Once there is a diagnosis, a treatment plan can be formed. But it will cost $8000 to get Lia and her mama to Beijing for the testing, diagnosis, and treatment. Your donation to our medical fund can help transform the life of Lia and her family. If you’d like to help, choose medical when you donate.

Teaching dental hygiene

On this scorching day, a dentist, a doctor, and two nurses volunteered their time to teach dental hygiene to the community. Entire families were interested and everyone listened attentively. The dentist taught everyone how to brush their teeth and why that is so important. Left untreated, tooth decay and gum disease can lead to more than bad breath. It can contribute to sickness and even death. Every attendee, young and old, received a new toothbrush and toothpaste. This seemingly small outreach will impact lives. Thank you for your continued support as PHF discovers new ways to help vulnerable children.

Strengthening Families in Sichuan

Over a decade ago, Rebekah was an intern at Philip Hayden Foundation. Her passion for orphans in China led her to start Hope Station, a 501c3 nonprofit. Hope Station recently established a Chinese NGO in Sichuan. Rebekah shared this story with PHF, and your donations have funded therapy for Hengheng for the next year.

Hengheng and his therapist smile for the camera

She stepped into the office in tears. She could barely keep the words of desperation from spilling out, as she shared about her son. At the time, HengHeng was 3 years old. He’d been diagnosed with Autism a year before, and his parents were still struggling with the weight of his diagnosis.

HengHeng ran back and forth across the Hope Station office with a lollipop held tightly in his fist. The Hope Station staff sat with his mama, eager to listen and encourage.

Serving children with special needs and their families

Hope Station serves children with special needs and their families in Sichuan province. Families come to Hope Station afraid, lonely, and desperate for help. Many parents have unsupportive extended families, fears about their child’s future, and some have even considered giving up their child to the local orphanage under the assumption that they’d be better off there.

HengHeng’s parents were all too familiar with these struggles. His dad shared, “For a family like ours, seeing our child grow day by day but not learning the skills he should be learning at his age, it’s really an ordeal… As his parents, seeing the gap between him and the other kids his age makes us feel very anxious.”

Family Strengthening Program

That day in the Hope Station office, HengHeng’s family joined the Family Strengthening Program… and everything changed.

Hengheng enjoys jumping as he works with his occupational therapist

HengHeng was enrolled in weekly speech and occupational therapy. His parents and grandma started receiving training about Autism and got access to other special needs resources. The whole family started getting home visits from a Family Care Specialist, and they met other families with children who have special needs.

HengHeng started showing improvements very soon after starting therapy.

He has learned how to use chopsticks to eat, when he used to just grab food with his hands, so that’s some progress… And when we have him put on his clothes, socks, and shoes, he can basically do it now. “

Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, Philip Hayden Foundation has partnered with Hope Station to provide these therapy and medical services for HengHeng and other children like him. They are learning and growing week after week, and their families are finding hope again.

HengHeng’s family has been in the Family Strengthening Program for almost two years now. HengHeng is making progress every day, his mama doesn’t feel so alone anymore, and his dad knows how to help his family into the future.

We will patiently continue to guide HengHeng, and hope that one day he’ll be able to live independently. That’s our greatest wish.”

Find out more about Hope Station on their website, or follow them on Facebook or Instagram. PHF funded therapy for Hengheng for the next year, and we will be providing resources for additional Hope Station kids with medical or therapy needs. Watch for more stories!

A Season of Renewal

The Philip Hayden Foundation has been helping orphans in China for over 25 years. Our passion from the very beginning was to transform the lives of the most vulnerable children. In 1995, the orphanages were overcrowded and understaffed. We brought food and diapers. Then we held babies and toddlers, played games with children, and looked deeply into their eyes. This kind of connection helps a child feel valued and loved.

Children born with disabilities were often unable to receive treatment, severely limiting their quality of life. In the U.S., we have a safety net for necessary medical care, even if the family cannot afford the medical costs. It is not always so in other countries. As the Child Welfare System changed to meet the needs of the orphans in care, a new need developed: care for orphans with severe disabilities.

As the number of orphans exploded in the early 2000s, so did the need for foster homes for the orphans with the most severe medical conditions. So PHF opened foster homes and established partnerships with hospitals and doctors. Hundreds of children passed through our doors, their lives transformed through love, medical care, and education.

Supporting Chinese Charities

The number of orphans in China has declined over the past ten years, and it is time for PHF to adapt again to meet the current needs of orphans in China. Chinese charities (NGOs) have opened to help orphans and unsupported children in many communities. PHF will partner with local NGOs, offering training and resources. The needs are particularly significant in rural communities, where the number of orphans and unsupported children stretches the limited resources of local social care centers.

The Philip Hayden Foundation will also work to transform the lives of the most vulnerable children in Mexico, partnering with existing efforts whenever possible. Our passion for providing hope to children is unchanged, but we are again in a season of renewal. Thank you for your continued support for the most vulnerable children, both in China and in Mexico.

Access Your Account Online

Great News! We have updated our online donation system, and you now can access your account online. For your security, you will need to request access through a link on our website. You’ll be asked to provide your email address, and a link will be sent to you. For your security, that link is only good for 24 hours. But you can access your account as often as you want.

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