Monday, May 9, 2011

saving lives, one starfish at a time



That pretty much sums up what Amanda over at starfish has committed her life to doing. One afternoon we got to sit down with her and go through pictures and listen to her stories. She showed us a picture of one of the babies she got from a dying room. (Oh, they don't exist, right?) Then we got to see him as a toddler. A chubby, happy go lucky toddler that a year and half earlier was slated for death. We arrived at Starfish shortly after Sam arrived. When I saw him, I immediately thought, "Wow. Now THAT is what jaundice looks like." Nope. That is what serious liver problems look like. He was yellow as yellow can be and Amanda was told by a Chinese doctor that he needed a liver transplant. (Which basically equates to a death sentence since a liver for a baby is hard to come by.) Amanda merrily went on her way, taking Sam to an Australian doc for a second opinion. This doctor had better news. It wasn't Sam's liver, but the bile duct (is that right??) was partially blocked. This still required a serious surgery, but at least Sam had an option. I remember us all being so excited to hear this, that Sam now had hope. And then today started out with an email telling me that Sam had died. Sigh. I honestly don't know how Amanda does it. Falling in love with baby after baby but inevitably losing some along the way as she does deal with a full spectrum of serious medical issues...I don't know how many she has lost, but I imagine that it doesn't get any easier. Oh, Amanda. Just as I heard in a story of Mother Theresa making sure babies were held and loved before dying, I am so thankful that Sam was in an environment that provided plenty of love for the last month in his earthly life. And now he is on to much bigger and *much* better things.

on a lighter note: Rachel has been working like crazy to get her operation starfish shop open. It isn't completely done as she has more projects to upload, but you can jump on over for a sneak peak. 100% of the money from these items will benefit the starfish house. I am also adding a donate button on my blog. Rachel's goal is to not only raise money for her plane ticket to Xi'an next year ($1000), but to also raise $4000 for Starfish. Go, Rachel, go. You're my hero. Give her a week and it will be stocked with all sorts of goodies.

5 comments:

Emma_ps said...

Amazing work by amazing people! Makes me very emotional to read these stories , thank goodness for people like you

Krazy Knaupps said...

What an act of faith to take on babies like Sam! How unselfish to risk the pain of seeing them suffer and even die. But what a blessing to give them a loving place to spend whatever days they have! Inspirational on so many levels!

Linda Tunnell said...

I did hope sam would have a happily ever after story. Yes, it must be hard but bless them for their faith and love.

Michelle Conde said...

Will Rachel be able to take anything over with her when she goes to Xi'an next year? I found your blog through Latter-day homeschooling a while back, and was disappointed I hadn't seen the request for crib sheets before you left. My husband is unemployed and I don't have any money I can donate, but I can sew if there is anything they need that I can make. You or she can email me at mchidester_tari@hotmail.com if there's anything I can do.

Sarah said...

michelle: Rachel already has a whole bin full of stuff to take over to Xi'an and is planning on filling all the suitcases that she can. We would *love* your help sewing!