Bright Eyes, Bright Smile, Bright Future

Apr 9, 2024

Nessa with her nanny

Nessa came to us as a bright-eyed one-year-old who was eventually going to need two different types of surgeries. We immediately fell in love with her sweet demeanor and were very grateful for the opportunity to provide her with specialized medical care, to meet her day-to-day needs, and to give her much love to help her get ready for the future surgeries.

The most obvious of Nessa’s needs was her cleft lip and palate. This made eating very difficult, so she had to be fed through a nasogastric tube. At the same time, she had a serious gastrointestinal condition that required special attention and constant monitoring to ensure that she stayed properly hydrated and well nourished. Diarrhea and vomiting were two of her seemingly relentless foes during the first part of her stay with us, and at one point she had a particularly rough patch that required a 10-day hospital stay.

Both of her medical conditions presented significant challenges, but Nessa has been so very strong and resilient through it all. After about a year in care, she was able to begin eating cereals by mouth. This was monumental for her. A little later she was ready for surgeries to correct her cleft lip and palate and for her gastrointestinal condition. We’re so thankful for AiYou Foundation and Shanghai Healing Home for their part in providing her surgeries and sponsoring her recovery period.

Nessa is now back in our direct care, and we are delighted that she is doing so well. She enjoys her newfound freedom of being able to eat food on her own. She especially likes rice cereals and noodles, and of course, like any other child, sweet snacks like biscuits and birthday cakes.

In her Healing Home, Nessa has so much fun playing with the other children, and she especially likes toys with wheels that she can push around. The toy piano is another favorite, and she is fascinated by the music created by each key.

Still a toddler, she is yet a bit wobbly on her feet, but she is making strides in her physical therapy sessions three times a week. She is so proud to say simple words and she likes to mimic what she hears her playmates saying. She also enjoys creating scribble art masterpieces on paper. She has a funny bone and thinks it’s hilarious to stick out her tongue or make silly faces for the camera.

Nessa’s sweet smile is a reminder to us of just how far she has come on her journey. We’re so happy to have a part in helping to chart the course of her life toward a brighter future, and each one who has supported New Hope has helped to make this possible as well. Thank you for the impact you’ve made on this one life.