Stories of Hope

Meet Our Staff: April

Apr 22, 2020

We’re happy to be able to say, at least at the time of this writing, that life here in China is beginning to return to a kind of normal. Our thoughts and prayers remain with those in other parts of the world who are still in the thick of it, and we do hope that the tide will take a permanent turn for good very soon.
We trust you’re enjoying the opportunity to get to know a few of the wonderful people who make up our staff through these regular posts. Given the current month we’re in, we thought it only fitting to turn our spotlight on another of our loving nurses whose name is—yes, you guessed it—April.

April is a meek and gentle young lady who came to us from the Philippines a few years ago. In fact, she just celebrated her fourth anniversary with NHF last month. Her cousin was a friend of one of our nurses, Jona (honorably mentioned in our last staff post), and that was how she was able to secure an introduction to New Hope.

At that time, April was simply in need of a job to help support her family, and since she has always had a love for children, this seemed like it might be a good fit. On the New Hope side, our Special Care Center in Nanyang had just been established and we were in need of a qualified nurse. The timing was right and once all the details were worked out, April settled into her new life and role as an on-site nurse in Nanyang.

April has a habit that is very endearing, one that she is probably not even conscious of, and that is a sweet little laugh that follows almost every sentence she speaks. With an innocent childlikeness, her statements are punctuated by this infectious giggle, making it a true delight to sit down and talk with her!

April says her greatest joy comes from the fact that here she is able to help save lives, and one story she told really illustrated this point well. Not too long ago, she noticed that one of our baby boys, just a year old, seemed to be crying far too often, and even when he wasn’t crying, he would never smile. She suspected that there must be some cause for this, so she decided to give him a thorough once-over. She noticed what she called “a little bump on his head” and immediately advised the doctor. Upon further examination and a CT scan, it was determined that the little guy had hydrocephalus. He was sent to the hospital for surgery right away and is doing well yet today.

April commented that it is instances like this that give her joy and peace. But she, like most of our team members, also pointed out that this work is a two-sided coin—or as she put it, a roller-coaster ride. For every high point, there often comes a low, a child who is too sick to be rescued or one who passes unexpectedly. But even then, the silver lining is that she is able to lovingly tend to them while they are in care. It humbles her to see the joy and smiles on the kids’ faces even when they are fighting very serious illnesses.

Chloe and Yuki love hanging out with Nurse April

It’s not always easy to be on this roller-coaster of emotions, from happy to sad and back again, but April has learned to treasure every special moment with the children and to make the most of the time she has with them.

Nanyang is the most isolated of our Care Centers, off the beaten path and surrounded by lovely rural countryside. It is even beyond the reach of most public transportation, so it’s easy to feel a bit lonely at times. This, coupled with the dramatic emotional swings that can occur between successes in treatment and sorrowful losses, can be really tough. Amidst these challenges, April says she has found a balance that gives her strength to go on.

Working for New Hope and being around the children day in and day out has given April a new appreciation for life. She’s grateful for things we often take for granted, like breathing and simply being alive. Her work gives purpose to her existence and being with the children every day reminds her that it is a life worth living.

The job she initially took “just to support her family” has instead become an extension of her family. April made it a point to tell us that she loves her job, her supervisor and all the nannies she works with.

And as for the children, she adores them and sees them all as her little brothers and sisters. Her joy in her work is evident, and we can truthfully say that “April showers” the kids and all those around her with love and kindness. We’re so grateful to have her on the NHF team.