Her Amazing Story is definitely worth a re-read, and a retelling.
The pictures above are hard to look at, and we didn't post them at the time, but this was Olivia. Please understand that her malnutrition was not the result of neglect by her orphanage, but of her heart condition (which was not correctly diagnosed by their local hospital).
Olivia came into our care on November 23, 2013, but didn't arrive at New Day Foster Home until January 7, after spending the weeks in-between fighting for her life in hospital. When we finally got to meet her, she was four months old but weighed less than many newborns at just 2.7 kg (about six pounds).
Abandoned as a newborn, Olivia had been treated in her local hospital for pneumonia, but she was just getting sicker and sicker. Even making the journey from her home province to Beijing was a risk, and she needed supplies of oxygen along the way.
When she made it to Beijing, the doctors there discovered the reason why the pneumonia medication had not been working; the white area on her lungs was not fluid from a lung infection, but blood backed up from her heart. She urgently needed heart surgery, but needed to somehow be stable enough to survive it.
After nearly 2 weeks in the PICU, Olivia had her heart surgery. It was successful, but she was very unstable afterwards. Her left lung had collapsed, her heart was enlarged and her heart rate very low and unstable, and the surgeons were not even able to close up her chest for two days. She spent more than a week on a ventilator before she was able to breathe on her own.
(Olivia's hair-color was slightly red when we first met her, a symptom of malnutrition).
The new year got off to a good start for Olivia because on New Year's Eve she was finally able to transfer to a regular ward, which meant that one of our nannies could go to take care of her. It was her first time ever to have someone there with her all the time, someone to comfort her and hold her.
When she finally arrived here, she was so tiny and fragile, but her transformation was in progress...
Olivia on her first birthday!
You've probably figured out by now that these transformation posts (usually) mean that another wonderful transformation is going to be happening soon...from orphan to beloved daughter! We were so happy to hear that 'Iris' had been matched with a family and was going to be called Olivia.
Our photographer, Gan Lu, is going to miss this photogenic little lady so much. She's documented the first part of her amazing transformation, but we know that there is so much more to come, and that Olivia going to blossom even more in a family of her very own.