In January 2018, LWB was contacted by an orphanage that had just received a newborn baby in critical condition. Baby Mya was severely dehydrated and struggling to breathe. We immediately rushed her to a top children’s hospital where she was diagnosed with a condition known as Esophageal Atresia (EA).
EA is a rare congenital birth defect that impacts approximately 1 in every 4,000 newborns. As you may know, the esophagus is the long tube that joins a person’s mouth to the stomach (basically the hollow tube that all the food you eat goes down). The esophagus forms during the first few months of gestation. For unknown reasons, babies with EA have an esophagus that doesn’t connect to the stomach and often ends in a short pouch. Newborns with this birth defect choke when being fed and are at high risk of breathing fluid into their lungs. In fact, little Mya was diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia upon arrival, which is why she was struggling to breathe.
Esophageal atresia is a surgical emergency. Without immediate medical care, it’s a lethal condition, as the baby can’t swallow or feed normally. An operation to connect the two ends of the esophagus is typically done almost immediately after birth. Somehow, Mya had miraculously survived for over a week. However, her condition was quite critical when she was found.
Thankfully, surgeons were able to operate on Mya quickly, and she was placed on a ventilator following her operation.
After three days, we were thrilled that Mya was able to come off of the vent and begin breathing on her own.
Mya spent six long weeks in the hospital before being discharged directly to our China Healing Home. She was very weak when she first arrived, but our nannies got right to work feeding her carefully and making sure she got all the TLC she needed to recover.
Within a few months, Mya’s outgoing personality really began to shine. She charmed everyone she met with her beautiful smile and loud giggles.
Mya would light up any time she saw colorful toys and especially enjoyed playing with the other children in the healing home.
In the 17 months she was in our full-time care, Mya became the picture of health.
In the early summer of 2019, we were overjoyed to learn that Mya had been chosen for domestic adoption. Every orphaned child deserves a family, and it was finally time for Mya to receive one of her very own.
Mya in 2023
Today, at age 5, Mya is an outgoing and energetic little girl who is adored by her devoted parents.
She loves sports, being outdoors, and traveling with her mom and dad.
Mya is also taking an eloquence class, and as you can see from the video below….we think we have a future movie star on our hands!
Her father sends the hugest thanks to the LWB community for saving the life of his beloved daughter. We echo his gratitude and add our thanks to you for supporting our essential work around the globe.
The value of a child’s life is immeasurable, and our world certainly shines brighter with precious Mya in it.
Watch this space for more Stories of Hope each week as Love Without Boundaries celebrates our 20th anniversary!
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