16 – November – 2006

Initially, it was a referral from a hospital, a child, almost 5, left to die from malnutrition in a garbage can. Of course, I agreed to take it. No one could question that.
The first time we picked him up from the hospital, we had no diagnosis. Maybe he would get well, maybe he would need another blood transfusion. Big swollen belly, skinny legs… looked like many others we had taken. It was all so vague. As time went on, and I realized just how enlarged his little spleen was, and how anemic he was, I realized we had a very, very sick child on our hands. We should never have taken him. We tried to transfer to other foundations that take children with medical needs… no one would take him.
Last month, I sent him to have a blood transfusion. His color was so yellow, he was weak. I expected it to be done and him to be released. It was 2 weeks of hassle, of fighting with doctors, of them doing transfusions too fast for his body and putting him in shock, it was a nightmare. I had him discharged after the last transfusion and decided to find some answers. He was so happy to be home and smiled more than we’d ever seen him smile.
I haven’t been able to sleep. His little face haunts me. I haven’t found any answers anywhere. He needs his spleen removed. But no one will do it. His age… his immunizations… so many reasons.  Finally, I told the supervisor of the children, to take him in for a check-up. He looked like he needed another transfusion. Everyone agreed he didn’t look well.
He is sitting in the lobby of the Philippines Children’s Hospital. We have called all the other government hospitals that could do a pediatric blood transfusion. No beds anywhere. (So you understand, a private hospital will cost us a thousand dollars to do just a transfusion, never mind an operation. A government hospital will only cost us $500 or so.) It is 3:30 PM, Monday. There are no beds available. They cannot help us. We are desperately trying to get Efron on a medical mission with a group that we have worked with before but they are not promising anything until January. Can we keep him alive until then?
Please pray for Efron. Please pray we can somehow get him to the USA for medical help. There is a reason this child is still alive and was placed in our hands… God must have a plan. Help us pray.

15 – November – 2006

Our medical system is lacking considering the number of medical personnel and facilities available to the millions that live in Manila.
Having said that, there are two ways to get medical care- government hospitals where those with little resources go, the care is not very good and you are often lucky to get treatment. OR the few hospitals that are private. They are extremely costly but generally the competent doctors work there and one will get well.
We have tried every government hospital that we can in order to get a blood transfusion for little Efron. Every hospital is full. (I myself can hardly believe!) We are having an outbreak of Dengue fever and there are no beds anywhere. We have offered to sit in a chair to have the transfusion done but there is no staff to monitor the transfusion.
Efron cannot go many more days without a blood transfusion… we will start again at 9am trying to find someone who will make a way… it looks like we will be able to get him to the USA within the next few months for the medical attention he truly needs but until then, he will need at least this transfusion if not another in 3 weeks.
We need God to show us where to go… to give us favor with a doctor… to be able to find donors for blood… to be able to buy blood… and money to pay for the transfusion and room costs. I can’t begin to explain to you the hassle in getting donors screened and finally approved… the procedures, the paperwork. NOTHING is easy.
Efron is not worth anything to anyone. He has been surrendered for adoption and without the operation to remove his spleen, he will die. Doctors know that when they see him. Why waste time on him? There are many others… easier to save. Gentle Hands cannot pay the full bill. Another social services case… and the list goes on of the obstacles we meet physically and otherwise. 
I have no doubt that God saved Efron for a special purpose… not just because he is a cute little boy.
Continue to pray that we can get the medical help we need. Continue to pray for this precious little boy.

16 – November – 2006

People… if you have ever wondered if prayer works. Let me tell you it does.
Last night we went to bed, exhausted, discouraged and truthfully very concerned about our little Efron. We had been to so many hospitals and no one would even LOOK at him. The excuses were numerous.
This afternoon, we found a hospital that took Efron. It is owned by an old friend of ours. We never thought they would have the equipment or know-it-all to do blood transfusions… (What does that tell you about our medical system J ) Well, my husband went over and asked if they could help us out. The doc said, “yeah, I’ve got one room open. I’ll call one of my pediatricians.” He did and she was there right away!
The cool thing is- they were soo gentle. So kind. The moment Efron was brought into the emergency room, he cried and cried and cried. Our last experience in the hospital with him scarred us all. The nurse had to try 3 times to get the IV in but he was so careful and gentle. The pediatrician surprised us all and had knowledge Efron’s sickness. His blood was tested and a receipt was written up for blood. We went to another hospital, bought blood, took it to the kidney bank, had it screened and within 3 hours had blood for Efron. (THIS is amazing.)
So as I type this, Efron is sitting in his private little hospital room (it was 50 pesos more for private than the ward so we figured the private room would be nicer for him), eating and reading books with his first transfusion half done. All of us are tearfully thankful to God who once again, has miraculously provided.
Thank you for your prayers and interest in his story. Please don’t stop yet. And don’t forget to thank our Heavenly Father who truly hears our prayers.

18 –  November – 2006

I am still grinning from this afternoon… I keep shaking my head…
Efron went into hospital on Thursday afternoon. Again the words of the pediatrician… He can’t go home until he a count of at least 10. We all cringed.
His blood count was 3.9 very low.
Since Thursday night, he had two blood transfusions and was released this afternoon with a blood count of 9.9  It’s only Saturday afternoon.
Our last hospitalization with this little one… was two weeks, 7 blood transfusions, and blood count never went above 7.
We are so thrilled and so thankful to God.
His lips are pinkish and his skin looks so much better… I believe God is truly at work and has heard our cries to touch this little one.
Thank you for your prayers. We have had a miracle. J We don’t know what is going to happen. He may need another transfusion in a month since his blood count seems to go down every four weeks due to  his illness but for now, he is tucked into bed in my son’s room, safe and sound. Vital signs are good and he is sleeping peacefully.

Thank you, Jesus.