The Story of Lele
Operation Date: 28 April 2008
Home Location: Dingxi, Gansu
We first met Lele (meaning "happiness") at the local clinic of TuanJie, China. The chief of the clinic, Dr. Zhang, has known her since her birth. Lele's VSD was quite severe; she did not have much time left. Dr. Zhang had a list of such children but with a surgery table like a working bench, there was not much he could do to help Lele. Though Lele was still a baby, she had already been brought to the hospital too many times; as soon as she would see the stethoscope, she would start crying. The loud murmurs made by her defected heart were so easy to hear even though she was crying loud.
In the March of 2008, AHI visited Lele's family and joyously told them that we could help financially with the surgery. On April 28, 2008, I went out of the operating room with Dr. You Tao, the chief cardiovascular surgeon at Gansu Province People's Hospital, to bring the good news of Lele's successful surgery to her father. Seeing smiles on our faces, her father quickly shook our hands before going out of the building crying. He later wrote to me: "I cried on the day of the operation's success. Why? When I saw your smiling face, all my helplessness, all my hopelessness, melted away."
Six days after the surgery, we saw a smile on Lele's face, and an AHI donor said, "I realized that we really could do something meaningful in our life." Lele's three-month follow-up check showed that she was recovering very well.