Hongyan is from rural Gansu and suffers from the most severe form of congenital heart disease. Because of a lack of oxygen, her fingers are bent and her entire body is tinted purple. She also cannot walk and can only stand for a few minutes, spending most of her time squatting or being carried around by her family. Her father already passed away and her family lives in poverty. She was also projected to have a hard time recovering from the surgery. The incredible and complete success of her surgery is also a milestone for the Foundation.
Mr. Chao points out that because Hongyan could scarcely stand before the surgery, everyone was expecting that she would need a period of recovery time before she can walk. No one expected that she was able to walk immediately after the surgery. The foundation’s representatives in Gansu immediately sent a video of her walk, making everyone enthusiastic and proud at the same time of her progress. Mr. Chao says, in the future the foundation will continue to help children with congenital heart disease both by funding their surgeries and through the “Care Plan” that helps their families transcend poverty.
Mr. Chao explains that after reaching the milestone of helping the 1,000th child, the foundation will reach even poorer rural areas to find sick children who are also most in need. They will also initiate the Care Plan to support non-medical needs of the families. For example, the foundation will loan money to Hongyan’s family to help them purchase an ewe so they can start a small business, which will alleviate their poverty.