Monday, March 5, 2012

Help provide medical care to orphans.

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!
At the age of 9 years and 7 months, Katie weighed 10.5 pounds. When she was admitted to the hospital, testing found that she suffered from Severe protein-energy malnutrition with related severe anemia, severe osteoporosis, multiple spinal compression fractures; scurvy; atrophic skin. What caused these condition? For 9 years and 7 months, Katie had lived in an orphanage in Pleven, Bulgaria where she was systematically and purposefully starved to keep her small, weak and unable to do anything but lie in her own urine and feces. She was fed only liquid, a mixture that contained very little sustenance. The liquid was fed to her out of a glass beer bottle that had a huge nipple on top so that the liquid could be forcibly shoved down her throat. When Katie’s mama arrived at the orphanage to adopt her, she was allowed to hold Katie and feed her. However, the reality for the TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY other children that live in this orphanage is that on a daily basis, they are all fed this liquid while lying flat on their backs in a crib. If they choke, the liquid runs down their mouths or into their lungs. They are not picked up and burped. They aren’t even sat up so that they can eat properly. The children are in such weak and poor conditions, that they don’t have the strength to sit up when they are choking. As a result, children DIE because they drown in this liquid that is aspirated into their lungs or are suffocated by the vomit that refluxes back into their mouth that they are unable to clear from their throats themselves due to their weakened condition. Just this week, while the steps were being taken for this blog post to be publicized, another child from the orphanage in Pleven died. These are not assumptions on my part, these are the cold hard FACTS of life in this orphanage and they have been recently legally documented and reported to the Bulgarian government. Katie is now home in the United States with her family and she’s receiving proper medical care. However, There are 240 other children in that orphanage that still need help. The Bulgarian government has been made aware of what is happening at this orphanage and an investigation has been launched. Official documents have been filed and action is being taken throughout different branches of the Bulgarian government as I write this. While the government works on the legal side of holding those in charge responsible, something must be done to help the children. Pro. Lilova, head of the pediatric team at Tokuda Hospital in Sofia, Bulgaria provided medical care for Katie, so that she could make it safely home to the US and to a hospital here. As a result of seeing Katie’s condition, Pro. Lilova has volunteered her services FREE OF CHARGE to provide medical care for the remaining children in Pleven, starting with the ones in the worst conditions. Three children are currently in the hospital receiving treatment from Pro. Lilova. (the faces of all orphans have been blurred to protect their identity). Here is what the testing has revealed so far: On January 12th, 11 year old “V” weighed 12 pounds and is 29 inches long “P” is 15 and a half years old. She weighs 18 pounds and is 34 inches long Both girls are suffering from a multitude of health problems as a result of the starvation and dehydration that they’ve experienced their entire lives, including evidence of multiple broken bones that were left untreated over the years. They are already suffering from osteoporosis as children due to nutritional deficits. HOW CAN YOU HELP THE CHILDREN????? Pro. Lilova has volunteered to travel from Sofia to Pleven to visit the children in the orphanage and to attempt to come up with some plan to provide the medical care that all of the children living there are in need of. While she can volunteer her services as a doctor, there are other expenses that are incurred in order for these children to receive medical care: 1.) Transportation costs to get the children from Pleven to the hospital in Sofia for medical testing and treatment 2.) Expenses to pay for an orphanage staff member to stay in Sofia while the children are hospitalized (this is required under Bulgarian law if the orphanage insists on sending someone and this orphanage has insisted that a staff member be present) 3.) Special formula and other nutritional feeding supplements so that the children can begin to be fed properly without the risk of re-feeding syndrome. An account has been established in Bulgaria to hold donations specifically for the medical care for the children of Pleven. All expenses will be properly documented and all medical testing, findings, and treatment will be made a part of the child’s permanent medical file, should the child be adopted. There are currently at least 17 children from this orphanage that have families in various stages of the process to adopt them. A fund has been established through Eli Project so that tax deductible donations can be made to the Pleven medical fund. ALL money donated will be sent directly to the account that is established in Bulgaria and the funds will be used for the transportation and medical expenses related to the care of the children. For more info please visit: Thank You!

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