Thursday, December 10, 2009


We received word from Swallow's Nest in Henan yesterday that one of their babies is in need of urgent care. Her name is Zheng Qiu Hao and she was born July 24, 2009. She has been at Swallow's Nest Children's Home since September 28th.
Qiu Hao had spina bifida surgery in October at Shanghai Children's Hospital, funded by Swallow's Nest (39,160.75 yuan or $5,733 US). Thankfully, she recovered fine from the surgery. Swallow's Nest then sent her to Beijing for serial casing of her club foot. Their trained staff noticed that her head had grown quickly from the last time they had seen her. The two entities began comparing measurements from September to December and it was determined that she needs a shunt for hydrocephalus.
Again, not being a medical professional, I had to look up hydrocephalus to find out more about it. According to, hydrocephalus is the medical term for a condition that is commonly called “water on the brain.” The liquid involved in hydrocephalus is not really water at all; it is cerebrospinal fluid or CSF. CSF looks like water, but it contains proteins, electrolytes, and nutrients that help keep your brain healthy. The most important purpose of CSF is to cushion your brain and spinal cord against injury. Your brain produces about 1 pint of CSF per day. It circulates through a network of tiny passageways in your brain, and ultimately into your blood stream where it is absorbed by your body.
Hydrocephalus occurs when the delicate balance of CSF production and absorption is disrupted and CSF builds up in the brain. This build-up of CSF causes the brain to swell, and for pressure to increase inside the skull, resulting in nerve damage.
It is our hope to give Qiu Hao the gift of health for Christmas this year. The procedure to put in the shunt costs 30,000 yuan ($4,500 USD). Swallow’s Nest will pay all transportation costs and send a worker to care for her in the hospital. Sadly, Swallow’s Nest’s unspecified medical fund is like that of The Red Thread Promise – nearly empty.
However, we believe in that the red thread of destiny has connected us to Swallow’s Nest and Qiu Hao. We also believe in the Power of Ten. The concept is simple: one donor gives $10. Then he (in this case “she”) asks 10 friends to donate $10. If each of them in turn asks 10 more friends, we can fund this baby’s surgery in a heartbeat.
Please consider the Power of 10 today and help us give this beautiful baby the gift of health this Christmas. Donations can be made through The Red Thread Promise’s PayPal link on the right or you can send a check to the address at the right.

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