A Story of Hope, Defying the Odds
We were visiting a hospital in Zhengzhou, Henan in April 2004 when a surgeon told us about a four-year-old girl who had been abandoned by her mother in the hospital lobby. Her name was Wang Zhen Zhen (“Jen Jen”). Her mother and a motorcycle taxi had brought her to the hospital because she had a stroke. Her mother and the taxi driver were never seen again, and the police could not find them. Agape became her family.
She has a severe congenital heart defect. She was like a blue baby which usually does not live when born in China – ninety percent of them reportedly die soon after birth (Zhen Zhen had survived, defying the odds). But, she also had an abscess on her brain and was partially paralyzed. Her world seemd to be without hope.
We were informed by the surgeon that she was inoperable and would die soon. We arranged to have her transferred to Wuhan in hopes of finding a surgeon to attempt to save her life. The surgery was not successful, and a by-pass was completed. She developed a bad case of pneumonia and then she contracted measles. No one expected her to live – but, she came through both and was still strong.
Some of our most difficult memories were when we tried to take blood samples for testing. She did not have veins which were strong enough to draw blood from. We had to hold her and allow the doctors to search for her poor little veins until we could find some blood. It was a difficult time for her, for us and for her medical teams. Her strength through her weakness continues to amaze all of us.
In December 2004, we transferred her to our North Canton Care Center in Longhui, Hunan. She was happy there and had friends and workers who loved her. We always loved visiting her at the care center. She always remembered us and became very jealous if we paid any attention to any of the other children. She would hold on to our hands the whole time we were at the center.
Over the next several years we had cardiologists from the US and China examine her to see if there was a way to save her life. Each time we were told that she was inoperable. Finally, with the recommendation of a surgical team, she had a second heart by-pass which would help her live longer. Again, Zhen Zhen was defying the odds – her life is a symbol of hope.
When we closed the North Canton Care Center, she moved to the Neil Taylor Care Center in Rongshui. She is no longer able to attend school as she is too weak to climb the stairs and take part in regular school activities.
Zhen Zhen has fainted several times over the past couple months, and during the recent Chinese New Year we took her to the hospital again where she was diagnosed with lingering effects of the strokes she has had in the past. We have decided to take her back to Wuhan and she is currently on her way there with the help of OB, she will be seeing cardiologists in the hospitals that cared for her more than a dozen years ago.
Please join us in praying for Zhen Zhen and her doctors as they seek ways to provide comfort and healing for her.