Anderson was born in August 2006 six weeks ahead of the due date via unscheduled C-section. He only weighed 5 lbs. The news awaiting his mother when she’d wake up from sedation wasn’t something any mother would’ve expected. Baby Anderson had been diagnosed with congenital abnormalities, the so called “Goldenhar syndrome” and “Klippel-feil syndrome”, in addition to congenital heart diseases, kidney and spine malformation, as well as hemifacial microsomia with one missing ear. The news hit his mom Judy like a brick wall. Tears flooded her eyes and down her cheeks. Her physical pain was numbed by the acute emotional agony as she wondered if her son would survive or ever have a chance to live a normal life.

Anderson was transferred to another hospital within 2 hours after birth to the level III Neonatal ICU. He was kept there for 2 months to get ready for the heart surgery. Judy was in another hospital, bombarded with more bad news. She was experiencing medical complications herself but she managed to talk to the doctors about Anderson’s situation every day….

It turned out Judy’s condition was life threatening since she had big clots in the lung (“Pulmonary Embolism”). After her persistent complaint of chest pain, her doctor finally agreed to prescribe a CT scan before releasing her. Judy was transferred to the cardiac ICU on the 4th day of her hospital stay. For the first time in her life, she felt life was too hard and lost the will to live. She could not move, and worse yet could not see her son. Her tears dried up and she couldn’t fall asleep day or night… Until a week later when she finally saw her baby, the precious boy who was hooked to so many medical devices and whose survival depended on his mother’s love and strength. Judy realized at that moment that no matter how hard it would get, she’d have to pull it through for her son. He became her strength!

In the next seven months, Judy took Anderson to see more than 10 specialists. He had open-heart surgery at the age of 5 months. Judy’s heart broke when the nurse took baby Anderson away from her and walked towards the OR door. Anderson looked at mommy with the most beautiful smile she had ever seen. Judy held her tears and smiled back at her fragile but strong baby boy. She collapsed the second Anderson disappeared from her sight.

Every second after that was like eternity. After the surgery, Anderson had to stay in the Heart ICU for another ten days. Each new day was a day of despair and hope, tears and joy, exhaustion and reenergizing, death and rebirth … When Anderson was in the hospital, Judy ran between home and hospital, getting no more than 2-3 hours sleep at night, while trying to hold onto a full time job… 

Today at the age of seven, Anderson is a thriving second grader. He likes school, loves playing with his friends, reading books and playing computer games. Anderson came into our lives three years ago when he and Jake attended the same pre-school. The boys became buddies and had many play dates.

More corrective surgeries are awaiting Anderson in the years ahead:
– Installation of pacemaker to help his Progressive Bradycardia condition. His heart rate goes down to 20s at night and up to only 50s during the day.
– Pulmonary valve repair or replacement surgery (open heart)
– Bone grafting surgery to reduce the significance of scoliosis, which will be performed at mid to late stage of puberty year.
– Three craniofacial surgeries (reconstructions of outer ear and outer ear canal; corrective jaw surgery) followed by months of in-home post-surgery therapies.
– Lifetime hearing aids or preferably hearing aid surgery

Medical insurance doesn’t cover most of these surgeries. Being the single mother who has sole custody of Anderson, Judy is working hard to come up with the funds to pay for the procedures in order to improve the quality of life for her son.

I’ve got to know Judy over the last few years and felt the weight on her shoulders. She is a courageous woman with remarkable strength and resilience. I’d like to help her and Anderson out by donating all proceeds from my online book sales from now till the end of the year to Anderson’s trust fund.

If you are moved to make a tax-deductible donation to Anderson, please send it to the non-profit organization www.Cmain.org that is driving the fund raising on Anderson’s behalf. http://www.cmain.org/new/index.php?_m=mod_product&_a=view&p_id=140

or to Judy’s Paypal account(non tax-deductible):

Together we can mend the broken wings of this little angel so that he can fly as high as he wants.

For the Chinese version of the story, please click: http://www.letgoblog.com/小蛋儿-折翅的小天使/