Amazing Stories | Ronan

Amazing Stories


Three-month-old Ronan came to New Day Foster Home because he had been diagnosed with a serious heart condition; he needed surgery that his orphanage was not able to provide. When he was four months old, we took him in for a checkup to arrange his heart surgery; they said that he was too young for surgery and that we should wait. After another four months, further tests showed that his pulmonary arteries were very under developed, so again the hospital refused to do heart surgery.

In April of 2016, a year after Ronan had arrived, we took him back to the hospital, and then to a different hospital; both said they were not able to operate because of the condition of his Pulmonary arteries. We were told that we should wait until he was two years old.

At this point, Karen was able to consult with a surgeon in the US, a renowned cardiologist. His advice was to do surgery now. He said that Ronan was a candidate for surgery and delaying it would cause irreparable damage to his heart. There would be no real improvement in his oxygen levels post-surgery, but doing the surgery he recommended would give Ronan the opportunity to have further successful surgery in the future.

The problem was that every hospital we checked with refused to do the surgery, they said it was too high risk. Without surgery Ronan’s chance of survival was low. He desperately needed surgery as soon as possible. We needed to find a brave, skillful and compassionate surgeon who was willing to take the risk and take on Ronan’s case.

Our medical director contacted a surgeon at Bayi Children’s Hospital, and he agreed to take on Ronan’s case. In September, Ronan was admitted to the hospital.

It was a grueling, complicated, eight-hour surgery. Afterwards, the surgeon was so exhausted that he wasn’t even able to speak to us to report back on how it had gone. His assistant told us that they had been forced to change plans half-way through the surgery. They were not optimistic about the speed of Ronan’s recovery; with a similar case the previous year, the little girl had stayed in the ICU for over a month and eventually needed a trach in order to come off of the ventilator.

After just two days, Ronan was out of the ICU. Just nine days after the surgery, he was discharged from the hospital and back at New Day. The surgeon was so surprised! He said that it was worth all the hard work in the operating room. He told us that he actually likes to take on the serious cases that no-one else was willing to accept, and thanked us for trusting him with Ronan’s heart.


Update June 16, 2017

Early in the morning on June 16, 2017, the New Day team was gathered for prayer. Typically Karen keeps her cell phone on silent, but on this particular morning the ping of an incoming text could be heard in the room. Karen quickly checked her phone and found a message from the nanny coordinator that Ronan’s heart rate had increased to 175 and his oxygen level had dropped to a dangerous level of 58. Only moments before the text arrived, a visiting cardiologist from the States and his wife (a nurse practitioner) entered the room as guests of a volunteer (A cardiology Physicians Assistant). Immediately after the text came in, the three bolted out of the room and went to the foster home where Ronan was. As they assessed Ronan’s needs, the remaining team prayed. Before the prayer time had even finished, Karen received a text that they were able to treat Ronan and his levels were stabilizing. The visiting doctor knew exactly what to do and was able to determine next steps for Ronan. By late morning, Ronan was back playing with the other kids. The topic of the prayer that morning was showing gratitude for the big and little things in our lives. We are grateful for sweet Ronan and the visiting cardiologist, whose first visit to New Day was the morning Ronan needed him.

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New Day Foster Home | Qingyundian Township - Daxing District | Beijing, P.R. China 102605 | 86-10-8028-2124

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