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December Newsletter: Wishing You Health and Happiness

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staff Saves 2 Babies Afflicted with Beriberi

   Beriberi is quite common in northern Laos and can be life-threatening for infants. Last month, LFHC doctors saved the lives of two critically ill babies afflicted with beriberi.

   Two-month-old Arvid Xong was close to death when his parents brought him to the hospital’s Emergency Room. As soon as he arrived, the triage nurse noted that he wasn’t breathing and a doctor found that he also had no pulse. The team immediately started to resuscitate him, using CPR, adrenaline, fluids and antibiotics. They quickly determined that he was solely breastfed by his mother who was on a restrictive diet, so they administered thiamine (vitamin B1) as well.

   One hour after arrival, Arvid was stable and breathing, supported by our CPAP machine. In the ensuing days, Arvid steadily improved. He was discharged after two weeks and will be followed up in the hospital’s Development Clinic, but it is hoped that he will develop normally.

   The other case involved 2-month-old Thai Lee, who came to LFHC close to cardiac arrest. Following resuscitation protocols, the team supported his breathing, performed CPR and administered adrenaline. Doctors also quickly administered intravenous vitamin B1 after noting that Thai was exclusively breastfed, was in shock and had an enlarged liver.

   Thai recovered but a few minutes later, he arrested. He was given CPR and adrenaline, and this time he recovered and stabilized. The CPAP machine was used to support his breathing. He was given Intravenous medication to support his blood pressure and antibiotics to cover for the possibility of infection. He was discharged five days later, after completing a course of antibiotics.

   These two cases illustrate the importance and effectiveness of pediatric resuscitation training, and show how our team is able to transfer that training to their clinical practice, work together and do everything that they can to save their patients.

   Read more about treating Arvid and Thai here.

Outreach Team Helps Local Orphanage

   The hospital’s Outreach Team recently helped a local orphanage battle an outbreak of scabies among its children.

   The problem came to the attention of our staff when one of the orphans was brought to LFHC after scratching rashes to the extent that she developed wounds that became infected. Scabies is a contagious skin condition caused by microscopic mites.

   The Outreach Team conducted a lecture on scabies at the orphanage, which is about a ten-minute drive from Luang Prabang. Medications were applied to all the children and the orphanage staff immediately washed all linens, mattresses and clothing.

   The orphanage is one of the few that exist in Laos and is operated by the Lao government.

Outreach Team Gains Social Worker

   The hospital has hired a social worker to join the Outreach Team.

   Bounmy Ly (left in the photo), began his new position at the hospital by mentoring with Child Life Therapist Kongmeng Sialee (right in photo). The mentorship will provide Bounmy insights into the practice of compassionate care, which is a hallmark of the medical treatment offered at the hospital, explained Outreach Program Director Kazumi Akao. Bounmy’s position at LFHC is his first hospital job.

    Welcome Bounmy!

Former Nursing Director Returns

   Matt Evans, former Director of Nursing at LFHC, has returned to the hospital to serve once again in that position on an interim basis.

   Matt has held the position of Medical Director at Confirm Testing in London, England, for the past six months and prior to that was a Health Project Manager for Terre das Hommes in Bangladesh for six months.

   He served as LFHC’s nursing director from October 2016 to November 2018. Prior to that, he spent five months as a volunteer nurse at the hospital.

   Welcome back, Matt!

Cyclists Raise $17K for Neonatal Unit

   Team Dai, an international cycling community based in Vientiane, made a $17,000 donation to LFHC this month — money raised by team members who bicycled nearly 250 miles (400 km) to support Lao organizations.

   Twenty-seven riders made the trek from Viengkham to Thakhek, in four days. They peddled up mountains, crossed wobbly bridges and traversed picturesque rice fields.

   The donation from the team’s 2020 Challenge Ride will support the hospital’s Neonatal Unit. The money will be used to purchase six 50 ml syringe pumps and one bed warmer.

   Team Dai has raised nearly $200,000 for Lao community organizations since organizing its first fundraising ride in 2008.

   Many thanks to Team Dai!

Caseload Update

   November proved to be a busy month for LFHC’s doctors and nurses. More than 1,990 children were brought to the Outpatient Department and another 1,248 children were treated in the Emergency Room. The Development Clinic welcomed 12 new children, bringing its total caseload to 31 patients. The Neonatal Unit staff cared for 58 infants during November.

Staff Saves 2 Babies with Life-Threatening Beriberi

Beriberi is quite common in northern Laos and can be life-threatening for infants. Last month, LFHC doctors saved the lives of two critically ill babies afflicted with beriberi.

Two-month-old Airvid Xong was close to death when his parents brought him to the hospital’s Emergency Room, His illness had started three days earlier with a simple runny nose and cough, but now he had difficulty breathing, was vomiting and unable to breastfeed.

As soon as he arrived, the triage nurse noted that he wasn’t breathing and alerted the team. The doctors ascertained that he also had no pulse and started to resuscitate him, using CPR, adrenaline, fluids and antibiotics. They quickly determined that he was solely breastfed and his mother was on a restrictive “taboo” diet, so they administered thiamine (vitamin B1) as well.

Airvid was so shocked that the staff was unable to obtain intravenous access in the usual way, so they inserted needles into a bone and a central vein in his groin to administer the life-saving treatment. Outreach staff supported the parents through these traumatic events.

One hour after arrival, Airvid was stable and breathing, supported by our CPAP machine. However, the team remained concerned about his prognosis, as his brain and other organs had been deprived of oxygen for at least some minutes prior to arrival and during his arrest, and his parents were told to expect the worst. Shortly after resuscitation, Airvid developed seizures, which were treated but seemed to confirm everyone’s fears.

In the ensuing days however, Airvid steadily improved. The team was able to stop his seizure medication and his parents felt that he was back to his normal self. The day that his mother was able to breastfeed him again was a memorable day in Inpatient Department. He was discharged after two weeks and will be followed up in the hospital’s Development Clinic, but it is hoped that he will develop normally.

The other case of infantile beriberi last month involved 2-month-old Thai Lee, who came to LFHC close to cardiac arrest.

Following resuscitation protocols, the team supported his breathing, performed CPR and administered adrenaline. Doctors also quickly administered intravenous vitamin B1 after noting that Thai was exclusively breastfed, was in shock and had an enlarged liver. Thai’s heart rate then recovered but a few minutes later, he arrested. He was given CPR and adrenaline, and this time he recovered and stabilized. The CPAP machine was used to support his breathing. He was given Intravenous medication to support his blood pressure and antibiotics to cover for the possibility of infection.

Thai Lee

Two hours after arriving in the ER, Thai was stable enough to move into the Inpatient Department and was taken off CPAP the following morning. By that time, he was breastfeeding and back to his normal self. He was discharged five days later, after completing a course of antibiotics.

Vitamin B1 deficiency, or beriberi, is common in northern Laos due to poverty and a cultural practice of restricting breastfeeding mothers’ diets. Many of these women develop numbness of their arms and legs from the B1 deficiency, as was the case with Thai Lee’s mother. This is often life-threatening for their infants, who develop a type of heart failure and shock, but our staff is experienced enough to instantly recognize and treat it.

These two cases also illustrate the importance and effectiveness of pediatric resuscitation training, and show how our team is able to transfer that training to their clinical practice, work together and do everything that they can to save their patients.

LFHC has been hosting an external research study on infantile beriberi since 2019.

 

Airvid Xong

 

Thai Lee

November Newsletter: A Win for LFHC!

Patient Update: Story of Thongsy

   A few years ago, a father rushed his newborn infant to Lao Friends Hospital for Children after doctors at a provincial hospital had pronounced the baby dead. What the provincial hospital doctors had failed to realize is that the infant, born 12 weeks premature to a critically ill mother, was so tiny that she had an apnea, a suspension of breathing.

   LFHC doctors and nurses saved the baby and our Outreach Team ensured that father and daughter remained a family after the death of his wife. Read more about her story here.

   Today, Kazu Thongsy (she is named after Director of Outreach Program Kazumi Akao) is a happy and active 3-year-old. Her widowed father is a schoolteacher and relies on his extended family to care for his daughter while he is away at school.

   She receives lots of love and care from her large family, especially from her grandmother and uncle. She plays happily with all the other village children and always shares the few toys she has.

Watch the video about Kazu Thongsy here.

Virtual Run for Children: A Win for LFHC!  

   Social distancing requirements sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic forced Friends Without A Border to cancel its annual New York Gala and all of its other live fundraising events in 2020. As a consequence, the organization faced a serious shortfall in its budget for Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

   Undaunted, management for the organization and the hospital came up with a bold idea to generate revenue: the International Virtual Run for Children.

   A virtual run allowed participants to practice social distancing by running, walking or cycling in their neighborhoods (or even at home on treadmills or stationary bikes) thus avoiding mass gatherings typical of marathons and other races.

   The event, which occurred October 16-18, raised more than $115,000. Friends Without A Border extends a warm thank-you to all who participated in this fundraiser and to those who supported the event with their donations.

   Read more here.

Hospital Caseload Surges

   The LFHC team is treating a growing number of patients in all departments. Doctors and nurses treated more than 2,000 children in the Outpatient Department in October — the largest monthly total this year.

   The Development Clinic staff provided care to 19 patients, including eight new children, and the Neonatal Unit cared for 68 infants last month.

Doctors Offer Advice on Patient Referrals

   LFHC doctors crossed the Mekong River recently to meet with their counterparts at Chomphet District Hospital to discuss patient referrals.

   Dr. Annkham Thammaseng and Dr. Daphet Bounpasit (standing left to right in photo) outlined the proper protocol for referring children to LFHC, including advice about the correct telephone communication that is required prior to transferring a patient.

   The referral system is important because LFHC offers the type of pediatric treatment and care that cannot be found elsewhere in northern Laos.

   LFHC plans to introduce this referral education program to other district hospitals in Luang Prabang province.

Staff Gains Insights into Care Management

   Two LFHC staff members recently completed an eight-day training session focused on a holistic system of care aimed at reducing the mortality rate of children in their first five years of life.

   Dr. Vidachan Inthanasith and nurse Khamaxai Xongyikhangsuthor (shown on left in photo) participated in the training, which was hosted by the Lao Department of Health Care and Rehabilitation with the support of UNICEF. They joined more than 30 clinicians from Lao hospitals and health centers.

   The aim of the sessions was to train the participants to be competent to teach their colleagues in Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illnesses (IMNCI).

   IMNCI is a strategy of care that focuses on the wellbeing of whole child and includes preventative and curative elements.

POSITIONS AVAILABLE

The hospital is seeking a Director of Clinical ServicesNurse Educator and Director of Development/Public RelationsThese are salaried positions. Additional information and how to apply can be found here.

Patient Update: Saving an Infant… and a Family

Soon after Kazu Thongsy was born, doctors at a provincial hospital pronounced her dead. What they failed to realize is that the infant, born 12 weeks premature to a critically ill mother, was so tiny that she had an apnea, a suspension of breathing.

Kazu’s distraught father noticed his newborn daughter gasp for air. He told the doctors what he had seen and immediately rushed her to LFHC’s Neonatal Unit.

Our doctors and nurses saved the baby’s life and the hospital’s Outreach team ensured that father and daughter remained a family after the death of his wife. Read more about her story here.

Today, Kazu Thongsy is a happy and active 3-year-old. Her widowed father is a schoolteacher and relies on his extended family to care for his daughter while he is away at school.

She receives lots of love and affection from her large family, especially her grandmother and uncle. She plays happily with all the other village children, sharing the few toys she has.

Watch the video about Kazu Thongsy’s treatment and recovery here.

LFHC Wins with Virtual Run for Children!

Social distancing requirements sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic forced Friends Without A Border to cancel its annual New York Gala and all of its other live fundraising events in 2020. As a consequence, the organization faced a serious shortfall in its budget for Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

Undaunted, management for the organization and the hospital came up with a bold idea to generate revenue: the International Virtual Run for Children.

The event, which occurred October 16-18, raised more than $115,000.

A virtual run allowed participants to practice social distancing by running, walking or cycling in their neighborhoods (or even at home on treadmills or stationary bikes) – thus avoiding mass gatherings typical of marathons and other races.

The event modified the Luang Prabang Half Marathon, the annual fundraiser for the hospital that attracts more than a thousand runners. Travel restrictions imposed by the Lao government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus prevented runners from other countries entering this year’s half marathon. Instead, runners in Luang Prabang were joined this year (in spirit) by runners, walkers and cyclists in England, Germany, Singapore, Canada, Japan, Australia, the U.S. and a few other countries.

Doctors and nurses gathered for a special thank-you photo (below) to show their gratitude to the Lowry family, which raised more than $5,500 in memory of their daughter Sage Lowry, who served at LFHC as a volunteer nurse.

Team We Run raised more than $9,700 in its campaign. In its extraordinary effort, the team ran from the capital city of Vientiane to Luang Prabang, covering a distance of nearly 240 miles.

Friends Without A Border extends a warm thank-you to all who participated in this fundraiser and to those who supported the event with their donations.

Videos of participants in Luang Prabang may be seen here on our YouTube channel.

October Newsletter: Mone’s Recovery!

Patient Update: Mone’s Recovery!  

   When a little girl name Mone arrived at Lao Friends Hospital for Children a few years ago, she was feverish, extremely weak and unable to eat.

   Her chances for survival were slim, but our dedicated doctors and nurses designed an aggressive treatment to help the child. Her story was documented in a video, which can be seen here.

   Today, she walks to school and helps with household chores. She even ran in the 2019 Luang Prabang Half Marathon!

   Read more here.

Continuing Education: Thalassemia Treatment

   The hospital’s Thalassemia Clinic continues to grow and now cares for more than 345 children. The clinic conducts two sessions every week.

   The hospital recently held a training session on the care and treatment of thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder. The training included a discussion on how the laboratory can assist with diagnosing the disease and an examination of treatment options used at LFHC.

   Children with thalassemia have less oxygen-carrying protein (hemoglobin) and fewer red blood cells. Symptoms include paleness, weakness and slow growth. The condition can lead to anemia and have debilitating effects.

   The clinic offers specialized blood testing, an optimized blood transfusion regime, a chelation (iron removal) program and education for the parents of our patients.

Novice Monk Treated for Brain Affliction

   The family of 14-year-old Porm Vannsith, a novice Buddhist monk, rushed him to the LFHC Emergency Room after he suffered seizures and could not move or speak.

   Doctors initially thought the teenager might have experienced damage to his brain, so they ordered a CT scan. The scan showed lesions in two areas of the brain.

   The doctors surmised that the lesions could have been caused by either an abscess or neurocysticercosis (a parasitic infection caused by a pork tapeworm).

   Doctors treated the youth for both conditions. After a month of treatment, Porm recovered nicely and was discharged from the hospital.

Former Volunteers Continue to Contribute

   Ex-pat volunteers and managers have been indispensible to LFHC’s role as a teaching hospital. Often, these healthcare professionals continue to actively support the hospital after they’ve left.

   Two former members of LFHC’s medical team recently made donations to the hospital — money tied to honors they received.

   Heather Harper was named 2020 Locum Heroes Award Winner by Barton Associates for her work at LFHC. She has donated her $2,500 award fund to the hospital. Barton Associates is a healthcare-staffing agency based in Massachusetts.

   Matt Evans, former Director of Nursing at LFHC, donated his prize money to the hospital after winning the Reflections in Global Health Essay Contest sponsored by the Consortium of Universities for Global Health.

   Kudos to both and many thanks for your generosity!

Girl Recovers from Dengue Complications

   Five-year-old Amina Wang was quite feverish when her parents took her to the Nambak Dsitrict Hospital. After eight days of fever, she developed breathing difficulties and doctors there transferred her to LFHC.

   When Amina arrived at our Emergency Room, doctors immediately ordered blood tests, a chest X-ray and ultrasound imaging. The tests enabled the LFHC team to conclude that she was suffering from dengue fever with complications, including toxicity to paracetamol, a common pain killer.

   Careful management and appropriate medication were provided. After 10 days, Amina was well enough to go home.

POSITIONS AVAILABLE

The hospital is seeking a Nurse Educator and a Director of Development/Public RelationsThese are salaried positions. Additional information and how to apply can be found here.

Patient Update: Mone’s Typhoid Miracle

When a little girl name Mone arrived at Lao Friends Hospital for Children a few years ago, she was feverish, extremely weak and unable to eat.

Mone’s condition was difficult to diagnose, but tests soon led doctors to conclude that she suffered from a rare form of typhoid which caused encephalopathy, a type of brain damage.

Her chances for survival were slim, but our dedicated doctors and nurses designed an aggressive treatment to help the child. She was given nutrition through feeding tubes and the staff physiotherapist worked to restore the motor skills of her arms and legs.

Mone remained hospitalized for a month. She was sent home, but returned to LFHC after developing aspiration pneumonia. After another week of hospital treatment, she returned home once again.

A video story about her treatment and recovery can be seen here.

Mone’s recovery has been astonishing. Last year, she ran in our annual Luang Prabang Half Marathon and finished with a smile on her face.

She walks to school and is so enthusiastic in class that she wants to answer all the teacher’s questions. During exercise classes, she often shows other students and friends what to do.

At home, Mone enjoys helping her mother with all the housework chores, including the cooking. She also helps the family harvest local forest food and sells it to people in her village.

September Newsletter: Record Month at Neonatal Ward

Neonatal Unit Sets Monthly Caseload Record  

   The Neonatal Unit admitted and cared for 98 infants during August, the largest monthly caseload of newborn babies since the unit opened in late 2016.

   The surge in neonatal cases caused the unit to be temporarily overcrowded. The staff moved some babies into isolated areas in the Emergency Room and Inpatient Department where they remained for a couple of days.

   Infants in the Neonatal Unit receive specialized care by doctors and nurses. The average length of stay for infants in the unit was 8.7 days in August.

   The hospital expanded the Neonatal Unit in late 2018 by renovating space in the adjacent Luang Prabang District Hospital. 

Hospital Welcomes 2 New Staff Members

   Two healthcare professionals recently joined the LFHC staff:

   – Dr. Thongden Keosou, who earned his medical degree in 2015 at the University of Health Sciences in Vientiane, said he is excited about joining the LFHC team and learning from new experiences.

   – Bounmy Ly, who completed a bachelor’s degree in social sciences in 2019 at National University in Vientiane, said he looks forward to applying his studies toward helping children and families at LFHC.

   A warm welcome to you both!

Caseload Approaches Pre-Pandemic Level

The number of children treated at LFHC continues to grow, edging the caseload to levels recorded prior to the national lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A total of 4,465 children received medical care in July and August, an increase of 78% from the number of children treated in April and May during the height of the lockdown.

The Lao government eased travel restrictions in June. However, the country’s borders remain closed, though exceptions are made for essential travel.

Laos has had only 23 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the first positive test of a suspected patient in March. More than 47,500 people have been tested.

One new case was identified on Sept. 10. A man returning to Laos from the International Army Games that were held in Russia tested positive for the virus and was sent to a state quarantine center.

LFHC Saves Malnourished Baby

   Malnutrition is a condition often seen in children brought to LFHC.

   Our hospital is a leader in the efforts to battle malnutrition in northern Laos. The case of an infant named Tha Done is a recent success story.

   Tha Done was diagnosed with Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM), which is defined in terms of a weight-for-height indicator established by the World Health Organization.

   Tha Done’s condition required hospitalization for several days until he was stabilized. During his stay, the hospital’s Nutrition Team worked closely with his family.

   The treatment and care that Tha Done received proved highly effective and he was sent home with his family and a supply of baby formula and Ready-to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF).

LFHC Doctors Enter Residency Program

   Two LFHC doctors recently began training in the national Pediatric Residency Program in Vientiane.

   Dr. Khamthavong Xaiyavong (Mailor) and Dr. Lakiher Latongxai (Laki) began the three-year residency program in mid-August. Both have been staff physicians at LFHC since 2015.

   Doctors accepted into the Pediatric Residency Program undergo a highly competitive national selection process.

   Both LFHC doctors said they see the residency program as an opportunity to expand their professional development and eventually contribute to the improvement of medical care for the children in northern Laos.

   Congratulations to both!

Still Time to Get Involved!

   It isn’t too late to participate in Friends Without A Border’s first International Virtual Run for Children, which will be held during the weekend of October 16-18.

Unlike a mass gathering of marathon runners, a virtual run allows you to race in your own space at your own pace. Participants will run, walk or bicycle in their own neighborhoods, local parks and trails.

You can register for the event here. But if you cannot join the virtual run, it’s incredibly important that you support this event by making a donation here on our website.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of all of our planned live fundraising events for 2020, so the virtual run will be our only live fundraiser this year.

Proceeds will benefit Lao Friends Hospital for Children, of course.

August Newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

Hospital Sees Uptick in Caseload 

   More than 2,230 children received medical treatment in July at Lao Friends Hospital for Children, much more than twice the caseload seen in April when travel and other restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 had their greatest impact.

Outpatients and Emergency Room patients accounted for most of the caseload increase.

Seventy-one infants were admitted to the Neonatal Unit in July, a slight increase from the 62 admissions in July 2019.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Laos has reported 22 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. More than 35,500 suspected cases have been tested.

Surgeons Mend Boy Severely Injured in Fall from Tree

   Sengdao enjoys climbing trees to gather ripened mangos. But he recently slipped while reaching for a mango and was critically injured in a fall.

Several hours after the accident, Sengdao arrived at LFHC where a medical team quickly performed blood work, ultrasound imaging and X-rays. The diagnostic tests showed that the boy had sustained fractures to both arms and his right femur.

Surgeons repaired the fractures and Sengdao required many visits to the operating room for dressing changes. He also worked with the hospital’s physiotherapist to enhance his recovery.

Although his rehabilitation has been long, Sengdao continues to make progress. He has been discharged from the hospital and is expected to do very well!

Dengue Cases Soar in Laos

   The number of dengue cases in Laos has exceeded 4,700 since January and nine people have died from the mosquito-borne disease, according to a report from the Lao Ministry of Health.

At LFHC, 23 children have tested positive for dengue (81 dengue tests have been performed). Lao health officials reported in early August that 235 cases of dengue had been diagnosed in Luang Prabang province.

Lao health authorities have urged people to clear potential mosquito breeding sites around their homes and workplaces to help control the spread of the disease.

Dengue is endemic in Laos. Peak transmission occurs during warmer and wetter months, usually from May to October.

The infection is characterized by flu-like symptoms, which include a sudden high fever, pain behind the eyes, muscle, joint, and bone pain, severe headache, and a skin rash with red spots. The symptoms can be treated, but  there is no antiviral treatment available.

LFHC Saves Infant Born with Gastroschisis

   An infant born in late May at a district hospital was rushed to LFHC with a severe form of gastroschisis, a malformation in which the baby’s intestines grow outside the body.

The hospital staff noted that in addition to the intestines, the infant’s liver, stomach and bladder were also exposed. An Emergency Room team quickly stabilized the baby, Airnoy Jame, and administered IV fluids and antibiotics.

After surgery and four weeks of intensive treatment, Airnoy Jame’s mother was finally able to cradle her son in her arms.

Read more here.

Reminder: Save the Date!

   Plans are progressing for Friends Without A Border’s first International Virtual Run for Children, which will be held during the weekend of October 16-18. So please mark your calendars!

For the past several years, the Luang Prabang Half Marathon has been an important fundraiser for our hospital. Thousands of runners have participated over the years. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of this year’s half marathon, as well as all of our live fundraising events.

As a result, we are launching a virtual event, which basically allows you to race in your own space. Participants will run, walk or bicycle in their own neighborhoods, local parks and trails. You can race solo or as a team of family and friends.

Details about how to register and more information about the race will be forthcoming. All proceeds will benefit Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

POSITION AVAILABLE!

The hospital is seeking a Director of NursingThis is a salaried position. Additional information and how to apply can be found here.

LFHC Saves Infant Born with Organ Malformation

An infant born in late May at a district hospital was rushed to LFHC with a severe form of gastroschisis, a malformation in which the baby’s intestines grow outside the body.

The hospital staff noted that in addition to the intestines, the infant’s liver, stomach and bladder were also exposed. An Emergency Room team quickly stabilized the baby, Airnoy Jame, and administered IV fluids and antibiotics. They also carefully wrapped the exposed organs to protect them from infection and injury.

Airnoy Jame was then taken to the operating theater, where a surgical team placed a silo over the organs. A silo is used when the gastroschisis is large. Eventually, surgeons gradually reinsert the organs through the silo into the baby’s body.

Airnoy Jame remained in the silo for four weeks. During that time the team worked diligently to treat his infections, provide blood transfusions and ensure that he had the nutrition necessary to grow.

After the surgeons closed the baby’s abdomen, his mother, who had always been by his side, was finally able to hold her son. It was several more weeks before he was ready to go home, but on July 30 he was discharged to the care of his grateful parents.