Domestic problems lead Bella’s mother to attempt to abort Bella a number of times. These attempts were unsuccessful. However, they led to Bella’s hands and feet being deformed.
Family difficulties, in particular lack of support for her relationship with Bella’s family, and probable post-partum depression left Bella’s mother feeling scared and overwhelmed, and she abandoned Bella at birth.
We took Bella into her care and gave her the love and support she needed whilst our staff traced her family. As a result of the generosity of one of our donors, we were able to get Bella reconstructive surgery on her hands and feet, and she now has full movement!
Our staff worked closely with Bella’s family to help them overcome the problems that had led to her abandonment. Her paternal grandmother in particular was committed and keen to raise Bella, and had the time and resources necessary to do so. After a long period of frequent visits and close monitoring of the family at home, and frequent visits by the family to visit Bella at Mlop, we were confident that Bella’s home environment was safe, stable and secure. We re-integrated her with her family, and now lives with her father and paternal grandparents. Her mother visits regularly.
We have continued to monitor Bella in her home environment and are pleased to report that she is now walking!
We took Vesna into our care after he was separated from his family shortly after birth. He was born with a severe chest problem which required surgery. His family were unable to pay for the care he needed, and left him in hospital. The hospital contacted us and told us that he had been abandoned, and took him into our care.
After much searching, we found his birth family. As it turned out, his family were distraught to have lost him. They had to leave him in hospital whilst he was undergoing surgery as an inpatient. In Cambodia a family would have had to pay extra if they had wanted to say in hospital with a patient. Vesna’s family are poor, and couldn’t afford to. With a family to support, and needing to raise money to pay for his baby boy’s surgery, Vesna’s father returned home to work. Unable to pay for a hospital stay, his mother went home to recover from the birth and to look after the rest of the family (it turns out that Vesna had other siblings, including a twin!). She then got very sick, and was unable to leave home. Her husband had to stay and look after his wife and children. The hospital was hours away, and it was too expensive for the family to visit. Without a phone, they had no way of contacting the hospital.
Meanwhile, the hospital assumed that Vesna had been abandoned, contacted us, and took him into our care. By the time Vesna’s family returned to pick him up, he was already gone. They wrongly believed that their son had died from his illness, and sadly returned home.
However, as a result of the tireless searching of the Mlop team we found Vesna’s family. They were were overwhelmed by the joyful news that Vesna was alive and well. After a short spell in our care whilst our team monitored his family, we took Vesna back to his parents, twin, other siblings and extended family. They will be monitored by us for a year, but what could have been a very sad story looks to have a very happy ending!
Pirun was born severely premature.
Sadly it is very common for poor families in Cambodia to abandon premature babies. They often simply can’t afford the medical costs, and are ill-equipped to cope with burden for caring for their babies. There is also a common misconception that, in such circumstances, an orphanage would be able to provide better care than they are able to provide. As is all too often the case, Pirun was abandoned at birth
We took Pirun into our care and provided him with the medical support, love and attention that he needed. He is now a healthy, smiley ten month old.
Meanwhile we managed to trace his family. Our social worker and team have been working closely with his family for many months now, and have helped them realise that they can look after him. They are now committed to raising him themselves. He has been on several visits to his family (monitored by our social worker of course) and we hope to reintegrate him after Khmer New Year, in April 2013. We will of course continue to monitor and evaluate his progress over the coming years, but our work with his family so far leaves us confident that he will be happy and loved!