Some of you might remember sweet, little Luu's story. Luu is 3 years old. She lives in undeniable poverty in Nothern Vietnam with her mother, father and siblings. Luu suffers from untreated hydrocephalus. When we first met Luu she was experiencing many of the uncomfortable, and sometimes painful symptoms that come along with having a neurological condition, as well as being severely malnourished.
Luu was facing being placed into an orphanage as her family were struggling to care for her. We knew that Luu and her family desperately needed help!
Luu and her family live in a small home made from woven bamboo, a tin roof and a dirt floor that gets very cold in winter when the temperature can drop to a low of -2 degrees, currently in Febuary it is one of the coldest months of the year. Luu’s father works full time in the rice fields, and her mother works tirelessly trying to sell handmade local crafts to visiting tourists. They work hard to be able to provide for their two other children as well as Luu, but they have been struggling.
When we first met Luu and her family we knew we had to help!
Since first meeting Luu in June last year, our nurses have had several visits up there to provide treatment for her symptoms, provision of comfort items (such as blankets to keep warm, memory foam pillow to prevent pressure sores, and a bouncer to elevate Luu’s head and prevent chest infections), as well as providing education and support for Luu’s family on how to care for her effectively.
One of the most important things in palliative care is looking at care in a holistic way. One thing that was obvious when we first met the family is that they were unsure on how to care for Luu’s emotional needs. Luu lay quietly all by herself on her bed with no one speaking to her, no words of encouragement or warm touch of embrace, and was left alone during the day for very long periods of time. After explaining to the family the importance of caring for her emotional health – we were overwhelmed with our most recent visit in Febuary. When we were greeted by the family on Febuary the 10th, although one of the coldest months, we felt warmth in the air. The family were all present and all were speaking too, and having turns at holding Luu! Oh how this warmed our hearts! Luu’s grandmother had been spending more time with Luu so that she wasn’t left for long periods of time by herself during the day.
Our volunteer nurse, Katie, did a thorough assessment of Luu and found out that she had put on a bit of weight thanks to the donations of Pediasure - a high calorie formula – that we have been providing.
Luu was previously suffering from severe constipation. This too has improved with education around increasing Luu’s water intake along with the provision of laxatives and enemas. We were so happy to see that this had improved, as this symptom can be severely painful and life threatening if left untreated.
Our plan for Luu includes continuing to provide love and support for her and her family. This involves monthly visits from our nurse, weekly visits from our support worker, provision of comfort items, high quality formula and medicines to keep her comfortable. This plan comes at a cost, and we are desperately seeking regular donors to help cover these costs so we can continue providing for and supporting Luu and her family!
Thank you so much for joining us to make a difference in a child's life - to improve the quality of Luu's life, to promote her access to adequate care, and to make it possible for Luu and her family to stay together.
Please visit: LOVE FOR LUU to make a donation!