Meet the Children of the SPC Orphanage
Tuy Hoa Travel Blog› entry 15 of 26 › view all entries
Luong aka "Chuckles" is a 2.5 year old girl who weighs 21 pounds. She has Cerebral Palsy. She can move her arms and legs and head, but not in clear intentional motions. Her left arm curls into her body and her left hand hangs limp at the wrist. She generally uses that hand to hit her chest or her mouth or to suck on her forearm. Her left leg will lift up and slam down on things, like she's stomping her foot. The right side of her body is less active. Her right shoulder is sensitive at times and I've been told has been dislocated before. I've massaged her whole body and not found her sensitive to touch in that area at all, or any areas. The bottom of her feet are ticklish, and she loves the sides of her spines and the back of her neck being pressed.
Chuckles is nicknamed that for the obvious reasons. She has a gorgeous face and a matching personality. She's got a light spirit and if she's not chuckling you know somethings wrong. She was the main motivating force behind "the list" which got a doctor to pay a visit. A few days last week she went without chuckling. Mainly she whinged at being touched, moved, fed. It was hard to tell the source of her discomfort. The dr. said she had a temp. of 101 and a sore throat. Norma paid for her to be on some meds and she's been smiling since. (maybe the doctor wasn't good for nothing).
Hoa is Chuckles' bed mate. They've laid side by side to each other on a plank of wood there whole time at the orphanage (hard to say how long that is) but it's long enough for both of them to have formed flat heads.
Hoa is 2 years old and shorter than Chuckles but stalkier weighing the same amt. as Chuckles. I swore she had a lung infection from the way she's being fed. But it's hard to say. Her breathing is very raspy as if something is gurgling in her lungs, but it could just be a constricted pipe with flem. She is a very gassy child and is constantly projectil vomiting up her food. The doctor says the breathing sound and the vomiting is normal. She's got CP as well and is on the same meds as Chuckles for epileptic fits. Unfortunately her fits don't seem to be tamed by these meds and she's had them up to 3 times in one hour before. They're scary as hell for me and I can only imagine how torturesome it must be for her.
Side note: both Hoa and Chuckles are girls whose hair as been buzz cut short to make life easier. I don't blame the mother's in the least for this, the children are always vomitting and messing themselves, and they get sweaty and dirty.
Baby Thu is a 4 month old 15 pound baby, and most of that weight is in her head. Water weight. Retained there and not filtering through the body as it's supposed to. It's called Hydrocephillis and I don't know much about it. She's been to see a specialist once and had it drained. She's going again in October. But apparently there's very little brain mass there. The hope is that she won't live much longer but the child in the pictures with the larger head has made it to over a year old. Unfortunately that's what baby Thu has in her future.
Thy "Tumor baby" is our Michelin baby. She's a rolly polly furry faced frowny child. Noone here has ever once see her smile. Ever. Sometimes she seems happy, but she doesn't show it through her face. Her eyebrows are always furrowed and she has dark hair covering her forehead and side burns making her look more ominous than a 6 month old need be. She weighs 15 pounds as well. (all these weights come from the dr. that day, I didn't see them all getting weighed, even though my interpreter insists they did so who really knows where these numbers are coming from). This child has a growth on her left arm.
Tai 14 year old boy with CP, hydrocephillis, weight and actual age not necessary according to the doctor - wouldn't want to go to the trouble of lifting him out of his bed, Tai has the same flat head as Chuckles and Hoa.
Thuong 17 year old girl whose physically fit, aside from the need for some serious dental work, but mentally she's not all there. She assists the mothers with the care of the babies, and seems to do more than they do at times. She's always folding laundry, changing a baby, taking out the trash, getting water, making food. I rarely see her being the child that mentally she is.
Tro is a 25 pound 6 year old boy. He's a mess that poor child.
Khang and Bao are twin boys age 9 months weighing 15 pounds. They're healthy, happy beautiful children and as such they are doted on by the mom's.
Thu is the 5 year old who learned to smile. She shares the twins future, Stockholm. For this reason she's confined to the walls of the orphanage. The walls of 1 floor, 3 rooms. 1 tv, 5 channels. 1 bed, 3 sleepy children. 4 mothers, 11 needy children. The walls of white, the rooms of no color. This little girl doesn't know what to color or draw.
Tan "Dennis the Menace" He's the class clown and the county rebel. Don't turn on your back on this little guy or he'll have made his grand escape. He's a little terror and he's going to be an absolute heart breaker.