Update April 2018: ‘Teagan’ has been adopted!
Update: *Teagan’s surgery is fully funded! Leaving this post up for reference as it still has some great links 🙂
Half-way across the world, there is a little girl named *Teagan. *Teagan just turned 4 years old (approximately; abandoned children often do not have exact known birth dates, and they are sometimes assigned a birth date when they enter an orphanage). *Teagan was rescued less than 6 months ago by SCH (Sarah’s Covenant Homes – learn more here), a ministry in India rescuing abandoned children with disabilities from government orphanages, and her two co-foster moms who fell in love with her after visiting the orphanage to rescue two of her foster sisters. She is spunky, stubborn, smart, and beautiful (and that is only the short list!). *Teagan is tiny for her age, but she is full of get-up-and-go!
*Teagan lives in a foster home at SCH called Courage Home (Purple), in Hyderabad, India, with her two co-foster mothers and 11 foster siblings. *Teagan has a bone infection called osteomyelitis around her right eye, and has recently had to have some procedures to help preserve her health, as she has had this infection for a long time and it was previously un-treated. She received a couple rounds of IV antibiotics, but testing showed that they were not able to clear out the infection because she had likely had it for such an extended period of time. Because of this, *Teagan’s eye had to be surgically stitched shut in hopes that this would help preserve her eyeball and prevent her eyelid from stretching the socket. However, the infection has caused her to experience blindness in that eye, so this surgery is the best option.
It has been decided that *Teagan needs a surgery in order to clean out the infection by removing bone, so that antibiotic treatment can reach the site. The surgery is risky and will require a team of 3 doctors. In India, payment for surgery at most hospitals must be paid upfront, so the remaining amount will need to be raised quickly. The surgeons want to admit her this coming Tuesday, August 23rd), which means there are 4 days to raise the remaining money needed for the surgery which is not being covered by a local non-governmental organization. This surgery will improve Teagan’s quality of life and give her the best shot at eliminating the bone infection entirely.
Nikki describes the current plan below [paraphrased for privacy]:
Just yesterday… we got the news that *Teagan will be getting her surgery – possibly next week!!! A team of doctors (neurosurgeon, ophthalmologist, and plastic surgeon) will be working together… The plan is to go in and remove all the dead bone surrounding the infection. Once that is finished and she has recovered, we will start her on antibiotics again, and at that time the antibiotics should be able to reach and rid her body of the infection. This is a huge surgery and also [risky]… They would like to admit her to the hospital on Tuesday.
Her surgery will cost roughly 3 Indian lakh ($4500 US). We are so grateful that a local NGO here, who was involved in Teagan’s medical care before she was transferred to us, has agreed to donate some, so we need only $3750 more. The catch, of course, is that we can’t admit her for her surgery until we raise it, and they want to admit her Tuesday! This means we have about 4 days to raise a massive amount of money, and we need your help!
*Note: The children who live at SCH have internet names to protect their privacy. In addition, the government does not allow full photographs of waiting children on the internet, hence the lack of photos.
Nikki’s blog, which you can find here, is mostly password-protected in order to keep identifying photos of the children out of public view, however, some of her posts, like those that discuss what it is like to parent children who are blind, are public (read them here, here, here, here, and here).
Nikki also has a blog and Facebook page which addresses the challenges and day to day life of raising her blind daughter, Deepa. To read private posts, and if you are interested in learning more about *Teagan and her siblings, you can send Nikki, her foster mother, a communication including an explanation of why you would like to follow the family.
Read co-foster mom Merissa’s blog post here to learn more about *Teagan’s 4th birthday party, as well as why *Teagan needs this surgery. This post features only non-identifying photos of *Teagan and her family. You can follow Merissa’s blog (with pictures) by submitting a request to follow, along with a brief description of why you would like to follow the family’s journey. One of her public blogs, Blindness Isn’t Scary, is a continuation of Nikki’s series as described above. Blog front page: A Little Therapy, A Lot of Love.
An important part of SCH’s work is YOU! SCH relies on donations to keep running. Donation opportunities include child sponsors at any cost per month, from as low as $25/month. Sponsorship usually costs between $300 and $500 per child, depending on complexity of needs and which city they live in (Ongole or Hyderabad).
You can sponsor any child who needs additional funding at SCH by using the resources found here. Use these resources to get involved in other ways, such as becoming an advocate or volunteering. You can also become a medical sponsor (ideal for large groups or organizations who wish to support SCH) and donate toward monthly emergency medical expenses; or become an educational sponsor and donate toward a specific on-site school. Learn about other ways to give charitably to SCH here, and check back often for additional opportunities.
*A note about names: SCH uses online nicknames for the children in order to protect their identity, per Indian governmental guidelines which state that children in care may not have identifying photos of them on the internet, as well as no identifying information such as birth name, place of origin, etc.
You can also send gifts via Amazon India, make a one-time, general donation, pray if that is your calling, or volunteer at home or in India yourself by using these resources!