Witness stories


People have encountered many unexpected things in their lives. My life was also like this. Ever since I had accidental abortion, I could not get pregnant at all. I was sad and crying every day. Nobody knew about my sorrow. Years passed, I still could not give birth to a son or a daughter for my husband. The disappointments were piling up and making me stressed.

Afterwards, I learned that Taipei Veterans General Hospital provide in vitro fertilization treatments. This gave me hope. I was nervous, anxious and thinking about it over and over. I called my family and hoped they would support me in this.

They showed fully supports in my decision. I was crying tears of joy and really thankful to my family. They gave me encouragement to go on this path. I registered in Taipei Veterans General Hospital, and then visited the doctor in gynecology department. I had mixed feelings when seeing the doctor. The doctor told me that I needed to run a few tests to know if I could to IVF. I did ultrasound scan and blood test. After a week, the doctor informed me that my condition was suitable for IVF. I was glad and grateful for the good news given by the doctor. I said to myself “I am going to have my own child!” 

I followed the doctor’s instructions and began my IVF treatment. It went smoothly till my 32 weeks pregnancy. The doctor told me my children and I might be in danger due to high level of proteinuria and fetal toxicity. I also need to stay in hospital because appearing the signs of preterm birth. I was scared and anxious. On the second day in the hospital, I started having labor pain and showing the signs of giving birth. My babys could not wait to come to this world. My two baby girls (twins) were born on the 16th of December in 2003. They were preterm babies and weighing less than 2200 grams. They needed to stay in incubators. I was worried if they could grow healthily. This was my feelings and experiences back then.

After the good cares of the doctors and nurses, my two babies’ weights reached to 2200 grams. I wasreally thankful to the doctors and nurses. My elder daughter, Hiuling, was very healthy, and ten went home on the 27th day. However, my younger daughter, Huiyi, was not in good condition. She needed to stay in hospital because of her jaundice and constant abdominal bloating.

Huiyi was discharged the day before Chinese New Year. I was happy and worried at the same time. She was my first child and I did not have this situation before. I was afraid I would not know how to take care of her after she went home. She still had abdominal bloating and split up milk a lot. It was difficult to feed her and take care of her. Then, my maternity was finished. I hired an experienced baby sitter, so I could go back to work without being worried. The baby sitter took care of Huiyi for a week, but she still had jaundice. Therefore, I took Huiyi to Taipei Veterans General Hospital. She stayed in the pediatrics care unit for a week, and she was discharged after stabilizing.

After a while, one day, Huiyi would not stop crying, so I took her to the pediatric clinic nearby. The pediatric doctor found Huiyi having hernia, so I took her back to Taipei Veterans General Hospital on the next day. Under the advice of Dr. Woo from pediatric gastroenterology clinic, we visited Dr. Chun-sho, Lou in pediatric surgery clinic. Dr. Lou told me “Huiyi had hernia on both side. She needed surgery. ” Dr. Lou arranged Huiyi to do the surgery on the 4th of February in 2004.

After the surgery, I went to pediatrics care unit to visit her, and told her ”hanging there! Mammy will take you home when you feel better. Huiyi smiled when she saw me. At that moment, I felt comfort and heartache about her little body suffering from the surgery. Huiyi still had serious abdominal bloating, so the nurse asked me to let Huiyi stay in hospital for a while. I insisted to take Huiyi home because Dr. Lou said to me before that Huiyi could go home the next after surgery if everything was fine. However, Huiyi’s situation was special, so Dr. Lou asked me if I could take care of Huiyi. I gave a strong yes, and took Huiyi home the same day. Huiling also needed someone to take care of her after all. If Huiyi stayed at home, I could look after both of them. It would be better for me.

After back home, Huiyi was in bad condition of spilling up milk and others. Within one month, we were back and forth between home and hospital. I was exhausted physically and mentally (extremely tired and hardly breathe), but I would persist for my little baby, Huiyi. When I saw her safe and sound, I knew it was worthy.

During Huiyi’s stay in hospital, she had intense examinations. We wanted to know the cause of her illness. Looking at her little body suffering made me heartache and cry. After doctors’ discussions, we decided to have Dr. Lou to do Kasai procedure. Dr. Lou said if the surgery had finished within 2 hours, the cause of the discomforts would not be biliary atresia; if over 2 hours, the cause would be biliary atresia. The doctor’s words rattled me, thinking that there was always a risk in every surgery. I tried to ease my mind before the surgery. I prayed to god, asked for a fortune telling, and wished the surgery would go well. On surgery day, Huiyi was brought to operating room, and my husband and I were anxiously waiting outside. One hour passed. Two hours passed. We were eager to know what happened.

Three hours passed. My husband and I confirmed Huiyi had biliary atresia because Dr. Lou told us about this before. In this case, the surgery would take a long time. While being rattled and anxious, we drove to a temple to Guandu. We prayed for a successful surgery. I would devote myself to be a vegetarian for 3 months to return the blessing from God.

After praying, we returned to the hospital and waited for the surgery to finish. Before the surgery, Dr. Lou told us he would take photos to explain Huiyi’s illness for us. When he stepped out of the operating room and showed us the photos, we were shocked to what we saw. The liver of Huiyi was brown, and it meant she had cirrhosis. There was a narrow part of her intestines. Huiyi was so little but suffering from the pain. I was holding my tears and running to bathroom to cry out. After my sorrow was under control, Huiyi was also return to the recovery room.

I was in the recovery room looking after her for 2 hours. Her little body was shaking as she was telling how painful it was going through the big surgery. My heart ached for her so much. Later, she was sent to pediatric unit. I was there for her until 11 p.m., and dragged my worn out body home. My elder daughter smiled at me when seeing me stepping home. It made me feel comfort and relieved. I had been telling myself “I cannot fall down. I have to be strong. Huiyi is also making her best effort to fight against the illness.”

During this time, I was back and forth between home and hospital. I was in the hospital with her and smiling for her to relieve her pain. After about one month, Huiyi returned home, but her condition did not improve. She had bloody stool and other syndromes. We went to hospital many times for it. The severe one was she vomited with blood and having bloody stool. We took her to Taipei Veterans General Hospital urgently. (It threw me into panic. I did not know what to do.) She was in critical condition, and I was at the edge of breaking down. I was yelling in silence “God what are you doing this to me?” On the ICU of 9TH floor, Dr. Lou told us that the only chance for Huiyi to survive was liver transplantation. I had hepatitis B and it made me unqualified to be a living liver donor. Therefore, I let my husband did the examination and donate part of his liver to Huiyi.

Dr. Lou arranged the living liver transplantation on the 23th of November in 2004. At 8 am on that day, Huiyi was the first into the operating room to remove the fail part of her liver. My husband joined the surgery at 10 am. I was worried and praying outside. I paced around and could not sit down for a second. Around 10 pm, my husband was sent to the recovery room. My appreciation was indescribable, “honey, thank you for what you did for our daughter.”

After this long surgery, I could not completely relief until I was told it was successful by the surgeon, Dr. Lou, the anesthetist, Dr. Zou, the coordinator of transplantation team, the supervisor, Dr. long and Dr. xia. I finally met Huiyi at 3 am on the next day. I was emotional and could not speak a word. I was finally at ease.

I was with Huiyi all the way to the ICU on the 9th floor. She looked better. Her face was not yellow like before. I was very grateful to the doctors and nurses in the operating room. They saved my baby and gave her a new life. I really appreciated the effort of the supervisor, Dr. Zi-Tsung, Woo, Dr. Lou, Dr. Zou, Dr. Long, Dr. Xia and the liver transplantation team. There were lots of people helping and taking care of Huiyi. My appreciation to all of you!

Huiyi was discharged after 3 months. Within the next year, she still often visited the doctors, but she got better and better day by day. She’s now 3 years old. Looking at my baby Huiyi healthily growing up makes very happy. We have been through sweetness and sorrows, but they are my sweet burdens of the small happiness. I want to thank to each one who has helped me get through the pain and difficulties. I am not good at express my current feeling with words. I think that is what is called “after suffering comes happiness.”

In the end, I want to share the information to the parents who are worried about their children. If you have encountered the satiation like mine, do not panic. When you trust the doctors and their specialties, you also believe in yourself. Keep it going and you will get through as I did.

P.S. If your children also have similar problems, do not give them traditional Chinese treatments. Take them to the western doctors as soon as possible. This is my experience. Hope it can help to prevent from making the same mistakes.

Ying-Ru, Chen
The 5th of April in 2007