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Zhou Lin's Left Foot
July 4, 2006
Brecken Swartz
I am very happy to report that Zhou Lin is really starting to recover now from her foot amputation surgery. She's off of the morphine, monitors, and IV tubes completely, so she is able to get into one of the hospital's reclining "go-cart" wheelchairs and get out of her room. Yesterday she asked me to take her for a walk outside so that she could feel the air and the sunshine, which seemed to help her spirits a lot. Zhou Lin says that she loves the cool Boston summer breeze and told me a lot about her hometown, and the seasons and festivals there. She told me that she'd love to be able to ride a bicycle or a motorbike someday.

There is one danger looming, though. Zhou Lin's left foot is darkening (to what the nurses call a "dusky" color), which may be an indication of poor circulation that could necessitate further surgery. Apparently the severe burn scarring on Zhou Lin's left leg has damaged the blood vessels, which seems to be preventing her veins from taking the used blood back to her heart. One of the surgeons told me this morning that they are keeping a close eye on that darkened area of the left foot stump, because if it continues to get worse, they will need to amputate her leg below the knee. Even so, the doctors are confident that Zhou Lin could be fitted with the appropriate prosthetics to help her walk again, but of course it would be wonderful if she could have both legs the same length.

Could you please pray especially hard for Zhou Lin's left foot to get the circulation it needs? Zhou Lin is scheduled for her second surgery on Thursday morning (mainly to deal with her scarred perineum which makes it hard for her to have bowel movements and is thus a real problem for her digestive system). While she is under the anasthesia, the doctors will be looking again at the left foot stump and deciding whether or not further amputation is needed. My prayers and intuition tell me that it should be possible to save this foot, but we will need some help. I am trying to contact alternative healing doctors here in Boston today to see if we can arrange some qigong or reiki, which Zhou Lin's mom says that she would be happy to accept.

In the meantime, Zhou Lin is doing her physical therapy exercises regularly, as well as studying English, watching TV, and trying to eat enough to help her bowels move. Zhou Lin's roommate, an amazing 6-year-old girl from Honduras, loves to watch "Beauty and the Beast" (La Bella y la Bestia) in Spanish over and over again, so Zhou Lin can almost sing Disney songs in Spanish now (well, not quite). I am renting Chinese videos at the local video store so that she can see at least one program a day in Chinese, but I am quickly running out of movies since I'm trying to avoid the super-sexy flicks with concubines and people getting their heads cut off. If anyone has some VHS tapes with children's or youth videos in Chinese, please send them by all means!

Zhou Lin
c/o Brecken Chinn Swartz
10 Emerson Place
Apt. 5B
Boston, MA 02114

In the meantime, please pray very specifically for Zhou Lin's left foot stump to start flowing! It definitely needs all the help it can get.

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