Earlier last week, I came across an article on CNN that was meant to highlight whether America had finished what it had intended to with the war on Iraq. For me, the article was about spina bifida. Specifically, a little girl named Noor living in Iraq who needs help. Noor's life was saved by American soldiers who arranged for her to be transported to the US for medical treatment when she was three months old. She underwent surgery to correct her spine and have a shunt placed due to hydrocephalus. Anna had both of those surgeries when she was less than a week old.
The main difference between Anna and Noor is where they were born. Anna has access to the best hospitals in the country. She lives in a community where it's okay to have a disability. She attends school with other kids her age and receives an overwhelming amount of support.
Spina bifida in and of itself is usually not fatal but complications from spina bifda can result in death. I cried as I read that article. I cried at the American doctor's prediction for Noor's future. It's absolutely heartbreaking because it doesn't have to be this way.
Anna has a handful of specialists but the one she sees most frequently is her urologist. Twice a year, she has an ultrasound of her bladder and kidneys. Her urologist is constantly praising us for our care and reminding us of how important it is to preserve Anna's kidneys. If you've read here for long, you know that we had problems in the past (here and here) with our previous medical supplier of cath kits. I can't imagine Noor's family not knowing if or when they will receive more supplies.
CNN posted a follow-up article a few days later with a link to Childspring, who is accepting donations that go will directly to help Noor. Unfortunately, they are unsure if they will be able to help her.
This has left me shaking my head at how messed up the world can be.