Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 32

VITALS / THRIVING

An orphan lives her dreams
A doctor's mission trip produces an unexpected addition to the family.

I

Love Without Boundaries
t's not uncommon for a couple immersed
in their professions to decide that kids
may not be in their future. Lisa Buckmiller,
M.D., and her husband, Richard Hinkle, were
at that point when they met an orphaned girl
who would change the course of their lives.
The fall 2006 issue of Children's Hospitals
Today featured the story of Gong Lu, an
orphan in Fenyi, China. Administrators
at the welfare center where she had lived
since she was born had been searching
for a doctor to remove the vascular tumor
that covered Gong Lu's entire nose. They
wanted the treatment done before making
her available for adoption. Buckmiller, who
had traveled on several mission trips to
China, along with doctors from Arkansas
Children's Hospital, offered to help. At the
From left: Anna, age 5, before her first surgery; and as a teen, with her new nose.
time, Gong Lu was 5 years old, and with
assistance from Love Without Boundaries,
recognize myself. It was a new look for my new life. I feel
she traveled to the United States for surgery where
like all of the other kids now."
Buckmiller and the vascular anomalies team removed 95
The family also checked off Anna's dream of going to
percent of the tumor.
school. Gong Lu had not been sent to school while in China,
After recovery, Gong Lu returned to the welfare center
so she was two years behind academically. Anna worked
in China. She told the administrators there that she dreamt
with a tutor to make up a year, and then she studied on her
of no longer having the tumor, going to school and being
own. Today she is a sophomore in high school.
adopted into a loving family. She didn't know the adoption
The family moved to Texas where Buckmiller is the chief
process was in the works.
of the pediatric Ear, Nose and Throat Division
Fast forward a year, and Gong Lu is in the
at The Children's Hospital of San Antonio and
U.S., now Anna Gong Lu Hinkle, the adopted
continues to give her time to those in need
daughter of Buckmiller and Hinkle. "It's been
through mission trips. For the past 18 years,
amazing," Buckmiller says. "It has probably
Buckmiller has traveled to Kenya to repair
been the most rewarding thing in our lives
children's cleft lips and palates. Anna went
to have adopted her." Within three months of
with her mom for the first time last March.
arriving in her new home, Anna was undergo"I fell in love with it," Anna says. "I'm excited
ing more surgeries, one as long as 16 hours, to
about being able to make kids feel good about
begin reconstructing her nose. Her parents
themselves the way I wanted to feel good."
say they had to quickly figure out a few words
Today, Anna has a new nose and the life
in Chinese to communicate urgent needs and
she dreamt of, while her parents are enjoying
information. "It was shocking how fast she
a family they did not expect to create. "It just
learned and became fluent in English," Buckmiller says.
worked out beyond what my husband and I could have
"The language barrier was never an issue."
possibly expected," Buckmiller says. "And, it's reiterated
Removal and reconstruction of her nose took six
my conviction of being available to help these kids with
separate surgeries, and Anna had her last surgery at the
facial deformities have a more normal life. We were just
age of 9. "I always wanted to get rid of my big, red nose,"
able to go the extra step and bring Anna into our family.
Anna says. "When I saw my face without that nose, I didn't
-Christine Bush

I ALWAYS
WANTED TO GET
RID OF MY BIG,
RED NOSE. I FEEL
LIKE THE OTHER
KIDS NOW.

32

CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL S TODAY Fall 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017

Contents
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - Cover1
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - Cover2
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - Contents
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 2
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 3
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 4
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 5
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 6
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 7
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 8
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 9
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 10
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 11
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 12
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 13
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 14
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 15
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 16
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 17
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 18
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 19
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 20
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 21
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 22
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 23
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 24
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 25
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 26
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 27
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 28
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 29
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 30
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 31
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 32
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - Cover3
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_spring_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_winter_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_fall_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2018spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2018winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2017fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2017summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2017spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2017winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2016fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2016summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2016spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2016winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2015fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2015summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2015spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2015winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2014fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2014summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2014spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2014winter
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com