Two employees of Our Children’s House at Baylor in Grapevine recently traveled separately to China and Haiti on international missions, thanks to diligent fundraising and the assistance of scholarships.
Through the Faith in Action Initiative (FIAI) and the Fred Roach Scholarship, Baylor employees like them are able to assist in international mission work in a variety of fields. The Fred Roach scholarship is named for a former Baylor employee and provides travel assistance, retired medical supplies and equipment for use in needed areas.
Here are the stories of the two OCH Grapevine workers:
Melanie Forbess, PT, DPT, is a Physical Therapist at the outpatient clinic for OCH in Grapevine. She partnered with American World Adoption and The Sparrow Fund to travel to the Shaanxi Province in China. There, she served in an orphanage for children with physical disabilities, ranging from those with a cleft palate to some who required 24-hour assistance.
During her stay, she provided physical screening assessments of children to be provided to potential adoptive families. She also assisted in general care, as her room of toddlers had 19 children and just four nannies.
Since her return to her home in Texas, Melanie has continued to be blessed by her work in China. Three families have contacted her about the assessments she performed on three of the children there. All three have been placed in forever homes.
Kendra Vaughn, M.S., CCC-SLP is a Speech Pathologist at OCH in Grapevine. She partnered with David Vanderpool, MD, CEO and founder of Live Beyond nonprofit, and his wife through their organization in Thomazeau, Haiti.
While there, she worked as part of a team of 30 who assisted the medical clinic in any capacity needed. At one point, she even used her infant feeding skills to save a child from falling victim to starvation due to failure to thrive. Here’s that baby’s story in Kendra’s words.
A woman named Bernice arrived with the tiniest baby I have ever seen in my life. Her baby was born two months early, was 5 weeks old and weighed only 3 pounds when she came to the clinic.
Bernice looked hopeless, unattached to her daughter and very sad. She had not given her baby a name yet … Bernice had lost two other infants at birth, and I assume she felt like she was going to lose this one as well. I honestly didn’t think we would see that baby again; she seemed so close to death.
Bernice hadn’t been able to nurse her baby since she was born so prematurely and she wasn’t even able to accept formula from a syringe very efficiently.
By the grace of God, Bernice came back the next day with that baby. We loved on her, worked on getting formula down and encouraged Bernice. By Wednesday, when she came back, we were able to find a preemie bottle nipple, and the sweet little one latched on to her first bottle!
Now, she needed a name. We suggested names to Bernice, and she liked the name “Hope.” Baby Hope was loved on and Bernice was hugged on and prayed over.