Laap is a four year old boy who is blind and sleeps up to 23 hours of the day, only waking to be fed and washed. Judy is not sure exactly what his condition is, but says “someone once described his brain as being like a piece of cheese with lots of holes in- nothing quite works together.”
Judy explains how despite the healthy appearance, Laap has the mental age of a three month old baby. He came to Hope Home at seven months old after being signed over by his mother. His four older siblings had also been signed over to Vieng Ping orphanage from birth.
“Laap is profoundly disabled and unlikely to get any further with development.” For Hope Home, it is about maintaining his physical state, fighting his fevers and ensuring he has the best quality of life possible.
Judy encourages weight baring practice and massage to avoid Laap’s limbs becoming fixed in the wrong position. They ensure Laap is well nourished and Judy treats any symptoms of illness. However he is often sick and hospitalised.
“Sleeping is his most dangerous time which is obviously not good for Laap.” Judy has taught the staff how to cope with Laap’s fits, medicating him and bringing him out of the fits through massage, as they happen a few times a week.
Judy explains that the danger is when the fit goes unseen. “I worry about him a lot, any illness could, potentially, actually, kill him, if it’s not spotted early enough.” She ensures a staff member is always by him when he is asleep as that is the most probable time for Laap to have a fit.
Unfortunately, children as severely disabled as Laap are unlikely to get adopted, so it is important that Hope Home is well funded to care for him for life.