Cokie's Angels


You may have seen this picture before.  It is a picture of the first time I saw Cokie in the orphanage in China.  I took this picture myself.  After a lot of prayer (including prayers for Cokie from people I didn't even know), Mike and I were blessed to be able to go back and adopt her one year after this picture was taken.

Before we met her and I took the picture, Cokie had been burned and abandoned in a Chinese hospital.  After many surgeries at that hospital, she was  finally put in the orphanage.  There, a group of very special women from Europe but who were living in China got involved in Cokie's life.  One of them, a wonderful Christian woman from Germany, took a particular interest in Cokie.  She organized fundraisers so Cokie could have more surgeries.  She also prayed that a Christian family would adopt Cokie.  At the same time, we had returned home from our trip to China and were trying everything we knew to do to convince officials in China to let us adopt Cokie, but to no avail.  While our intentions were good, I'm convinced we had been unsuccessful because we were trying to do it on our own.  Finally, one night we gave it up and put it in God's hands and asked Him to show us what to do next.  Literally, the VERY NEXT DAY, we received a letter from China that put us in touch with the German woman.  She had become friends with the person in China who had the power to make Cokie's adoption happen, or not.  After months and months of frustration and getting nowhere, within a couple of weeks Cokie's adoption was on track.

One of Cokie's middle names, Bettina, is in honor of her wonderful German angel.

Next, remember the story at this link?


 More of Cokie's angels, this time a generous plastic surgeon in Nashville, Tennessee and his awesome team, transplant good hair follicles to places where skin grafts had been taken from Cokie's scalp and left bald spots.

Last night Cokie showed me new hair that is coming in from the first surgery. 


No, not this picture.  This was taken the day of the surgery right before Dr. Fisher started his miraculous work.






Here is the picture from last night where Cokie is showing me some of the hair coming in.  She has a lot more to come besides these spots, because this hair was from the first surgery Dr. Fisher gave her.  He gave her a second surgery last November. 


By the way, Cokie is wearing what looks like a boy's shirt, because she had a choir concert last night and the shirt was part of the uniform.  So stop looking at the ugly shirt and look at the beautiful hair!


God bless Dr. Fisher and his sweet, sweet staff.

Nashville plastic surgery team helps young girl burned in fire

Posted: Feb 20, 2014 5:30 PM EST Updated: Mar 06, 2014 5:31 PM EST
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - It's been a long, painful road for an 11-year-old girl who was once disfigured in a fire and then abandoned, near death, in a Chinese orphanage.
You wouldn't think Cokie Allen has a lot to smile about, but the fifth-grader was brought to tears Thursday thanks to the generosity of a Nashville plastic surgeon and his team.
"She couldn't even wear sandals, because her toes are all gone," said the girl's mother, Sandra Allen.
Cokie has seen more heartbreak in her short life than most of us may see in a lifetime.
"When we first got her, she couldn't walk. The burns had totally crippled her," Sandra Allen said.
When Michael and Sandra Allen first saw her in a Chinese orphanage, the then-toddler was near death. Her legs were black and skin raw after a devastating fire when she was just 1-year -old.
Now, nearly three dozen surgeries later, the quiet girl is thriving thanks to her adoptive family and surgeons like Dr. Jack Fisher.
The Allens drove five hours Thursday from Indianapolis so Fisher and his team could replace some of the hair Cokie lost during numerous skin grafts for her legs.
And they are doing it all free of charge.
"She's already had surgery to reconstruct the defects in Indianapolis. What we're doing is we're filling in those grafts," Fisher said.
First, Fisher closed the gaps in the girl's scalp while his staff carefully threaded hair into the follicles.
Later, he'll transplant those follicles into Cokie's scalp in a four- to five-hour procedure.
"Hair loss, especially for women, is very difficult. For a young girl, it's a very difficult situation," Fisher said. "It just is to make someone feel whole and make them feel comfortable about themselves."
In eight to 10 months, Cokie's hair should start to grow on its own, filling in most of her bald spots.
She is already looking forward to it.
"Growing it out and doing new hairstyles," Cokie said.
"She's 11, and she started worrying more and more about her hair, and so I think this was really important with Dr. Fisher," Sandra Allen said.
There were tears of joy and gratitude for yet another blessing in this young girl's life that began with so much tragedy.
"He's just a really nice guy," Cokie said.
Fisher says Cokie may need another procedure in another year to fill in more gaps, but he says her outlook is good.
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