Rescue the Dying: Redemption

Part 3 of 3 (click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2)

Pictures are worth a thousand words and so I’ve chosen to present the remainder of Katie’s story in gallery format. I overlay Psalm 71 to the conclusion of Katie’s story; I hope you find it as meaningful as I do.

I take a huge jump from her first year home to present day and close with an update from Susanna Musser. Katie’s entire story is available @

Thank you so much for reading about this amazing girl. I am truly blessed to know Katie — she is one of my greatest instructors in nursing, and in life.

After nearly 24 hours of travel, our weary Katie rests safely in the PICU of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) 11/19/2011

Psalm 71

O Lord, I have come to you for protection;
    don’t let me be disgraced.
Save me and rescue me,
    for you do what is right.
Turn your ear to listen to me,
    and set me free.
Be my rock of safety
    where I can always hide.
Give the order to save me,
    for you are my rock and my fortress.
My God, rescue me from the power of the wicked,
    from the clutches of cruel oppressors

The Mussers spend Thanksgiving with the Boroughs- two families=21 kids   11/24/2011

O Lord, you alone are my hope.
    I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood.
Yes, you have been with me from birth;
    from my mother’s womb you have cared for me.
    No wonder I am always praising you!

Katie meets her sister Verity for the first time on Thanksgiving Day 2011

My life is an example to many,
because you have been my strength and protection.
8 That is why I can never stop praising you;
I declare your glory all day long.
9 And now, in my old age, don’t set me aside.
Don’t abandon me when my strength is failing.
10 For my enemies are whispering against me.
They are plotting together to kill me.
11 They say, “God has abandoned him.
Let’s go and get him,
for no one will help him now.”

Katie loves her father
Bright-eyed and alert Katie – her transformation in 10 days is a miracle
December 3, 2011  – Katie goes home. She is 13 pounds and smaller than her 20 month-old baby sister.
The First Year

Katie turns 10! – March 2012

Psalm 71

12 O God, don’t stay away.
    My God, please hurry to help me.
13 Bring disgrace and destruction on my accusers.
    Humiliate and shame those who want to harm me.
14 But I will keep on hoping for your help;
    I will praise you more and more.
15 I will tell everyone about your righteousness.
    All day long I will proclaim your saving power,
    though I am not skilled with words.
16 I will praise your mighty deeds, O Sovereign Lord.
    I will tell everyone that you alone are just.
I will tell everyone that you alone are just.

Bulgarian Newspaper Article

April 2014: Sofia (Bulgaria) Newspaper reports on the investigation launched following Katie’s adoption. The following is a translated excerpt of the shocking findings:

Babies and young children are being left hungry for days, lie in urine without having their diapers changed for twenty-four hours, due to which most of them are severely ill. Over a year and a half, 18 children have died, as evidenced by a Report of the CPA. This provoked an inspection by the Minister of Health Dessislava Atanassova. Yesterday she commented that she left there crying.
At the moment, 154 children live in the institution. After the inspection, Ms. Atanassova found out that, obviously, the personnel had known about her visit, as the children were all dressed up nicely, the sheets were changed and the toys were new. The stench of urine, however, made a huge impression.

“While I walked through the rooms and watched the children, I cried. After that, I got mad and was greatly upset that they were doing wrong things,” the health minister said. She made a hint that probably serious financial misuses had been done in the institution, as any accountability was lacking.

Katie on her one-year post adoption anniversary

Two Year Anniversary Stats


PICK-UP WEEK –  10 pounds, 9 ounces

TWO YEARS – 40 pounds, 2 ounces


PICK-UP WEEK – 29 inches

TWO YEARS –  38 1/2 inches

Katie Present Day

Katie – 14 years old and Verity – six years old
The girl the experts said would never walk!
The spunkiness of a true survivor


Psalm 71

17 O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood,
    and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do.
18 Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God.
Let me proclaim your power to this new generation,
    your mighty miracles to all who come after me.

19 Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens.
    You have done such wonderful things.
    Who can compare with you, O God?
20 You have allowed me to suffer much hardship,
    but you will restore me to life again
    and lift me up from the depths of the earth.
21 You will restore me to even greater honor
    and comfort me once again.

22 Then I will praise you with music on the harp,
    because you are faithful to your promises, O my God.
I will sing praises to you with a lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
23 I will shout for joy and sing your praises,
    for you have ransomed me.
24 I will tell about your righteous deeds
    all day long, for everyone who tried to hurt me has been shamed and humiliated.

Katie weighs close to 55 pounds now, and is wearing a size 7/8.  Her greatest challenges are with sensory, behavior, cognition, communication and attachment, but she has come an incredibly long way from that tiny, scared skeleton baby of five years ago who could hardly hold her head up for more than a few moments.  She can feed herself finger foods, use several signs correctly, pick up toys and put them away, walks independently. Her greatest loves are music, school, hugs and squeezes, cake, going places, swinging and spinning, and any activity involving water!

Susanna Musser, November 2016

8 thoughts on “Rescue the Dying: Redemption

  1. Our work as nurses always leaves me feeling grateful for the life I have with my children. Katie’s story takes perspective to a whole new level of appreciation. It is so overwhelming the love and courage the Musser’s and your family have given to Katie and all of your beautiful children.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I enjoy every word.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kristen! Katie’s story is such an important one to me. I’m so grateful you appreciate her as well. Her story, unfortunately, is not unique; there is an unexplainable bias towards children with special needs in former Soviet-bloc countries. The result is a silent holocaust leading the most vulnerable of our world to their deaths. Katie’s story plays an important role in stopping this!


  2. I’ve been following the Mussers for some years now and I read your story about them. The pictures, which I’ve already seen so often, brought tears to my eyes – again and again. Thanks for your big heart ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! It is one of my greatest privileges to serve the Musser family. They are such a source of personal inspiration and Christ-like examples. Thank you for taking the time to read my version of their story!


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