Reversing an earlier decision, U.S. immigration officials will allow a Missouri family to bring a sick Vietnamese orphan to the United States for treatment, the family said Tuesday.

"It is the answer to a prayer," said Dr. Melvin Karges, who with his wife is trying to help the 6-year-old boy get medical treatment that he can't get in Vietnam.

Tuan Van Cao has a potentially fatal bone infection that developed after a botched operation on his diseased left hip.

Immigration's Parole and Humanitarian Assistance Branch last month refused to issue a humanitarian waiver for the child, instead telling the Kargeses to try the lengthy processing of international adoption, which can take a year or more.

As an orphan, Tuan did not qualify for a regular visa.