Xiao Ai, 35 years old, is a beneficiary of Little Red Scarf’s “Mother Care” Project. She underwent surgery for congenital heart disease in December of 2015.
The 35-year-old Xiao Ai is a mother of three. There are five people in her family. Her eldest son is 11 and in sixth grade. Her daughter is three years old, and her youngest son just reached two-months-old. Her husband is 42 years old. Their house has three rooms, split into two bedrooms and one kitchen. They have an acre of land. They earn 15,000 yuan from farming and working at miscellaneous jobs. The family is currently on the national welfare program, getting 1,600 yuan a year from the government. Adding together money earned from farming, working, and welfare, the family can make 16,000 yuan a year.
Baby's Medical Expenses
When Xiao Ai was giving birth to her child in September of 2015, it cost over ten thousand yuan. The baby was not doing well at birth and was diagnosed with a serious lung infection and intrauterine hypoxia. The baby was immediately transferred to another hospital and spent 20 days in the incubator in the city hospital, costing over ten thousand yuan. The medical costs of the two hospitalizations were paid for using all of Xiao Ai’s husband’s savings and by borrowing from relatives. When Xiao Ai’s baby was not yet two months old, he was diagnosed with congenital heart disease when visiting the county hospital because his heart was beating too fast. The family was out of money, so they had to borrow. Relatives scrapped together 18,000 yuan for Xiao Ai, and Little Red Scarf paid for the rest of the costs so the baby could undergo surgery.
Powdered Milk vs. Goat's Milk
Because Xiao Ai took too many medications before and during her hospitalization, she could not breastfeed her child. She had to buy powdered milk to feed her child. Because of their financial circumstances, Xiao Ai could not buy good quality milk powder and had to get the cheapest, 25 yuan-per-bag kind for her child. The family is under a mountain of debt. Farming their one-acre land could not even feed the entire family, not to mention buying milk powder for the baby. Xiao Ai wants to buy a goat to get goat milk for the baby. Goat milk is nutritious and higher quality than powdered milk.
Donors Help Buy a Goat
On January 19, 2016, we transferred $300, or around 1,950 yuan, to Xiao Ai’s family. This donation was made possible from our sponsors Fred Lam and Joy & Janson Ko.
After receiving the donations, Xiao Ai’s husband and nephew went out to buy a goat. After purchasing the goat, Xiao Ai’s nephew sent a WeChat message.
“And I want to explain how we bought the goat. There are no goats that have milk on the market. We asked around and found some people in a neighboring village who raise goats. After explaining to them our situation, they finally agreed to sell. Because the mother goat also has a baby goat under its care, we will be taking care of the baby goat for them. Here are a few pictures.”
Xiao Ai already began feeding goat milk to the child. Although the milk has a strong goat smell, it is a lot more nutritious than the 25 yuan-per-bag milk powder. Many babies are not accustomed to drinking goat milk and will cry at first. Also, babies that drink goat milk are often constipated.
Xiao Ai’s husband is raising the goat and feels that just feeding her grass is not enough. We suggested he feed the goat some cornmeal porridge. Hopefully the goat can have enough milk, so the baby will not go hungry.
The temperature has been cold lately. Hopefully Xiao Ai’s goat is not affected by this cold weather and can live stably in its new family and serve its new little master. When the baby grows up, he will probably like the goat a lot.
Original article written by Yunyun, Translated by Allison Zhang, Edited by Carolyn D.
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