If you see Haoyang, you would fall in love with him. He is a happy 4 year-old boy who plays, sings, eats and laughs without a care in the world. While it is heart-lightening to see him in person, it is heart-wrenching to hear of his story. Haoyang grew up in a family of 6, in the barren hills of middle Gansu. The scars from a traumatic burning accident of the first child continued to plead the mother guilty of incompetency, the mother had suffered from emotional detachment with her children since the bearing of Haoyang - he grew up without knowing the loving look of a mother.
Haoyang was first diagnosed with congenital heart disease at the local county hospital when he was 2 years old. The family scraped around to financially prepare for the possible treatment, while sought support from Little Red Scarf. Unfortunately by the time all was ready, Haoyang was confirmed to have a complex and severe condition that was too dangerous for operation at the hospital in Lanzhou.
The young parents did not want to give up on their child. They traveled to Beijing in April 2011 seeking possible treatment, with Haoyang finally admitted in a cardiology specialist hospital in mid-May, waiting on the wisdom and decision of the cardiac surgeon specialists.
With this decision to seek help for Haoyang, it had not been easy for the debt-burdened mom and dad as they left behind their 4 year-old older son, two old grandparents, and their small apple and wheat field, soon ready for harvest. One week after arriving Beijing, they received a call from home that pushed them into despair: There was a sudden hailstorm that beat down all the fruits and crushed all the wheat – their only source of income for the whole year. “We were looking at the few thousand kuai this harvest would make to pay off some of our debt, or to pay for this upcoming surgery. But Laotian (God in Heaven) seems to want the harvest for himself…”
With all the sorrow and burden around this family during this anxious wait, Haoyang’s consistent cheerful character and genuine smile is truly an invaluable silver lining to all. Just as his father’s wish when choosing Hao from浩浩荡荡(proud and righteous walk) for Haoyang’s name, he is one who stands tall and proud in walking this rigid path of life. Haoyang, may you live to tell a story of victorious journey.
Background Info: Haoyang, Male, 3 yrs old, Interrupted Aortic Arch, first contacted with Little Red Scarf in March 22, 2011, he loves his new picture book
After Surgery: A Glimpse of a Mother's Heart
The 3 yr old Haoyang is her second child. As a typical Gansu village girl, she got married at the age of 19, and bore her first son one year later. When her one-year old son had a burning accident under her care, and was severely burnt and scarred, so shattered her confidence in good motherhood. She could no longer show empathy or affection to her child, even after the birth of the second child. She had emotionally detached herself from the boys ever since, and her boys were distant to her. When Haoyang found to have congenital heart disease last Spring, and sought hospitalization later in the year, it was really difficult for both the mother and the son; even up to this May, when the two parents and Haoyang came to Beijing for treatment, it was still obvious little Haoyang was not close to his mother.
Haoyang experienced post-surgical complications and had been struggling for survival in ICU for more than 60 days. During this time, our team saw this mother heartbroken, regretful, and dreadfully worried for her son. Her tears and words recalling stories of her beautiful son were especially moving, knowing her difficulties. The silver lining to this heart-wrenching process is the opening and softening of this poor mother’s heart to her own baby.
We shared her joyful tears when the news of Haoyang’s miracle awakening and responding to outside world broke out to her last week. As Haoyang finally transferred to normal ward today, we see her heart no longer filled with fear and negligence, but now with thanksgiving and loving care. We congratulate this family on not only the saving of their precious son, but also a long-lost mother.
After Surgery Update
Does anyone remember Haoyang, one of our Little Red Scarf children featured in our August Newsletter?
It was last Thursday , the week before National Day (October 1), when I saw Hao Yang again. Actually this was the third time that I saw him during his treatment, which lasted a long five months. Between April and September,Hao Yang had come to Beijing hoping for his first treatment, been forced to go back home and wait, make a second trip to Beijing for the surgery, and battled postoperative respiratory problems. In that time span, Hao Yangexperienced more medical battles than some people do in a lifetime.
We all feared that Hao Yang would not be able to recover from his post-op complications; even I felt little hope when I saw the video of him posted by the nurse in the ICU. However, despite his desperate situation, we watched a miracle unfold. We were especially moved by his parents' joy upon the news that he was beginning to take a turn for the better. Hao Yang was moved from the ICU to the med/surg ward for noncritical patients shortly thereafter. Although he was skinny, he was no longer in grave danger
When I saw Hao Yang this time, it was time for him to leave the hospital and return home. Now Hao Yang can walk by himself and can communicate with us, though he is still weak, which shows in his voice. Through Skype, he communicates with Director Ruan, who is very concerned about him, and he sings for her. He is very young and still does not understand the amazing grace that has been bestowed upon him, that his life in itself is miraculous. He is perhaps more aware that something changed in his family. His mother is finally emotionally ready to take him home and be the mother she couldn't be to him previously. However, he will some day come to realize the full weight of everything he has survived.
We take a photo for Hao Yang’s family, and his parents’ faces are beaming with happy smiles. After that we take turns getting photos with Hao Yang. Even though all the excitement is probably exhausting for his weak body, he is polite and doesn't complain.
Before leaving , Hao Yang’s father gives us some walnuts, which he grew himself. I pat Hao Yang’s shoulder and tell him that he should take good care of his parents when he grows up. Hao Yang nods. We both agree to meet again in three months when Hao Yang comes to Beijing for a follow-up appointment. We hope that Hao Yang will recover quickly, that he will be stronger by then. Only time will tell, but in the interim, all we can do is be grateful for the changes we have already seen in his life, and hope for the best in the future.
Update: Haoyang's Home Visit Blog Three Years Later
Haoyang's Total Surgery Cost: 250K
Family Loans Deposit: 95K
LRS Sponsorship: 55K ($9000 USD)
TFish Staff Fundraising: 36K
Remaining Loans: 64K
Story written by Hsin-Yi Wang, June 8, 2011
Find out more about Haoyang at LRS project page www.toumingyu.org/project/694/
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