Little Red Scarf is in Lanzhou, Gansu province and provides financial support and encouragement to children suffering from congenital heart disease. In addition, they provide families with post-operative care and help the children sustain a healthy lifestyle.
We knew Dayong in March when he was hospitalized by pulmonary hypertension crisis. During the period, he had been encouraging other patients by writing letters. He had introduced other patients to Little Red Scarf. We have been concerning him and we visited him 4 months later.
For Dayong, sick is normal. When he was a baby, he often hit by colds which always caused pneumonia. When he was 3, he was diagnosed ventricular septal defect. The family could not afford the operation costs, so his father had to earn money in the city. He received the operation when he was 10. His illness had developed quite serious then.
2 years after the operation were happy for Dayong. He could study and play with his contemporaries. His sister had dropped from school and found a job in order to pay the debts. The situation of the family became better and the family built a new house. But not for long, he began to feel short breathing. Climbing across a mountain to go to school seemed so difficult for him. When he was in junior high school, his mother had to take him to school on a cart on Sunday and picked up him on Friday. The family had thought to let him finish junior high school education, but he did well at school and admitted by a senior high school in the town with high grades.
It is the only road to the outside in the village. Villagers often ride a motorbike for transportation. We could not even imagine how difficult for his mother to take him to school with a cart. Excellent grades in school is a great encouragement for him. He likes reading and studying. Illness made her become good friends with books.
Huining County is well-known of its drought. People here pay more attention to the education. In Huining, the best buildings are in the schools. That’s why most of the students in Huining do excellent for their school performance. The stairs of the teaching building were barriers for Dayong, but he finished his Grade 10 in a state of oxygen shortage.
He often passed out at school, so he had to leave school in his 18 and started the way for the medical treatment. His father took him to several hospitals for the diagnose, the results were similar. The medicines are expensive and the family had spent about 120,000 RMB for the medicines. He family was in heavy debts.
Dayong’s life had to be sustained by medicine and breathing oxygen. He felt a moment of relief by breathing 4 hours of oxygen every day.
His sister had to do manual work in order to earn more. His another sister is in senior high school. His mother raised a few goats, but the price dropped a lot this year. The family would like to keep him in school if it were not for his health. His situation was degenerating day by day. The doctor said the only hope is to transplant heart and lung, but it will take a great sum of money and high risks. The family did not know what to do.
Breathing oxygen and reading became everyday life activities. He said he would love to be a doctor so that he could save other people’s lives. If he would come back to school, he would like to be a social worker or public servant so that to provide help for the other patients. We hope he can fulfill his dreams one day. The hope of the moment is to find a donor and do transplant operation.
Dayong is more optimistic than we thought. He wrote letters to the other patients every time when he was admitted by the hospital. He said survival is the base of the life. He would let his life become meaningful so long as he is alive. We hope miracle can happen one day and we also hope the society can give them more cares and loves.
Original article written by Ying Guan, translated by Maggie Li, and edited by Yanyan Zhang
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