Little Red Scarf is an NGO that sponsors congenital heart surgeries for diseased children. The following is the story of Cun Hua, a girl from Wu Wei, Gansu, whose heart disease was left to worsen because of her family's inability to afford surgery.
First encounter was on July 17th, 2012
15-year-old Cun Hua’s congenital heart disease is very severe. Her appearance shows the severity, as not only are her lips deep purple, her fingers and toes have become severely deformed.
Cun Hua was 3 months old when doctors diagnosed her serious congenital heart disease, but because of her family’s economic hardship, she has not recieved care until now. Cun Hua’s parents work away year-round. At the beginning of every year, her parents have just enough money to deposit and set aside for Cun Hua’s medical needs and also for her two elderly grandparents. Because Cun Hua’s immune system is very weak, she catches a cold an average of twice of month. Common flu medicines have little effect on her.
Cun Hua lives in a 7-person household. Her parents cannot even afford to have a room of their own. They currently rent a place to live outside of the house. The father and mother have labored for 10 years, yet they have only saved 20,000 RMB (about US $3,100) so far. The money is entirely dedicated to Cun Hua’s surgery, but it barely covers one-third of the surgery costs.
In the beginning, the father’s wages were only 300 yuan per month (about US $47). The mother stayed at home with the younger child, until three years ago when he could be sent to school. Only now has she been able to make time to work. Once both of them started working, economic situations became less stressed. They have enough money to cure Cun Hua’s colds.
But, Cun Hua’s cyanosis (a symptom of congenital heart disease where fingers and toes bloat and turn bluish in color) has become more and more obvious and severe. She has never been able to go to even a day of school, and has no friends. Her condition makes her look more like a 8 or 9-year-old, rather than a 15-year-old she actually is. If she could just walk like a normal child, and have a normal complexion, it would be easier for her to be accepted by her peers. Still, even if her skin gains fair complexion, that is of less importance. What she needs most is a healthy life.
Original article written by 贠于捷, translated and edited by US intern Janna Wang.
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