Little Red Scarf is in Lanzhou, Gansu and Yunnan 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.
It was March we got to know Da Yong. He was admitted by hospital for pulmonary hypertension crisis. During the period, he had been writing letters to encourage other patients. He introduced other patients to Little Red Scarf. His optimistic impressed us and we had been concerning about him. We visited him 4 months after.
For Da Yong, illness seemed so familiar. Since he was a child, he has been spending each carefully. He often caught cold. He was diagnosed congenital heart disease ventricular septal defect when he was 3. The family could not afford the surgery. His father had to work in the city. Da Yong accepted surgery when he was 10, when he got very serious pulmonary hypertension.
2 years after the surgery was pleasant for him. He could go to school and play as his contemporaries. To pay off the debts, his sister dropped from school and started to work. The economic burden of the family got relieved and the family even built the new house. Good time didn’t last long. Da Yong began to feel short breath. Walking became increasingly difficult for him. He boarded at school when he was in junior high school. His parents picked him up at weekends with plate trailer. Da Yong performed excellent at school and was admitted by a good county school when he finished his junior high school.
There’s only a small steep road around the mountains to connect with the outside in the village. Motorcycle is the only transportation mean. It’s very hard to imagine how difficult it would be to use plate trailer for his mother to take him to school. Excellent school performances is the greatest encouragement for Da Yong. He has never thought of giving up study. He seldom participates in outdoor activities, so books become best friends to him.
Hui Ning is well-known for its drought, but Hui Ning people value education very much. The best buildings in Hui Ning have to be schools. It was a great encouragement for Da Yong when he came to Hui Ning No. 1 High School at the beginning of a new semester. Standing under the high school building, he sensed the difficulty that his health had to overcome. Despite of serious anoxia, he insisted on finishing his grade 10.
His father took him to several hospitals and the diagnosing results were almost the same. The illness could not be cured. He had to take medicine which worth about 19980 yuan a box (56 pills). The medicine treatment requires physical examination in every 2 months. Da Yong and his father had to take several buses to reach Xi’an for the examination. The family has spent over 120,000 yuan so far for the medicines. The family is in heavy debts now.
Da Yong had to take medicine and breathe oxygen every day to maintain his life. Breathing oxygen makes him feel better. He takes about 4 hours’ oxygen each day.
His eldest sister works in the city and his second sister is in high school who said Da Yong would be accepted by a very good university if it were not for the illness.
His mother raises a few sheep, but the price kept dropping this year. His father said he would go out to work if it were not for the family he had to take care of. The health of Da Yong is declining and he had to stop his study and stay at home. The doctor said the only hope is to transplant heart and lung, but it would be risky. The peasant parents could do nothing for it.
Breathing oxygen and reading make up daily life of Da Yong. He said he dreamed to be a doctor, but it seemed impossible for the moment. If he could go on further education, he wanted to be a civil servant or a social worker in the future. He hoped to serve other patients. Now his biggest hope is to do transplant surgery as soon as possible. He knew it would be risky, but he hoped everything would be ok.
Da Yong is more optimistic than I thought. He wrote letters to encourage other patients. He said he would let life be more meaningful. We are expecting miracle as Da Yong. We also hope people will give him more care and love.
Original article written by Ying Guan, translated by Maggie Li, edited by Yanyan Zhang
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