Little Red Scarf: Story of Yao Yao
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.
On October 20, Yao Yao was admitted by hospital. During the procedure, he met Mr Zhao and his wift, Amy. Amy gave candies to Yao Yao. He was reluctant to take at first. When Amy unwrapped one for the candies and showed to him. He accepted after seeing it for a while. When we visited him at The First Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University, he was walking around the hospital with his mother. He was curious about weighing scale, but he was scared by the medical instruments when the nursing was doing physical checking. The nurse told him to give him chocolate if he was cooperative. He became quiet and accepted the checks.
When I visited him again the next day, an auntie in the same ward said he had been crying for a whole night. His mother said he tends to drink water and eat something during before go to bed, but he was told not to eat anything at night due to the medical checks. It is a new environment in hospital, so he cried last night. His mother became tired, but he seemed energetic and wanted to eat.
Yao Yao’s father introduced something about the family. He was found congenital heart disease when he was 1 year old in township clinic. The family lives with brother’s family and have 14 people. The family is responsible for 2 mu of fields. The economy of the big family is managed by Yao Yao’s uncle.
During the talk, I noticed Yao Yao’s father tried hard to hear what I was saying. When I asked about his health, he said his hearing ability is not very good, so he seldom make phone calls. He could not see clearly since last year. The vision became dim. I asked if he had examined in hospital. He said he had not, because the family could not afford the medical treatment if something wrong with his eyes. I advised him to do a check in hospital as soon as possible, but he nodded in absent minded. According to Yao Yao’s parents, his mother is in poor health. His brother is at school. The expenses of family is about 4000RMB per year, which makes up about 40% of the total income of the big family of 14 persons, so his father could not seek medical treatment.
For several years of natural disaster, the whole family had to make a living by about 10,000RMB loans from the local government. The loans barely support food and cloth for all the members in the family. The policy improved this year, so the family got 50,000RMB of loans which is allowed to pay back in 3 years. His father said the harvest would be on proper weather. If there’s something wrong, they would not be able to pay the loans. Yao Yao’s father also showed me their house. It used to be an old dilapidated house, so the family rebuilt the house in 2012 with money borrowed from relatives. The big family stay in this house, Yao Yao’s family shared a room of 10 square meters.
Yao Yao’s operation was arranged in the morning of October 23. I received a call from his father, telling me the operation had been going well. He was sleeping due to anesthesia. His parents were staying with him and took good care of him after the operation. The child does not have medical insurance. The application had not been approved, so his expenses of the operation had to be fully supported. With negotiation, Little Red Scarf and Ai You Foundation would support the family together.
Yao Yao left hospital on October 27. When I met them at hospital, he was eating fried bread stick on his mother’s back. His father went to do discharge procedures. They expressed their gratitude to us and took a family photo. We hope Yao Yao recovers soon and we also hoped the family would share some money for his father to do an eye examination at hospital. Anyway, he is the pillar of the family. Poverty makes people to give up treatment when facing the illness. We hope such situation would be alleviated.
Original blog written by Qianhua Liu, translated by Maggie Li and edited by Yanyan Zhang
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