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.
While on my usual hospital visit, I encountered Baolan in the corridor, where he was going back and forth. Seeing her thin little frame I began to chat with her. Through our conversation I learned about her situation – Baolan is under the guardianship of her uncle, and came to the hospital in Lanzhou to have surgeru. However, her uncle was only able to borrow $10,000 for the cost of the hospital stay, so the surgery costs have not been completely covered.
Baolan’s family has three people. They life in Gansu Yellow River Stone Forest, which has become a tourist area in recent years. Baolan’s father was born deaf and is mentally slower. Her mother was small and sickly from the time she was young. However, the family did not know she was suffering from congenital heart disease until she gave birth to Baolan.
On April 1st this year, 4th-grade Baolan went to school as usual. But, because she did not complete her work, a teacher picked up a broom and hit her. As a result of the beating, Baolan’s abdomen and leg had multiple soft tissue injuries. She also had a subcutaneous hematoma. Over a month after she had been admitted to the hospital, they discovered that Baolan also suffers from congenital heart disease. Baolan’s medicine costs are covered by the teacher, and Baolan began to cry when she saw the teacher today. Although the beating took place more than three months ago, Baolan’s legs are still bruised.
Baolan’s home has only three acres of arable land. The family grows some fruits and vegetables to eat. Ordinarily, Baolan’s mother works at the tourist sites pulling a cart; her father works at the river shearing sheep. Every hear May and Novermber are the busy seasons; the entire village lines up to take turns pulling carts. So, during the high season the family only makes one trip, earning 70 yuan per person per trip. In a year, the family’s income reaches 15,000 yuan. Baolan lives in government-built housing, which has 2 rooms. Last year, her uncle suggested the family borrow money to add some rooms to rent to tourists, so that Baolan’s mother would not have to work pulling carts anymore. This way perhaps life would not be so hard. Currently the family is 40,000 yuan in debt.
Baolan’s family has little insurance. She participated in the hospital’s major illness relied program but last year they did not have enough money for the deposit so they had to borrow to pay that as well. Yet, Baolan’s attitude is very good. She is very talkative, although her experience is saddening. Baolan will join Little Red Scarf to get the care she needs to survive.
After the surgery, Little Red Scarf sent 2000 yuan in care money, hoping to increase the nutrition and speed recovery. When he accepted the money, he continued to say thanks thanks. After the third day, Baolan was in high spirits. Little Red Scarf’s donors sent food to help her get good nutrition in the hospital. As adorable Baolan held up some bananas, she said, “My appetite is very good right now so all of these will be eaten today." She picked up the bowl, taking big bits and swallowing the food whole. Watching her cute enthusiasm, we encouraged her to eat more slowly.
Little Red Scarf documented Baolan’s hospital stay. Baolan says this is her favorite photos.
We are thrilled Little Red Scarf was able to help Baolan during this period. Like her family, we hope that from today on, Baolan will be able to overcome difficulties and move forward.
Original article written by Li Wang, translated by Shau-Ru, and edited by Yanyan Zhang
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