A Family with Health Challenges
Honghong was born into a poor, rural family. The oldest of three children, Honghong has two younger brothers, ages 4 and 1. Both parents are mentally retarded, and the 4-year-old brother has a problem with his left eye that’s gone undiagnosed due to the family’s lack of means for adequate healthcare.
Honghong’s Treatment of CHD
When Honghong was 3 years old, she found out she had congenital heart disease. However, because of the family’s impoverishment, her treatment was delayed. As a middle school student, she would feel tightness in her chest and shortness of breath. Honghong’s cousin, attending college in Hainan, found Little Red Scarf’s phone number online. Honghong successfully underwent surgery in 2013 with help from LRS.
Healthier and Happier Post-Surgery
Honghong recovered well, and two years later is now in ninth grade. She bikes half an hour to get to school and no longer has a problem with physical education classes. Honghong is a good-looking child and very conscientious. She cleans her room regularly to keep it neat and tidy, and she helps her mother with housework when she has spare time. She also sets a daily study schedule for herself to remind her of homework assignments. With over 60 people in her class, Honghong ranks around number 20, which is a great improvement from before. “After the surgery, I am more confident, healthier, and happier,” she says.
Manual Labor and Government Subsidy Not Enough
The family’s main source of income is a government low-income subsidy of about 7,600 yuan a year. Honghong’s father looks after a third of an acre of land and plants leeks, corn, cabbage, green onions, and other crops. Additionally, for about 3 months of the year, he works as a laborer with the local construction crew, lifting steel cables and moving concrete. He earns around 5,000 yuan, which puts the family’s annual income at 12,600 yuan when combined with the government support. Honghong’s mother can only look after the children and do some basic housework. The family’s main expenses are living costs, medication, and schooling costs. The family’s survival is dependent on support from relatives.
Honghong will be going to high school next year, so her family’s financial burden will become even heavier with her tuition and living costs. “My dream is to go to college like my cousin,” says Honghong. With a good quality education, she will be able to help support her family.
Will you help Honghong reach her dreams?
TFISH FUND BLOG
We update news and reports directly from the field written by our NGO partners daily.
PHOTOS & VIDEOS
IN THE NEWS