Little Red Scarf is in Lanzhou, Gansu, and Yunnan provinces. We provide financial support and encouragement to children suffering from congenital heart disease. In addition, we provide families with post-operative care and help the children sustain a healthy lifestyle
Shi Rui is a young girl in a family of four. Her older brother has just entered junior high. The family owns about 4 acres of farmland in which they use to grow rice, peanuts, sweet potatoes, and other low-maintenance crops. After deducting from the amount they need to pay to grow the crops, they earn an annual income of about 5,000 RMB. Although they are poor, the family is very loving and peaceful. When Shi Rui was about five months old, she came down with a fever that continued on for days. After going to the clinic to check her condition, they received the devastating news that she had congenital heart disease. This was the beginning of her road of constant medical checkups. In order to pay for these checkups, the family has had to take on a lot of debt.
Being in the countryside all their lives, Shi Rui’s parents do not have much of an educational background. Since they did not know how they could improve Shi Rui’s conditions, they could only borrow more money to spend on Shi Rui’s medical treatments. The doctors say they it is imperative that Shi Rui goes through surgery in order to get better. However, surgery would cost them tens and thousands of dollars- an amount that they could not afford to pay. When they though that all hope was lost, they were introduced to Little Red Scarf by the local clinics. To their surprise, Little Red Scarf contacted them shortly after they handed in their application. After receiving their call and saying that they could finance Shi Rui’s surgery, they quickly packaged their luggage in preparation to bring their child to the city.
When I first when to the hospital to visit Shi Rui, she was staying in the hospital corridors because there were not enough hospital beds for her. In the two days I went to visit her, it was raining heavily. It was heartbreaking to see the family of three sleeping on one bed by the corridor walls. When I went to say hello to Shi Rui, she did not open up to me quickly. After pulling out Little Red Scarf’s bracelet and attempting to make her smile by putting the bracelet on her, she began to cry. Embarrassed, her mother told me that she was scared of me because she thought I was there to give her a shot. Ever since she had stay in the hospital, she had been getting shots and blood work done. When Shi Rui see a stranger now, she is afraid that they would hurt her. I immediately distanced myself a little from Shi Rui and told her that I was not there to give her a shot. Still, she clung onto her mother and refused to open herself up. As I smiled at the child, I felt a sorry for her deep inside. Even though she is so little, she has been through a lot.
Ever since Shi Rui came to Kunming, she had been getting sick. Since her physique was really poor, her surgery had to be postponed for 20 days. After she had surgery, I went to visit her. She was in deep sleep. Her face was very yellow and her body appeared to be very skinny and fragile. Words cannot even describe how weakened and pitiful she looked. Because she has just had heart surgery, she has to stay in the hospital for one more week before she can leave. We wish her and her family all the best.
Original article translated by Lin Luo, translated by Nina Chen and edited by Yanyan Zhang
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