At the end of 2014, I met Xiao Yong, a patient with complex congenital heart disease. One operation was not enough to heal him, so it was difficult to receive support from other organizations. I saw Xiao Yong in Yunda Hospital when he had just completed his first operation. He was a timid 14-year-old boy.
On April 15, 2016, I saw Xiao Yong and his mother in Yunda Hospital again. 15-year-old Xiao Yong had grown much taller but was still shy.
His mother explained their family's situation. Their family of 5 has a little more than an acre of fields, which they use to plant tobacco and corn. They have about 20,000 RMB ($3,000 USD) of income per year. Life would not be too difficult if everyone were healthy. However, Xiao Yong's grandfather died of cancer in April 2014, and his grandmother was diagnosed with cancer, too. Life became desperate.
Xiao Yong’s grandparents had earned enough for their daily expenses by working small jobs outside of the house. All the field work was done by his parents. Xiao Yong was diagnosed with complex congenital heart disease when he was 3 months old. His mother was concerned and wanted to give him treatment in the hospital. They tried their best to save money, but his grandparents’ illness spent all their savings. They owed heavy debts.
We hope they will not have to wait too long. Xiao Yong is very young. He deserves a healthy and fresh future like his peers. LRS will try its best to care and protect patients like him, no matter their age. Let’s pass on blessings to one another for life.
His mother said his grandmother passed away last July. There are 4 people in the family now: the father, mother, Xiao Yong, and his brother. The family owed 110,000 RMB ($16,600 USD) after paying for the treatment and funerals for his grandparents. They planted some wheat, but lost all of it due to frosty weather last year. They borrowed 3,000 RMB ($450 USD) this time from relatives to come to the hospital. After paying 2,000 RMB ($300 USD) to the hospital, they only had about 300 RMB ($45 USD) left.
When LRS learned about his situation, we began to raise money for his 2nd operation. At that time, Xiao Yong would be over 14 and exceed the age limit to be supported by other organizations. We did not want his age to deter him from getting the 2nd operation.
With tears in her eyes, Xiao Yong’s mother said that they had not been supported, but spent all their money for the treatment of their parents. They did not have any money for Xiao Yong's operation. This situation is quite common in the rural areas. But Xiao Yong’s mother is kind-hearted and still spent all their money to treat Xiao Yong’s grandparents.
Knowing this, LRS decided to raise $300 USD for him. If he could have the operation in Kunming, the money would be for their living costs. If they had to go to West China Hospital, the money would be for their travel expenses. Xiao Yong’s mother was moved when she received the money. We hope it could alleviate some of her stress.
According to his mother, Xiao Yong improved a lot and got less colds, but he still felt out of breath. The doctor had suggested for him to have the operation in West China Hospital. Considering the expenses, his mother decided to take him to Yunda Hospital for a checkup first. He still had to have a 2nd operation, for his oxygen saturation was only 90% and his fingernails showed signs of clubbing.
The examination results showed he had to go to West China Hospital for the operation. They went back home first and waited for the operation to be arranged.
Preparing for Second Surgery
LRS Provides Support
First Surgery in 2014
Because of Xiao Yong's severe disease, no doctor in Yunnan could do the operation. A foreign expert team came to Yunda Hospital, and Xiao Yong’s mother took him to the hospital again and had the foreign experts do his first operation.
Original article written by Qian Hua, translated by Maggie Li, edited by Carolyn D.
TFISH FUND BLOG
We update news and reports directly from the field written by our NGO partners daily.
PHOTOS & VIDEOS
IN THE NEWS