Little Red Scarf is in Lanzhou, Gansu 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.
In May, 2014, Xiao Zhi was able to have congestive heart surgery completed when he was five months old with the help of Little Red Scarf. Now he is one and six months old. He is able to run, jump, and also very adorable. His home town is Min Xian Mei Chuan Jian where the disastrous earthquake happened on July 22. Xiao Zhi was born after the earthquake and has been living in the tent from birth. Now it is two years after the earthquake, but his home was a mess everywhere. The damaged house was still not taken down. Half of the wall was collapsed. It was quite frightening to see the collapsed roof was simply supported by a stick.
The damaged house was still not taken down and simply supported by a stick. Xiao Zhi has been living in the tent since birth
Xiao Zhi's mother was the only child. His grandfather has congenital disability of the legs. Because of lack of labor at home, the matchmaker came to them when Xiao Zhi's mother just became an adult. Xiao Zhi's father came from another town and was not in the best health. Xiao Zhi's mother found a job in the engineering team and his father works as a security guard in the city so life is ok for them. They had two boys after getting married. Xiao Zhi was born four months after the earthquake. Now the whole family lives in the tent. All houses that can have people live became dilapidated. The mother recalled the episode of the earthquake and said that was the first time they encountered earthquake and they were very lucky to survive. Xiao Zhi has been living in the tent since birth. He was hospitalized when he was two months old due to pneumonia and found out he had congenital heart disease. He was hospitalized twice when he was about four months old. He was transferred from the rural hospital to the country hospital and then to the district hospital. He then went to Lanzhou from the district hospital. He missed the time to register for free health care, so they have to pay for all the hospital expenses. In May 2014, when Xiao Zhi was five months old, his congenital heart surgery was successfully completed from the help of Little Red Scarf. A year has passed, Xiao Zhi is one and half years old now. He is very healthy. He is able to run, jump and whoever sees him all find him very adorable.
There has been some misfortune that happened to this family. During the post disaster reconstruction, in addition to government funding, the family also borrowed some money to build the body of the house, with the hospital expanse for Xiao Zhi, the family has accumulated a debt of more than $70,000. Xiao Zhi's father has not returned home from work since the end of last year nor sent any money to his family. His family suspects the pressure from the debt or some other reasons made him leave the family. Today, a lot of the neighbors have moved into their new house. However because of lack of funds, Xiao Zhi's new home has not been painted, nor is there a door. The family still living in relief tent.
The construction of the house has stopped. The family has borrowed as much money as they can from their relatives and friends. The flour they had in the last month was also borrowed. Xiao Zhi's mother works as a waitress in a hotel in the city and making $1200 a month. She has just started working for two months. She said she is planning to pick cotton in Xinjiang so she can earn $4000 in 40 days. She also plans to learn something good for making a living, such as painting or selling breakfast. The grandfather said he has a disability certificate. If they are not able to survive, the grandfather is willing to go the city to be a beggar. It is really sad to hear him saying such things.
Xiao Zhi may not remember what his father looks like. But when he saw the photos taken from the hospital, unable to talk, he points his fingers at his father in the photo. Maybe he remembers his father? Or he is asking his family member who the person is? His mother was very sad when she saw him do this. All she can do is swallow her tears and continue to bear the burden all by herself.
Xiao Zhi's mother is only in her twenties, but she has already experienced the ups and downs of life. We saw her became much stronger in comparison to the time when Xiao Zhi was hospitalized. She did not back off from life’s challenges but is willing to grow and trying hard to carry on with her life. The two children are the support for Xiao Zhi’s mother. As long as everyone in the family is healthy, no matter how big the challenges are, everything will be fine.
Original Article Written by Ying Guan, translated by Cindy Yuan and Shawn
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