Little Red Scarf operates in Lanzhou, Gansu Province, and Kunming, Yunnan Province. LRS provides financial support and patient advocacy to children suffering from congenital heart disease. In addition, they provide families with post-operative care to help the children sustain a healthy new life.
It’s my first time to see Xiao Wen on September 16, 2014 at Kunming Medical College. He was standing at the corner, looking attentively at his father. I quickly took a picture of the six year old boy and he stared blankly back at me. At this point, I asked his father whether or not he had other illnesses apart from congenital heart disease. Both parents were unsure. I checked with the doctors later and confirmed my initial suspicions -- Xiao Wen had down syndrome.
His mother told me they are from rural area, Milie County of Honghe Prefecture. They knew Xiao Wen had development problems but he was never diagnosed. Xiao Wen's father is the sole provider for their family of seven, they have two young sons, grandparents, and great-grandmother that live with them. On top of that, his father has been having trouble finding a stable job. Most of their income comes from working the fields and raising a few pigs.
The local kindergarten was reluctant to admit Xiao Wen, so his mother had to take care of him. Before he was a month old, Xiao Wen got fever. His parents took him to the county hospital and was diagnosed as congenital heart disease, but the family could not afford to do the operation.
Xiao Wen was admitted by Cardiology of First Hospital Affiliated to Kunming Medical College. When my lens pointed to him, he made a pose, looking like a little rabbit. I showed him the picture in the camera and he looked so excited.
The operation was arranged on the 3rd day. After 22:00 of the day before the operation, he could not eat. The operation was completed at midnight of the next day. When I visited him on September 19, he was eating an apple. He must be starving for food. His father said he kept crying and moving after the operation. The doctor fixed his legs with splints so that to keep the wounds from bleeding. If so, I still saw the blood on the bandage of his chest.
On September 22, Xiao Wen could leave hospital after 2 days’ rest. When I visited the family in the hospital, I met them on the corridor. He looked great and smiled to me happily.
When I asked him to take me to find his mother, he said yes and led the way in the front, looking back to me from time to time and seeing if I had kept following him.
When I asked to take a family picture to them, Xiao Wen wrapped his arms to his mum and dad necks immediately. Smiles were on each face of the family.
Before I put the camera back, I caught the picture when Xiao Wen turned his head to kiss his dad. Though he’s able to speak a little, he still used a finest way to express his love to his dad.
Seeing the lens pointing to him, he made a scissor-hand pose again. He is a innocent and lucky boy. Now he is healthy.
In his future life, he may have to face difficulties, but every child has the right to be healthy. Hope the support of Little Red Scarf can bring healthy to every needy child.
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