Little Red Scarf is in Lanzhou, Gansu and Yunnan 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.
Zheng Mei lives in Dayao county, Yunnan province. The family has 4, her parents are peasants and she has an older brother who is in Grade 8. They have 4 mu of mountain fields. The main income comes from tobacco which is about 10000RMB per year. Living costs were sustained by 10000RMB of loan which would be paid from tobacco in the end of the year. They raised a few chickens which were used to supply nutrition to the family. During 2012-2013, her father was diagnosed thrombocytopenia which spent over 50000RMB. He had to do regular examinations in hospital. Her brother boarded at school and needs. The family owed about 40000RMB debts when the new house was rebuilt. Sometimes, Zheng Mei would told her parents she was dizzy, but they did not take it seriously. In the end of December of 2014, her father saw her nose was bleeding when she was eating sugar canes. Her parents took her to check in county hospital. According to the diagnose results, the doctor suggested them to do further check in Kunming.
Her parents felt at loss when the doctor said Zheng Mei had to accept surgery for her heart problem. Her parents had to borrow about 10000RMb from their relatives. In 2014, Zheng Mei was diagnosed congenital heart disease with pulmonary valve mild stenosis and aortic stenosis after expansion + ventricular septal defect. During the process, she was diagnosed thyroid, so she had to take medicines for 3 months and re-check again. When the thyroid was cured, she could take surgery. Her parents were frustrated. On April 9, 2015, they came to hospital again and borrowed 50000RMB. Her father said the debts would be paid in 3 to 4 years if there’s no help from NGO. Now, the policy for peasants has changed. They were not allowed to plant tobacco, so their income resource was cut down. Zheng Mei’s mother had to take care of field work, so her mother could not stay in hospital all the time. Before surgery, we visited Zheng Mei again. Her face was red and she likes to chat with us. She said she likes school, drawing and playing games. When we take out camera, she offered various poses.
The doctor informed the family the surgery time, but it would be postponed to April 23. Zheng Mei was not allowed to eat after 10PM in the day before surgery. She was well-behaved and did not cry. At 8:30am, April 23, the surgery was arranged on schedule. Zheng Mei was brave and kept smiling when she was taken to the operation room. The surgery went well, which was done at 13:00. She had to stay in ICU for several days for observation. She was discharged from ICU on April 27. She could eat soft and liquid food, but could not walk. She looked well. On May 4, she was allowed to leave hospital. They would came to hospital for re-examination 3 months after. The doctor said the wound stitch could be handled in county hospital.
Her father was happy, for they could save some transportation charges. For a family who could barely make ends meet, it’s certainly a better solution. Her mother went back for field work a few days ago, so we took photo for Zheng Mei and her father. The surgery was successful and she would recover soon. Thanks to LRS support, they were very happy. Her father could not learn words, but he kept saying thanks to us. We were rewarded from his gratitude. I received not only the happiness that the job gives to me, but the love for LRS. Wish the love of LRS help more children as Zheng Mei and more families.
Original article written by Yefei Chu, translated by Maggie Li, and edited by Yanyan Zhang
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