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.
It was beginning of 2013 when we first met Yihong. A mother supported by LRS in the south of Gansu introduced Yihong to us. The child lives in the same village. The family could not afford the operation. In the end of 2014, his father took him to Lanzhou for the operation.
When we were filling the application form, we asked about the situation of his mother, his father said she had died. The atmosphere seemed heavy and we did not know how to respond. When I looked at Yihong, he buried his head to his father arms. I was so sorry and wished I had not never asked such question. I said to Yihong that I was sorry and I had not meant to hurt him. I told him if I had known his mother died, I would not ask such question. He raised his head and said, “it’s okay, and I understand”. This simple sentence flowed into me like a warm stream. I felt released.
His application had been approved and he was admitted by the hospital in the same day. Looking at his rough hands, I knew he must be naughty. There were chilblains on his hands and his father told he and his sister grows chilblains in every winter.
Yihong lives in the south of Gansu province which bordered with Qinghai and Aba of Sichuan. It’s located in highlands with chilly weather. Yihong’s cheeks and little hands were red. The village he lives are resided with Han and Tibetan, so most of people in the hospital thought him as a Tibetan child.
His tolerance impressed me a lot. To compensate my careless mistake, I bought some gifts for him, a bottle of children’s cream, a pair of slippery and a transformer toy. I told him to wash hands and face every morning and rub with cream, wash feet before go to bed and wash hands before meals. He nodded happily and I believe he would do well.
Yihong was happy to see transformer toy. Anyway, he is a boy and like transformer more than rubbing the face and hands with cream. It was his first time to receive gifts, so he was very happy. The transformer can be transformed to a police car. Many little boys dream to be a policeman and Yihong must be no exception.
After new year’s holiday, I connected the doctor and confirmed the surgery time. The next day of the holiday, doctor Liu arranged the operation. It was a complex congenital heart disease, but it is not rear in Gansu. The success ratio is high . Yihong’s operation was very successful.
On the 5th day of surgery, Yihong was discharged from ICU. I visited him in the ward, he seemed relaxing. When I asked him if the operation hurts, he said no. The way he spoke reminded me of knight in the story. He did not scared before the surgery and he did not cry for uncomfortable or hurts after the surgery, but his pale face revealed he was weak. He just acted as a strong boy.
His father was relaxed to see his son coming out of ICU. His lung did not feel well after the operation and his father helped him by patting his back every day according to the instruction of the nurse.
On the 7th day of surgery, the doctor redressed his wound. Before the dressing, the doctor asked him to lie still on the bed. He was very cooperative and the whole process went smoothly. The doctor praised him. He smiled again. On the 7th day of operation, he started to walk a little bit. He looked better and heathier. He ate well with good appetite.
A patient in the same ward bought a red cotton-padded jacket to him. He likes it very much and said he as red as red scarf. On the 12th day, he was in review period of surgery. His father asked a relative to take care of him, for he had to leave for a few days. When I asked if he had missed his father, he nodded.
I told him his father had missed him more, for he is his father’s all. Yihong is young and he may understand his father when he grows up.
On January 14, it’s time to check out. There’s only one bus from Lanzhou to the nearest of the village and it would take 5 hours. In the morning, they were informed to check out. I happened to have a meeting and could not go to the hospital. I was going to bring the school bag to him, but they had to catch up the bus. The other family members were waiting for them.
Finally, we made an appointment on the phone. I would meet them 2 month after when they come to hospital for re-examination.
Original article written by Yunyun Jie, translated by Maggie Li, and edited by Yanyan Zhang
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