A 21-year-old woman in Anhui province who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and received no formal education in school has been writing a fictional story, now over 60,000 words in length, using only her foot.
Hu Huiyuan was born prematurely in an Anhui hospital, where doctors had predicted that she wouldn’t make it. Miraculously, Hu survived, but was diagnosed with cerebral palsy just 10 months after her birth, China Youth Daily reports.
As Hu grew older, she learned how to perform everyday tasks using her foot, as she could only move her head and feet.
Hu, who never received a formal education but is very well-spoken, told reporters: “I teach myself. I’m not a genius but I’m very focused. When I watched TV in my childhood, I often learned words with subtitles.”
Hu’s mother recalled: “When I was trying to teach her how to speak, I needed to be very patient as every single word might take a thousand times of repeating. But once she mastered the word, I felt fairly satisfied.”
It’s no easy job for Hu to type every single word on computer with only her foot. She has to target a key she wants, move her foot towards to the keyboard and then press it down with strength. While she’s typing, her body is fastened to her wheelchair with a belt to help her keep stable.
Hu told reporters that she’s able to type around 20 to 30 words per minute.
Hu’s father shows her manuscript to reporters.
Hu’s fiction is about the pursuit of dreams and love. After Huo Zun, a post-90s singer, read her story, he wrote her a letter and encouraged her to keep writing. Hu said she was inspired and touched.
Numerous online readers have shown interest in Hu’s fiction and they often pitch ideas on how her story should end.
Hu said she plans on writing eight chapters, and has just completed chapter six.
Last September, Wang Qiang, a 29-year-old man diagnosed with cerebral palsy fulfilled his dream of joining a professional boxing competition when he signed up in Shanghai.
By Lucy Liu
[Images via Tencent]