A 12-year-old boy has been taking care of his mother, who suffers from a rare neuromuscular disease, by himself for many years following his father death. Low on both money and hope, he is struggling with what to do next to help his family.
Peng Zhiwei was born in Machaping town in Guizhou province. Not long after his birth, his mother was diagnosed with Myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease that leads to fluctuating muscle weakness and fatigue even affecting the muscles that control limb movements and breathing.
In recent years, his mom’s health has been deteriorating causing Zhiwei to shoulder more and more of the family’s responsibility, even taking his mom to Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province, seeking better medical care.
Zhiwei has also been diligently studying traditional Chinese medicine books and searching for herbs to cure his mom’s disease. He says that he has made traditional medicine for his mother, but after drinking it for six days straight she didn’t get any better.
When his mother is suffering during the night, Zhiwei is unable to sleep a wink. He told reporters that he is afraid that his mom might never wake up again if he failed to help her. He is usually able to go back to sleep at five or six in the morning when she is feeling better.
Zhiwei felt helpless when they had used up the family’s entire savings of 100,000RMB on medical care and the hospital began pushing for his mom to leave. He says that he wishes he could find a job to earn some money, but nobody dares to hire someone his age.
Zhiwei says that he has three wishes: First, that his mom will get better. Second, that he will be able to repair his father’s tomb. And third, that will get to visit America some day and see stealth warplanes with his own eyes.
By Lucy Liu
[Images via NetEase]