Two parents in Shaanxi province have made headlines recently due to the desperate measures they’ve had to resort to in order to save their young son, who suffers from severe kidney disease.
Eight-year-old Zhang Xiaoming is currently receiving treatment for his illness in Xi’an, and his family is cutting costs at every corner in order to support it, the Xi’an Evening News reports.
Zhang’s mother, who was diagnosed with uterine fibroids and requires surgery, has decided to forgo the operation so that the money can be used to treat her sick son instead.
His father, Zhang Caizhu, has reduced his diet to a piece of bread and pickled vegetables every day. The parents also support a mentally disabled 15-year-old daughter.
Hospital staff who learned of the family’s plights have contributed by taking turns to pay for Zhang Caizhu’s meals, and upon seeing the man walking around bare-footed, one nurse even bought him a new pair of shoes.
Zhang Xiaoming requires regular medication and may soon need a kidney transplant. His parents, who sold all of their 20 goats for 5,000 yuan to further support their son, have fallen hundreds and thousands of yuan into debt.
Sadly, Zhang Xiaoming’s story is not entirely unique among rural or low-income families in China who will go to extreme measures of sacrifice in order to save the life of a loved one. In April, an Anhui beggar made headlines when he was photographed dressing as a horse and offering rides for $1 to support his leukemia-stricken son. These cases highlight the shortcomings of China’s recent health reforms, as many families are unable to bear the costs of medical treatment.
[h/t SCMP // images via kaixian.tv]