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Homemade ventilator reveals medical woes

Images prompt a flurry of donations to the couple struggling to keep their son alive

  • AFP
  • Published: 19:36 January 31, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AFP
  • This picture taken on January 28, 2013 shows Fu Xuepeng, a former mechanic who was paralyzed in a road accident when he was 23-years old, breathing with the aide of a home-made ventilator (rigth) while his mum Wang Lanqin (left) looks at him at their home in Taizhou, east China's Zhejiang province.

BEIJING: Her coarse hands gripping a blue plastic ventilator she pumped by hand for years to keep her injured son alive, Wang Lanqin sits by her child’s bed.

Wang and her husband Fu Minzu took turns for years pumping the device to help their son Fu Xuepeng breathe, as they could not afford the fees for him to be cared for in hospital after he was paralysed in a motorbike crash.

The couple’s hands became deformed from two years of pumping the device thousands of times a day, media reports said, but their load was lightened after they built a primitive mechanical ventilator with help from relatives.

Pictures show the rusty, oil-flecked machine, which incorporates a plastic milk bottle, standing on wooden tables held in place with slabs of rock and connected by tube to their son, who lies in bed wearing a red hat to protect him from the cold.

Even after building the machine, to avoid paying expensive electricity bills the couple kept up their hand-pumping routine during the day, as well as providing round the clock care for their son, who is paralysed but conscious.

After they were widely circulated in Chinese media, the images prompted a flurry of donations to the couple who are from a village in Huangyan district in the eastern province of Zhejiang.

These included cash and a modern ventilator sent by a Beijing company.

China has vastly expanded health insurance schemes in rural areas over the last decade, but payouts are still low, leaving severely or chronically ill patients dependent on family members to pay their medical bills.

The couple “never think of giving up, not for one second,” Fu Minzu told the China Daily newspaper. “No parents would give up on their child as long as there is a slight chance of living.”

Comments (3)

  1. Added 16:57 February 1, 2013

    It's a teaching for those who don't care for their children or parents. Best wishes for the family.

    Adil, Chittagong, Bangladesh

  2. Added 15:26 February 1, 2013

    “No parent would give up on their child as long as there was a slight chance of them living.”

    Ashraf, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 14:13 February 1, 2013

    A big salute to the parents for this great effort in keeping their son alive. May Allah bless them jannah Ameeeeen

    Mohammad Usman, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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