The heartbreaking story of a seven-year-old boy from Guizhou province who has taken care of his paralyzed father for the past year after watching his mother walk out on them has recently made waves online.
According to Youth Daily, Ou Tongming, a 37-year-old laborer from Wangpu village in Guizhou province, fell from the second story of a house under construction in June of 2013.
Tongming’s wife and his son Ou Yanglin sent him to the hospital immediately. He was diagnosed with several rib fractures, vertebral fractures and a spinal cord injury which paralyzed him from the waist down.
Tongming’s medical treatments exhausted the family’s savings but his health did not improve. He has remained bedridden since. After almost a year with no improvement, his wife left home with their three-year-old daughter. There has since been no news from the pair, leaving Yanglin to care for his father alone.
Yanglin, who currently attends the first grade, gets up at 6 a.m. every morning to prepare food for his dad before going to school. After eating lunch he hurries back home to feed his dad. After school he walks around campus to collect scrap which he exchanges for money.
“My father needs medicine, but I don’t have any money,” Yanglin said. He told reporters that he can earn nearly 20 yuan each day by selling the scrap he collected.
Upon returning home, Yanglin helps to turn his dad over and apply medicine. Due to being bed-ridden for such a long time he has accumulated several bedsores, one of which has ulcerated and spread an infection to his pelvic cavity.
Aside from the scrap which Yanglin sells, the father and son have no other income except for 300 yuan in financial aid from the government each month. Some warmhearted neighbors sometimes provide them with food and other help.
Not to burden his son, Tongming has thought of committing suicide more than once. “I wasn’t determined as I couldn’t bear to leave the kid orphaned,” he said.
“I can’t live without my father,” Yanglin told reporters, adding that he’s eager to grow up as soon as possible and earn money to help cure his father’s injuries.