College student only weighs 21.5 kg after starving for 5 years for brother’s medication

Poverty is one of the biggest problems that is still left unsolved all over the world. Although there are government agencies who work hard to alleviate the situation of their people, the problem still remains.

In fact, in extreme cases, people who suffer from poverty are left with no choice but to succumb to it. Just like in the case of 24-year-old Wu Huayan.

Wu Huayan from rural Guizhou Province only has two yuan (30 cents USD) to spare each day on meals because she has to save money to treat her sick brother. Ms. Wu, at her age, only stands 4ft 5in tall and weighs 21.5kg (47 pounds).

According to Daily Mail, her mother died when she was four and her father died when she was 18, leaving her to be the sole carer of her younger brother who is mentally ill.

Ms. Wu says she receives 300 yuan (£33) per month from the local government as welfare, but with that money, she also needs to cover part of her sibling’s medical bills. This was why for the past five years, she has lived extremely frugally, eating as little food as possible. 

“I am not like other people who can ask for money from their parents after they spend it. I don’t have parents,” Wu said.

Although the government covered half of her brother’s medical bills, she still had to borrow 5,000 yuan (£548) to pay for the rest. In another interview with a Chinese media outlet, she said she knew she had been malnourished, but could not afford to go to the hospital. 

“I often felt no strength in my limbs, could not sleep and my feet started to swell,” she said.

After entering college, Ms. Wu took a student loan and worked two part-time jobs in order to improve her financial situation. But in September, Ms. Wu’s classmates demanded that she go to the doctor after seeing her frail physical condition.

Ms. Wu initially refused out of financial concerns, so her classmates carried her to the hospital by force. Apart from malnutrition, she was found to have problems with her heart valves and need surgery, which will cost more than 20,000 yuan (£2,100). 

Just when Ms. Wu was about to give up medical treatment because of the astronomical cost, Good Samaritans heard of her story and helped her set up online crowd-funding pages.

Kind-hearted strangers donated 700,000 yuan (£76,724) to the student in the space of two days – more than enough for her surgery and nursing fees.

Tongren Civil Affairs Bureau then offered 200,000 yuan (£21,909) to Ms. Wu as emergency subsidization. The authority has also promised to do whatever it can to ensure that Ms. Wu receives proper medical care. 

Ms. Wu said she looked forward to the day when she could recover. ‘I still want to write my articles and poetry. This is the life I want,’ she said.

Thanks to all the help from good Samaritans, Miss Wu is now in a stable condition and is awaiting a surgical operation. We hope and pray for Miss Wu’s speedy recovery and may many more people be touched by her unconditional sacrifice for her beloved family.

You can watch a short clip about Miss Wu here: