Over $20k donated to father who prepared a grave for ill daughter

PHOTO: Video screengrab

What can a father do to make things better for his critically-ill daughter who faces impending death?

For a Chinese man named Zhang Li Yong, the only thing he could think of was to prepare a grave for his two-year-old beforehand. Not only that, he brings her to play in it every day, hoping she could "adapt to her last resting place and not fear death".

Mr Zhang's daughter, Zhang Xin Lei, was born with thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder in which the body produces abnormal red blood cells. If left untreated, the condition could be fatal.

Together with his wife, Deng Min, the couple had already spent over 140,000 Yuan (S$28,500) on their daughter's medical treatment, but have stated that they cannot afford to continue seeking treatment for Xin Lei.

"We are at our wits' end."Photo: Video screengrab

"We have borrowed money from everyone possible, to the extent that nobody is willing to help us anymore." Mr Zhang added.

Ms Deng is now pregnant with a second child, with hopes that the newborn's cord blood could treat Xin Lei's condition. The treatment would however cost hundred of thousands of Yuan, putting further financial strain on the couple.

A video produced by Pear Video documenting the girl playing and laying in the grave her father prepared for her has since gone viral, garnering more than 16 million views.

Since then, the family had posted on a Chinese fundraising website and raised over S$20,000 for their daughter from members of the public. 

Father prepares grave for ill daughter

  • The video of a Chinese man who prepared a grave for his ill daughter had gone viral online.
  • Zhang Xin Lei, 2, was diagnosed with thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder in which the body produces abnormal red blood cells. If left untreated, the condition could be fatal.
  • The couple had already spent over $28.5k on their daughter's medical treatments, but cannot afford to seek further medical help.
  • The couple had also previously borrowed money from others, to the extent that nobody is willing to do so anymore.
  • As a last resort, the father could only prepare a grave for his daughter so she could at least "adapt to her last resting place and won't be afraid of death in her last moments".
  • "We are at our wits' end," Deng Min, the girl's mother, cried.
  • The couple is now expecting a second child, hoping that the newborn's cord blood could help treat Lei Xin's condition.
  • After the video went viral, members of the public donated over $20k on a Chinese fundraising website.

While many netizens have expressed their sympathy towards the young girl, many also criticised the parents for being "irresponsible and ignorant".

"I don't understand why the parents would want a second child, as cord blood is not an elixir. Not only that, but the second child may also inherit the fatal disease," a netizen wrote.

Another netizen also thought the preparation of the grave was unnecessary, doing no good but harming the girl's mental health.

ongymm@sph.com.sg

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