Girl, 12, stricken by disease where belly won't stop growing

PHOTO: Girl, 12, stricken by disease where belly won't stop growing

A 12-year-old girl from southwest China has a rare medical condition that has caused her belly to swell up like a pregnant woman.

But Meng Caixiu of Guizhou Province is not about to give birth.

She has a liver cyst, which is a rare condition where a bubble along the side of her liver fills up with fluid, causing her belly to get bigger and bigger each day.

According to the American Liver Foundation, most patients with liver cysts do not experience symptoms, nor do the cysts develop to become life threatening of harmful for the liver.

The cause of liver cysts are unknown in most cases.

For Caixiu, she was diagnosed with her condition when she was just a year old, and her bellow has kept swelling since.

According to China Central Television (CCTV) reports, her parents are at their wits' end, having spent all their savings and even gone into debt to treat her condition to no avail.

Doctors who have seen her have not been able to cure her.

In a video interview, her father Meng Guofan said that her condition is worsening by the day.

"She looks so pitiable. Now the family is so impoverished that we can't afford medical fees," he said.

"She is such a poor child," he lamented.

Desperate plea for help

Desperate plea for help

In the video, Caixiu looks pale and listless, and her mother silently weeps at the side.

A large scar on her belly shows a tell-tale mark of an operation, which has failed to cure her.

While most liver cysts grow slowly, if they do swell up to a large size, they can cause bloating and pain at the right side of the abdomen. If they grow abnormally large, they can lead to liver failure or liver cancer.

To treat them, surgery is needed to drain or surgically remove them.

The girl's family is asking for benefactors to step forward to help them fund treatment for the girl as quickly as possible.

According to Medical Daily, those under China's communist rule are required to buy basic medical insurance, which covers about half of their healthcare costs.

The remainder is paid for either by the patient or another health insurer.

This system leaves many of China's poor and needy struggling to pay for their medical bills for serious conditions like Caixiu's, Medical Daily reported.

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