Choosing which of your children should live and which should die is an unthinkable, impossible decision. In a horrific, unfair Sophie’s Choice type scenario (or Aftershock for those in the East), an Inner Mongolian family was forced to decide which of their sick twin sons would receive life-saving healthcare in the city of Shanghai and which would be left at home to die.
Naturally, husband and wife, Wang Guojun and Xu Shijia adore both their babies, Wen Yuan and Wen Bo, but they only had just enough money to cover medical treatment for one. The twin boys were born with severe complications in their hearts, respiratory systems, and kidneys. Making things worse was the health of the parents. Wang has a brain tumor and Xu suffers from both a hand disability and skin pigmentation loss.
Pooling their savings, borrowing money from family and friends, and taking loans, the parents tried to be as resourceful as possible, but it simply was not enough to cover both boys.
Rather than pick themselves, the two parents left the twins to draw slips of paper that would decide their fate. Wen Yuan, the older twin, picked the “Go” paper. In tears, the couple left Wen Bo to perish with his grandmother before making the almost 3,000 kilometer journey to Shanghai Children’s Medical Center.
Upon arrival, the doctor indicated that Wen Yuan had a terrible, life-threatening case of pneumonia and that the money they had saved for him would not be enough to cover his costs.
However, fate had other plans in store for this poor, grief-stricken family. Upon arriving to Shanghai, the family’s story was picked up by local reporter Xioma Ma. Ma allowed Wang and Xu to appeal to the public for much needed financial assistance.
Of the situation, Ma said: “What struck me the most is that the couple said they had decided to let the babies draw the lots by themselves. They didn’t want the boys to hate them in the future had they picked the slips”
The sad story gained wide sympathy and the Chinese public was generous with its charity. Donation after donation poured in all week as the Chinese public sought to prevent a preventable tragedy. At the time of writing, the family has raised $116,000—enough to have little Wen Bo brought to Shanghai with his grandmother—enough to save his life and his brother’s!
Hopefully the family can rest and heal now that there is a ray of sunshine breaking through this nightmare.