The thought of having to bury one’s own child is every parent’s worst fear, but for one desperate father in rural China, it quickly became his only choice.
Zhang Liyong has tried everything to help his two-year-old daughter, who was born with a serious blood disorder. His efforts have unfortunately been to no avail.
Left with no other choice, this heartbroken father dug a grave for his critically ill daughter and lets her play in it to familiarize her with her future burial space.
Zhang Liyong, who works as a farmer in the Sichuan province of China, has spent his entire savings in hopes to treat this daughter, Zhang Xinlei.
At only 2 months old, Zhang Xinlei was diagnosed with congenital Thalassemias. The National Organization for Rare Disorders describes it as, “An inherited blood disorder characterized by reduced levels of functional hemoglobin.”
Since Zhang Xinlei was diagnosed, her family has spent over 100,000 yuan (roughly $14,750 US) on medical care. The cost became impossible for Liyong to keep up with as he earns just under $400 a month.
Despite the family’s efforts and money spent on treatments, doctors informed Xinlei’s parents that she still wouldn’t have a long life. To cope with this and prepare his daughter, Liyong did something that has moved many.
After trying everything they could, Zhang Xinlei’s parents gave up on treatments and decided to focus on preparing their daughter for the inevitable. Liyong dug a grave for his daughter and felt the more she frequented it, the less scared she would be.
“I could only come up with this idea — bringing her to play at this place,” Zhang Liyong told Pear Video. “This is where she will rest in peace. All I can do is accompany her every day.”
A video clip of Zhang Liyong lying together with his critically-ill daughter in her future grave has grabbed the attention of many, who were moved by this desperate dad’s devotion.
Since Zhang Xinlei’s story has become more and more shared, reports state that money is being raised for her treatment. Time is of the essence and hopefully, enough people will be able to contribute so Zhang Xinlei doesn’t have to see her grave for many years to come.