Thursday, February 5, 2009

Naive Filial Piety

There's a sad story circulating in the Chinese media about a teenage girl who tried to kill herself in a misguided attempt to donate her liver to her father dying of liver cancer.

Chen Jin, 13, from Jiangsu Province is still in critical condition in hospital after she swallowed some 200 sleeping pills on January 24.

At the end of last month, doctors said Chen's father only had a few months to live. Chen didn't find this out until January 23 when she saw the doctors' prognosis report in her mother's purse.

"Chen is my dearest daughter. She has been so understanding and concerned since her dad fell ill even though she is only 13," said her mother, Cui Lan, a laid-off factory worker. "She loves her dad and she usually cooks rice porridge to bring it to his ward in hospital."

"When she waved goodbye to him and returned home on the afternoon of January 23, saying she will bring some porridge the next day, I didn't sense that something so silly was about to happen to her."

But the next day she found her daughter lying unconscious on the bed with a suicide note that read: "Mum, sorry about this but I cannot make your company any more - please take my liver to save dad's life."

Cui rushed her daughter to the hospital some 10 hours after Chen had swallowed the pills.

"She loves her dad more than herself," Cui cried.

"Her dad and I have been in bad health and have resorted to sleeping pills, but our girl took down all of them attempting to end her life to save her dad."

When the story was first published, Chen's father didn't know what happened to his daughter.

His treatments have already cost tens of thousands of yuan, and Chen's hospitalization have compounded medical costs to RMB 100,00 ($14,000) for this poor family.

Some hospital staff and former colleagues have donated money, but obviously it's not enough to pay for everything.

While the chances of survival for the father are slim, hopefully the girl will fully recover and be able to take care of her mother, who has almost lost the two most important people in her life.

That is the least she can do for her father.

No comments: