This is the heart-breaking moment a little girl offers to donate her bone marrow to her seriously ill younger brother, not knowing the fact that their parents won’t be able to save the boy due to expensive medical bills.
Six-year-old Xiao Qingfeng, from rural China, tells four-year-old Xiao Qingle with tears in her eyes: ‘Don’t be scared, brother. I will save you for sure.’
Qingle suffers from a severe blood disorder and will need a bone marrow transplant to survive. Although his sister is found to be a match with him, the cost of the operation, £60K, is an astronomical figure for their parents who are farmers.
Chinese girl Xiao Qingfeng (right) promises her seriously ill brother Xiao Qingle that she will donate her bone marrow to save him after being told she was a match for her younger sibling
The six-year-old loving sister then cuddles her four-year-old brother in his hospital ward
Qingle was diagnosed with Thalassemias, an inherited blood disorder, in July after his body suddenly became weak. He has to undergo a blood transfusion every 10 days to survive
Qingfeng and Qingle come from the village of Jingshan in Shangli County, Jiangxi Province. They have one elder sister Xiao Qingru, who is seven years old.
Qingle was diagnosed with Thalassemias, an inherited blood disorder, in July after his body suddenly became weak.
‘So weak he could not even walk,’ his devastated father, Xiao Taobing, told MailOnline.
People who suffer from Thalassemias produce either no or too little haemoglobin, which is used by red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body, according to NHS.
Patients will need life-long treatment by blood transfusions, and the only cure for the condition are stem cell or bone marrow transplants.
The siblings (pictured before Qingle fell ill) come from the village of Jingshan in Shangli County, Jiangxi Province. They have been very close to each other, according to their father
The family’s life has turned upside down since Qingle became seriously ill four months ago. His father, 37-year-old Xiao Taobing, has run into debts in order to pay for the blood transfusions
Mr Xiao, 37, and his wife Zhan Honghua, 37, are both farmers and impoverished. In order to improve their financial situation, Mr Xiao left home to work on construction sites in Guangdong Province last year.
HOW SERIOUS IS THALASSEMIA?
Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder.
According to the NHS, people with the condition produce either no or too little haemoglobin, which is used by red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body.
Thalassemia patients will need life-long treatment by blood transfusions or Chelation therapy.
But his son’s illness has turned the family’s life upside down.
Qingle has severe Beta Thalassemias; and to keep him alive, Mr Xiao has to take the child to hospital once every 10 days to undergo blood transfusions.
In September, he took his son to Southern Hospital in Guangzhou to find out if his daughter would be a match for his son for a bone marrow transplant.
The result was positive, but he was told to prepare at least 550,000 yuan (£60,300) for the life-saving procedure.
To look after Qingle, Mr Xiao had to quit his construction job and now takes up any odd jobs, including collecting recyclable rubbish at nighttime to sell for money.
He earns about 3,000 yuan (£329) a month and has already borrowed more than 30,000 yuan (£3,293) from his friends and relatives to afford the blood transfusions.
His neighbours and the local government have donated nearly 30,000 yuan (£3,293) to help the family. But the figure is a far cry from the cost of the operation.
In September, Qingfeng was found to be a full match to Qingle for a bone marrow transplant. But their father said he could not afford to save his youngest child because of the medical cost
Mr Xiao said his son was extremely strong and never cried once during treatment. He pleaded: ‘I want my son to recover as soon as possible. Our family can’t live without him. Please help us’
Mr Xiao sent a desperate plea for help through MailOnline: ‘I want my son to recover as soon as possible. Our family can’t live without him. Please help us.’
He said his son was extremely strong and never cried once during treatment.
‘I asked him if the injection was painful. He said no.’
Qingfeng has always been very close to her brother.
Although she is a full match, the lack of funds means she will have to see him keep suffering.
Mr Xiao and his wife Zhan Honghua, 37, are both farmers and impoverished. The couple are pictured with their daughter Qingfeng and sick son Qingle in a Chinese hospital
After being told that her bone marrow could save her sibling’s life, Qingfeng consoled him and promised to be by his side.
She told Qingle in his hospital ward: ‘Don’t be scared, younger brother. I will save you for sure. We will play hide-and-seek together [when you recover].’
The tearing girl then cuddled her brother.
‘As long as I can save my brother, I am not scared of having my blood drawn, I am not scared of pain,’ she told a local reporter.
‘My biggest wish is that my brother could recover as soon as possible. I want to play with him and go to school with him,’ she added.
The family have set up a crowdfunding page on a Chinese charity website. They have received 24,822 yuan (£2,733) in donations as of writing.
Mr Xiao said he felt deeply indebted to the kind strangers who had helped him and was looking forward to the day when his son could finally have his surgery.