A female farmer in Chongqing Municipality performed a surgery on herself because her family couldn’t afford the 50,000 medical fees.
Wu Yuanbi suffers from Budd-Chiari syndrome, a chronic condition that causes the belly to fill with fluid, larger than a pregnant woman. She cannot go to work, nor could she take care of children and even herself.
She was diagnosed first in 2002, when her family pooled all their savings for a procedure to release 25 kilograms of water from her bally. Yet a recent relapse saw the family too poor to afford the 50,000 Yuan for a second operation.
"If I cure myself, it’s a happy ending. And if I pass away, I have at least spared my family the trouble of looking after me," she said.
“She told me that she wanted to split her belly. She was afraid at first, but let it be a gamble in the end – after all, the doctor did the same cut 9 years ago,” Cao Yunhui, her husband told journalist that Wu has little education, but with a tough personality.
At the night of May 8, he saw Wu went on sleep so he went outside. After a while, he was called back home. “The yellow water came from her belly soaked cotton-padded mattress in the bed. We cleaned 3 times to remove the yellow water,” Cao recalled the scene at the night.
Wu had 37 stitches in total at her belly. The longest wound is 10 centimeters. What surprised Cao is that Wu used half kilogram chopper to cut herself. Wu remembered that the fluid went out from the wound, but the intestines also came out. She lied in bed and called for help, then fainted because of too much pain.
After 3 days staying in the hospital, she went back home because the medical fees were a great burden to her family. But her belly filled with fluid again in May 16.
Due to many news reports, her condition caught the attention of the local government cadres. She was taken to a hospital in Chongqing immediately. And the hospital said they would save her life at any cost.
Cao said that they had been to the Petition sector of the government earlier this year for help of the expensive medical fees. But the local department thought Wu’s sickness was not on the list of severe illness aids, and recommended them to buy new rural cooperative medical insurance. They thought it was very troublesome because they cannot wait for such a long time.
Public opinion shows that Wu is the extreme case of migrant worker’s difficulty with curing illness. Her way of cutting herself is the common way that the poor Chinese people will choose to obtain help: Media report – Cadres pay attention – Movement of the functional department. The Institutional shortcoming behind the news is worth contemplating.
Wu’s neighbor said that Wu did not cut herself for nothing if they would cure her sickness once and for all.