Convergence of Comfort: Many Hands Gather for a Lone Twin

dec13

Shuangqin is a 9-year-old girl born with a facial disfigurement. Abandoned by her mother, she lives with her grandparents while her father works to save money so she can have corrective surgery. However, Shuangqin’s luck began to change when local Dongguan charity organization Treasures of Hope entered her story.

In 2004, Mr. Luo Hong’s wife birthed twin girls. They were delivered in perfectly healthy condition, but one of the girls, Shuangqin, was born with a facial disfigurement. She had a congenital collapse, which meant that her nose was wider and her eyes were further apart. It causes no health issues. It is purely superficial.

However, the pressure was too much for Shuangqin’s mother. After a few years she ran away from the family taking Shuangqin’s twin sister with her.

Shuangqin’s family was devastated. Her grandmother succumbed to an illness that she is still to recover. Mr. Luo was left heartbroken and alone to raise his daughter. Shuangqin was abandoned by her mother, an experience that can be more traumatic than any facial disfiguration.

Mr. Luo decided not to mourn the family that left, and instead focused on caring for the family he still had. He sent Shuangqin to live with her grandparents in their hometown in Hunan while he worked in a shopping center in Houjie. He worked day and night and saved most of his salary to pay for an operation so that Shuangqin could look like the other boys and girls.

However, even if he saved most of his salary each month it would take years for Mr. Luo to have enough to pay for the operation. Not only was the operation expensive, it was also complicated. Even if Mr. Luo could raise the money he would still have to find a surgeon who could perform the operation.

Everything changed this April, when Flora, Mr. Luo’s boss, started a conversation. Flora is a regular customer at TOH, and when she heard about Shuangqin she went to the store to see if there was any way in which they could help.

Usually, the organization only works through charities with whom they already have a relationship, but when the manager, Aaron Burns, heard Shuangqin’s story, he was deeply touched. “It was an amazing story and I wanted to do anything I could to help,” he said.

However, the pressure was too much for Shuangqin’s mother. After a few years she ran away from the family taking Shuangqin’s twin sister with her.

TOH started to spread the story through social media and not long after they were put in touch with a surgeon in Dongguan. However, the surgeon had never performed the operation that Shuangqin needed and recommended they visit a surgeon in Guangzhou.

In Guangzhou the news from the surgeon was discouraging. “They said they could not do the operation and they did not think that any surgeon in China could,” said Burns.

While they received bad news from the surgeon in Guangzhou, an organization in the Netherlands heard about Shuangqin. The organization was called Care 4 Tina and every year they travel to China to perform surgeries for those in need.

They wanted to help so they contacted TOH. Unfortunately, they would not be in China long enough to perform the operation. They still wanted to help and offered to perform the operation in the Netherlands, but the travel and living expenses would have been too much. However, C4T did put TOH in contact with a surgeon in Taiwan who knew another surgeon in Shanghai, Dr. Mu, who was able to perform the operation.

With a surgeon finally found, all the organizations involved came together to help Shuangqin. C4T will pay for all medical expenses while an organization in Shanghai called the Bao Bei Care Center will provide accommodation. Treasures for Hope and AMBD Brazilian Women’s Club will cover any other expenses such as transportation.

At the end of November, Adam Mok, a colleague of Burns, drove the daughter and father to the airport to fly to Shanghai. Over the past few months, Adam has spent a lot of time with the family.

He describes Mr. Luo as a tough guy. When others might choose to give up, he gets up and tries twice as hard. When his family needs him, he finds a way.

When Adam sees Shuangqin he does not see a girl with a facial disfiguration. He sees a girl who is happy – a girl who likes to draw pictures.

She is still unaware of her facial disfiguration in the beautiful way that only children can be. It will be a few years before she starts to become more aware of it, or more precisely, she becomes more aware of other people being aware of it.

Shuangqin is now in Shanghai where she has had her first consultation with Dr. Mu. If there are no problems then the operation will take place at the beginning of December.

If the operation is successful then Shuangqin will be able to grow up like the other boys and girls, never having to feel self-conscious or that people are staring at her.

In future issues of HERE! we will try to check in to see how Shuangqin’s operation went and to see how her and her family are getting along.

Category Dongguan Affairs