Story 1 – YunQuan
‘I experienced the great virtue of humankind, the Goodness, which would never be buried by time.’ – Chen Yun Quan
Chen Yun Quan was a 17-year-old orphan from Guangdong province, China. He was diagnosed with osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as “brittle bone disease”, is a genetic disorder which the patient has fragile bones. Yun Quan had an unfortunate childhood because of the early death of his father and long-term illness of his mother. He was then sent to an orphanage.
Due to his disease, Yun Quan suffered from some 20 fractures during his childhood and felt pain whenever he walked. He also had difficulty attending school. The doctors who treated him in the Mainland could not do anything and were worried that Yun Quan would not be able to walk in a few years’ time.
With the sponsorshop of SRDC, Yun Quan came to Hong Kong and received treatment in DKCH. The assessment on 3 March 2008 showed that he had an obvious bowing in the left thigh with marked shortening and repeated injuries on his limbs. He also walked with a left tiptoeing gait. His left leg, with a crumpled femur, is 9.5cm shorter than his right when standing.
The surgery was done on 11 September 2008 to improve Yun Quan’s left femoral deformity and his leg length. In the first phase, the soft tissue, nerves and vessels are lengthened with the help of the Ilizarov external fixation system. The boy received the second surgery on 8 January 2009 to modify the bone deformity by multiple osteotomies, also known as ‘bone cutting’. After 6 weeks, the thigh length had largely improved and the bone segments were better aligned. Yun Quan made a good recovery and was discharged 6 days later. He then returned for doctor’s follow up on May 2009 and it was encouraging that he was able to stand and squat by himself.
He has made an amazing recovery and is currently studying electronic technology at the Guangdong Technical Institute. (2015 Spring)
Yun Quan’s thank you note
At the hospital, I met other children who were less fortunate than me. I learned persistence through difficulties and witnessed miracles in life. I was deeply grateful for the nurses who took care of me selflessly. During my stay in Hong Kong, I had visitors whom I barely knew. I could only say ‘thank you’ as I don’t know what to say.
There were always some unforgettable days which added colours to my life. I originally thought I would continue to live an underprivileged life. So I started to be silent and stay alone. Suddenly I saw a beam of light. Even though I strived hard, I was still surrounded by the dark.
Time flied and we could not call it back. I was fortunate to receive education from Sunbeam Children’s Village (the orphanage) and lived with my folks. I was even more fortunate to receive help from The Society for the Relief of Disabled Children which I had never dreamt of – to be operated in Hong Kong with financial assistance. This was the chance to change a disabled person back to normal. This was the chance to get rid of my bad days. This was the chance to bring me direction of life. The love and care were engraved in my heart.
I returned to China for recovery after the last surgery. The caretakers from Sunbeam (Chen’s orphanage) looked after me intensively and I was touched. I would like to thank you all for your care. If I was ignorant to hurt someone in the past, I would like to apologize for my wrong-doings. I experienced the great virtue of humankind, the Goodness, which would never be buried by time.
Chen Yun Quan
Last update March 2015