Story 19 – Tang Zhi Mei
Tang Zhi Mei lives with her family of seven members in Nanning. She is the second oldest among the four children. Since she was a mere toddler, walking was always a very strenuous task for her. She had a major limp with her leg bent backward 120 degree and had to walk extremely slowly. She was suspected to have a limb deformity known as Congenital Tibial Pseudoarthrosis, and this diagnosis was later confirmed after examination at Duchess of Kent Children’s Hospital. Despite the disorder, she had been trying to live most comfortably and efficiently, but was struggling to do so.
In order to correct her limb deformity, surgical treatment was necessary. However, due to many factors, the family could not afford surgical treatment. Their family income was unstable, and her father was the only income earner in the family. The mother could not work because she had to take care of the children and the grandfather. Moreover, since the four children studied at a school for non-residents of Nanning, they had to pay high school fees every month though Zhi Mei’ school was waived due to her disability. The school fees and the rent use half of the family income. Luckily, with help and sponsorship from SRDC, Tang Zhi Mei was able to undergo surgery at the Duchess of Kent Children’s Hospital at the age of 12.
It was a complicated surgical procedure that removed 10cm of the pathological segment and corrected the 120 degree angulation. It was then followed by a special technique called bone transport that helped to replace the removed 10 cm of bone. After the whole procedure was completed, Zhi Mei has a leg which is disease free and straight.