Devastated parents short of cash and options for son

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 October, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 October, 2005, 12:00am

Returning home to wait for death may be the only option left for 12-year-old lymphoma patient Zhang Xin. His family has already gone broke paying for his treatment and cannot afford more chemotherapy.

His parents, both retrenched factory workers from Kongjiazhuang county in Hebei, sold their apartment and borrowed from relatives to cover the 200,000 yuan in medical bills so far.

They are devastated that his lymphoma is out of remission. Drained of money, his parents are running out of time.

'[The family of] another child from Jiangjiakou city only had 8,000 yuan and the hospital did not even let him in. He died in two months. I am so scared when I hear these stories,' said Xin's father, Zhang Xibo .

Xin's ordeal typifies difficulties faced by average-income families when serious illness strikes. For the impoverished, the plight is even more desperate.