China: Around The Nation

Chinese toddler born with heart defect forced to live in hospital for four years after parents abandon him

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 October, 2016, 4:40pm
UPDATED : Monday, 12 June, 2017, 12:53pm

A Chinese boy aged five has finally returned home to Inner Mongolia four years after being abandoned by his parents inside a Beijing hospital, mainland media reports.

The couple reluctantly agreed to reclaim their son only after being jailed for ignoring a court ruling that ordered them to collect him, China Central Television reported.

The unnamed child, who returned home “recently” according to the report, was born with a heart defect and had been taken for surgery at Fuwai Hospital in Beijing’s Xicheng district when he was 11 months old.

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Although the surgery proved successful, the boy was later found to have another problem with his breathing duct.

His parents believed this problem had been caused by the surgery and so they went home without him – telling the hospital they would not take the child back until he had fully recovered.

It meant the boy was forced to grow up inside hospital, eating food from the hospital’s kitchen, playing with toys bought for him by nurses, and using the corridors as his unofficial playground.

He ended up calling the nurses “Mum”, and saw his parents only occasionally via an internet video chat website.

The hospital, which claimed it had spent 80,000 yuan (HK$92,000) looking after the boy since he was abandoned by his parents, won a lawsuit after taking the parents to court.

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The court ordered the couple to reclaim their child, but they had still refused to obey the ruling, the report said.

They claimed that the weather in Inner Mongolia was very dry, and that boy would quickly die if he returned home.

They also said they lacked the money to treat the boy’s on-going breathing problem.

It was only after they were both jailed for a few days after ignoring the court’s ruling that they finally agreed to take their son back home, China Central Television reported.

The hospital had also agreed that the money it had spent caring for the child could be slowly repaid by the couple when they could afford it.

When they couple went to pick up their son at the hospital, the boy called his mother “Aunt” and steadfastly refused to call her ”Mum”, however hard she tried to correct him, the report said.