China: Around The Nation

No one to care for sick husband, so Chinese cleaner takes him to work every day

Chen Rong, 51, has brought husband Liu Jianming with her each day for the past three years in Dujiangyan, Sichuan province, to ensure he remains safe

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 December, 2016, 11:51am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 December, 2016, 12:41pm

A street cleaner in southwestern China has been taking her mentally retarded husband to work with her for three years because there is no one to care for him at home.

As Chen Rong, 51, swept a 4,000-square-metre area in Dujiangyan, Sichuan province, each day, her husband, Liu Jianming, would follow her carrying a dustpan in his hand, the Chengdu Economic Daily reported.

Liu suddenly fell ill and became paralysed in 2007. Although he later regained the ability to move, he suffered permanent brain damage, which left him with the intelligence level of a three-year-old child, the report said.

One day in 2013, Liu lost his way in the city and his relatives later found him near a cliff. After the incident, Chen decided never to leave Liu alone again.

The couple now go to work together before dawn and return home at night, according to the report.

“I have seen them together every day over the past two years,” a local restaurant worker was quoted as saying. “There really are people who never abandon their spouses no matter what happens.”

Chen, who has worked as a cleaner for 12 years, said their lives had become easier since their son, who has a master’s degree, started working and sending money home.

The couple also received social benefit payments every month, the report said.