Chinese woman donates her eyes in dying wish to see long-lost son again
Mother leaves her corneas so that they can continue a 22-year search for boy who went missing in 1996
A dying woman in central China offered her corneas for transplant in the hope of gazing on her son from beyond the grave more than two decades after he went missing, according to a local newspaper report.
Wang Shiqun, from Yibin city in Sichuan province, died last week aged 55 after battling breast cancer for almost a decade. She entrusted her younger sister to ensure her corneas were given to a donor so that she could once more see her son if he ever came home, Chengdu Economic Daily reported on Thursday.
Her son, Zhu Hai, was aged nine and living with his father after the couple’s divorce when he went missing after leaving school to walk home at 5pm on June 4, 1996. By 9pm, when he had not returned, the family contacted the school and began searching for him.
Wang was not in Yibin at the time, the report said, and says she does not know details of the incident, including what her son was wearing.
Although the cause of disappearance is unclear, Zhu Hai’s cousin was reported to have told their grandmother that Zhu Hai had said at a school gathering three days earlier: “Let us toast to this final occasion we will be together.”
Over the years, Wang has travelled across China to Kunming, Beijing, Chengdu and other cities in search of her son, who has a scar on his heel. There were countless false leads, and she was cheated several times by people who gave false information.
In 2010, Wang was diagnosed with breast cancer, and before an operation in October she mentioned donating her corneas for the first time.
“She said that when people die they are burned, so it would be better to donate what she could,” her sister said. “When she left, she simply refused to close her eyes. As I cried, I told her I would definitely help her find her son.”
Wang’s corneas have been given to two young patients with eye diseases.