|Wu Qingqin [China Wenming/Wang Xiaowei]|
Wu Qingqin and her husband Chen Ruhao live an ordinary life in south China's Guangzhou Province. However, the compassion they have shown for their only child is anything but ordinary. The couple has been recognized as model citizens by the province for the support they have provided ever since tragedy fell on their household 18 years ago.
Qingqin and Ruhao have always wanted the best for their son, Chen Wenliang. When he was promoted as an assistant in a precious gems business directly following high school graduation, the couple dreamed he would carry on the family business and promote their company across the nation and into Southeast Asia. But Wenliang had dreams of his own. He secretly applied for work as a policeman, and his outstanding exam results granted him a position on the force.
Although he had worried his parents would reject his decision, they surprised him with overwhelming support. "Policemen have to have compassion—there are a lot of things you have to do, but helping others is also a way to help yourself," his mother Qingqin told him.
However, the family's joy was soon met with disaster. On November 29, 1997 when Wenliang and his partner were sent to capture two suspects, a black motorcycle suddenly raced in front of them, driving the in the wrong direction and crashing into their police car. Wenliang's head hit the steering wheel and the family's life changed forever.
Wenliang was sent to the hospital for a nine hour surgery, and in the following weeks he underwent around a dozen more operations, but it was no use. He fell into a coma, unable to speak or move a muscle.
In the following weeks, Qingqin's hair quickly turned white and she lost weight. But the couple was determined to care for their son. They took turns keeping watch over him for any change in his condition. They kept him clean, looked after him, and gave him therapeutic massages.
After three years of their undivided attention in the hospital, Wenliang was allowed to return home. The couple called him by the nickname they called him as an infant, "Ah-Liang", turned him over, and continued their therapy.
Each morning at 10 a.m., Qingqin carries her son to the elevator and strolls around the park with him for an hour. They feed him at noon and return shortly after, telling him stories from his childhood and new things in their own lives. By the time they have attended to all of his needs, it is usually past 11 p.m..
The couple has kept this routine for over 6,000 days and nights in the past 18 years since the accident, devoting all of their attention to Wenliang's recovery. Although his mental capacity remains unchanged, his vital organs have seen signs of improvement through his family's loving care.
The couple has seen experts from all across the country for recommendations on how to proceed with their son's condition. Ruhao, who was previously interested in studying medicine, has also put his brain to the task, seeking help from Chinese medicine and experts across the nation.
Through their struggle, Qingqin and her husband maintain an optimistic attitude, and continue to extend their compassion for others in need. They have donated to relief efforts for each earthquake and natural disaster in recent years, and their local donations for mending roads, building schools, constructing elderly homes, and protecting cultural heritage surpass 12,000 yuan (U.S. $1,900).
Through their dedication to helping others while protecting the life of their son, they follow his dream to make the world a safer place. The kindness and unrelenting optimism they have shown was honored in a ceremony awarding 10 people in Guangzhou recently as model citizens for the nation.
(Source: China Wenming/Edited by Women of China)