Plan B for the Farmer’s Son

I will keep updates on the story of the farmer boy from rural China on my story of Zhiwei on my blog at Jeff But here’s the latest. As I mentioned, when I finally looked at the leg under the blankets, to my horror I saw that the surgery was on the hip, not the knee. WHAT? I was outraged. The doctor was supposed to be in the next day at 6 pm, so I came then, but he didn’t show up. During all my visits, I’ve never seen a doctor come in and do anything with the patients and their families in the crowded little room, and only once saw a nurse come in to drain a catheter or something on another teenage boy, a procedure that involved exposing his genitals to everybody in the room and the hallway. No sense of privacy at all. Ugh. Anyway, the father called the hospital staff and arranged for us to see the surgeon the next morning when he came in at 7:45. I was there, with a translator to help, and the doctor came in–boy, did he look wealthy and important!–and just walked by us, apparently with no time to discuss his work with peons like us. We were told he needed to change and would be with us in a minute. Then he escaped out of his office and went into another office down the hall, and then we were told he’d be just a few minutes and we’d have to wait until 8:00 a.m. That time came and went. It was clear he wasn’t interested in meeting or talking. What was he worried about? I had to leave at 8:15 to get back to work. Had a presentation I was giving, and a big order of CinnaSwirl cinnamon rolls waiting for me, one of the best things in Shanghai. It’s a way to turn an ordinary presentation into a stunning success. Wish medical success were that easy.

The father then showed me the x-rays. Major hip surgery, with pins and rods. Will it help? I don’t know. The surgeon, the head of the department here, told the family that the hip was where the real problem was and now that surgery will let the knee heal naturally. I’m not sure about that. A US doctor who has seen the x-rays before and after has raised serious questions about this procedure. There have been many red flags, including the fact that the surgeon told the family that something was wrong with the placement of things in the hip and that a second expensive surgery was needed next week. When the family said they didn’t have the money for that, the doctor said it was time to back up and leave because the bed was needed for the next patient. And now he’s saying no problem, it will all heal naturally. Wait, if there’s a problem in what he did with the hip that required expensive surgery, how can he send them away and say he can heal naturally? How can he send them away at all? China leaves many questions unanswered.

Plan B: I want to raise $13,000 to pay for the next surgery (estimated cost: $10,000) and help them pay down a major part of the debt they have from this apparently failed surgery. Thank you to all who have donated, and I hope you can keep the donations coming. All the donations I’ve received so far and then some have gone to the family to help them with their expenses here, and now I want to build a reserve to help for another surgery in a few months, if that is the right timing. I’m not giving up. Not yet. Wish us luck, and keep Zhiwei in your prayers (and donations). PayPal button is on the right side of the this blog.


Author: Jeff Lindsay

4 thoughts on “Plan B for the Farmer’s Son

  1. For others who wonder how to contribute, go to the link to Jeff's other site as posted in his article above.

  2. Any possibility to contact a non profit or some medical charitable organization in the United States or Europe to get the boy out of China so the right surgery can be done? (just looking at the x-rays it is common sense what the problem is and it is not the hip)

    I realize how much work it would entail not to mention expense, but just wondering. If there is another surgery is there a chance it will be on the knee? (like should have been done in the first place)

    I thought in communist countries medical care was free, the State (government) paid for it. How wrong I have been. Keep up the good work for this family. Know it is difficult. They truly have Angels looking out for them.

  3. Medical care is costly in any political system, and nothing is free. But China is making remarkable progress and it's easy to predict that health care will continue to improve here as health care becomes more competitive and people have increased freedom of choice and increased access. Not all nations have that trend going for them. Some nations are becoming more bureaucratic and controlling, and others are opening things up and bringing prosperity. My view. It's cool to watch China grow and learn. But patience and perseverance are needed. And funding for people like Zhiwei.

    Thanks for the kind donations I've received from several of you today! I really hope we can surprise the family soon with the ability to come back for the surgery that is actually needed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.