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After learning his wife had terminal cancer, Xu Jianguo didn't check her into a hospital.
Instead, he checked her out and took her to the countryside for the final year of her life.
"I felt my whole world collapse on hearing the doctor's words," the 54-year-old said.
In 2007, he found out that his wife, Xu Guomei, 50, had lung cancer.
At first, they spent all their savings and borrowed money from relatives to get her treatment in their hometown of Jintan and then in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, but they didn't receive good news - by 2008 the cancer had spread to her bones.
The doctor said she had less than one year to live, and further treatment would be useless.
Deciding to help his wife enjoy whatever time she had left, they moved to the countryside to take advantage of the fresh air and green land.
"I wanted a place that was quiet, where I could make my wife feel comfortable for the rest of her life and I could stay with her as long as possible."
Friends and relatives disagreed, believing that hospital is the right place to get comfort and treatment.
But Xu went ahead anyway.
He quit his job as a construction worker and mortgaged his property in Jintan, getting about 800,000 yuan ($127,000).
He rented two hectares of farmland surrounded by hills and forests 25 km from the city, and spent a third of the money to build a modest two-room house.
Xu Jianguo, 54, works on a farm that he built in Jiangsu province as a rehabilitation center for his wife, who was diagnosed with cancer five years ago. [Qian Jun / for China Daily]