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One-armed violinist prepares to take a bow

By Dara Wang | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-24 07:47

A superhero with strings attached

When his daughter June was born in 2015, mastery of the violin took on a new importance to Sham Hang-fu.

"Before she was born, I wanted to become a hero in my own right. Now, I want to become a 'superhero' for her," he said. "When I practice the violin at home, my daughter sits quietly and pays full attention to my playing. If her mother is not there, she asks her to join us," he said.

Sham is learning to become a good father, trying to fulfill a promise he made to himself at the time June was born. However, his injury still haunts him.

Once, when he was walking in the park with his daughter, a boy approached and asked if Sham's arm would grow back. When the 36-year-old replied that it wouldn't, the boy turned to June and said, "Your father has one arm for ever. He's different from my father."

Sham didn't know what to say.

Another time, he was flustered when June wanted to give him a high five. He reached out with his right hand awkwardly. "How about the other one? Give me five!" she cried, patting Sham's stump, leaving him nonplussed.

"It made me realize I hadn't fully accepted the reality of my amputation, even after 14 years," he said. "My little daughter taught me a very good lesson. To become her superhero, I have to accept my imperfection and try to find an appropriate way to tell her how I lost my arm."

Sham said playing the violin does not make life easier for him, and he faces new challenges every day. The responsibility of having a daughter who needs his care never leaves him, but he wouldn't change it for the world-and he will never stop trying to be her superhero.

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