Hu Yunxing draws a picture while in hospital. She was diagnosed as suffering from Budd-Chiari Syndrome. Han Meng / for China Daily
Four-year search for diagnosis ends as family finally given hope
The 4-year-old girl who traveled to the capital last week desperately seeking a cure for an ailment that left her with a massively oversized stomach has been diagnosed and is being treated by China's top expert.
Hu Yunxing is suffering from Budd-Chiari Syndrome, said her relieved father, Hu Tianpeng, on Friday. He said he is delighted that the family's four-year search for a diagnosis is finally over.
"Now that we have a diagnosis, we are so happy and have great confidence that there will be a future for our daughter," Hu said.
The impoverished farmer started a microblog on Wednesday night and posted a photo of his wistful-looking daughter.
"Doctors drew about 1,000 ml of liquid from her stomach," he wrote on the blog on Sunday. "She was crying at the very beginning but finally fell asleep. She was much happier today and talked more with the doctors."
The blog has already had more than 13,000 visits and more than 300 people have offered their best wishes.
"What a pretty girl," wrote one netizen. "All that she has suffered has been a challenge on her way to a bright future. We will keep praying for her to be better."
Bian Ce, the doctor responsible for Hu Yunxing's checkup, said the first 15 ml of liquid drawn from her stomach on Thursday afternoon was transparent brown. He said the color was normal. The specific plan for the girl's treatment will be made after further tests.
"We have to know exactly the condition of her organs after most of the liquid in her stomach is drawn out," he said.
He also revealed that Wang Zhonggao, China's foremost expert in the field, will do any operations the girl might need.
Wang began to specialize in the disease in 1981. Of the 2,000 patients who have had surgery worldwide for the treatment of Budd-Chiari Syndrome as of 1998, more than 700 had been treated by Wang.
Budd-Chiari Syndrome, which was first described in the 1840s, was initially considered an "incurable disease".
The China Charities Aid Foundation for Children (CCAFC) launched a foundation for children with Budd-Chiari Syndrome on Nov 19 and placed one million yuan in the fund.
"The families of six children contacted us looking for help after Hu's story was published," said Wei Jiuming, chairman of CCAFC.
"There are thought to be about 50 children in China waiting for help. If each needs 70,000 to 80,000 yuan for treatment, we need more donations."
Hu said his family has received more than 80,000 yuan in donations.
"And some people even called me from the United States, Hong Kong and Taiwan to send their wishes to my daughter. I was deeply touched," he added.
He said he will use any money left over after the treatment of his daughter to help other children with the ailment.
"I will not use any of the donations for my family, I will share all the love with other kids and parents," he said.
Hu Yunxing, whose waist was 106 cm when she traveled with her parents to Beijing last week, is from Shanxi province.
The family was initially helped by the NGO Angel Mom after the organization heard about the little girl's plight from netizens.
Wang Kaiping, president of the Second Artillery General Hospital of the PLA, said the hospital will offer the girl a free operation and treatment. The basic medical treatment is likely to cost up to 80,000 yuan.
The hospital has treated 70 Budd-Chiari Syndrome cases since March 2006. Most recovered. Three patients died.
Doctor Bian has said that the causes of Budd-Chiari Syndrome are not yet fully understood. He said patients in China come from the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River.
Bad nutrition and an overall poor medical condition are believed to be contributing factors.
(China Daily 11/22/2010)