Bed-ridden artist, novelist has big brush with fortune

By SUN RUISHENG in Taiyuan and ZHOU HUIYING | China Daily | Updated: 2021-12-07 09:24
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Zhang Junli paints from bed at her home in Taiyuan, Shanxi province. CHINA DAILY

Though paralyzed and bed-bound for 34 years, 43-year-old Zhang Junli hasn't just been lying around. She keeps busy painting works of art that have won her abundant praise from her fans.

Born in a village in Taiyuan, capital of Shanxi province, Zhang first showed symptoms of the condition that would later take away her mobility when she was 6.

"I had just started primary school," she said. "During the period between the end of autumn and the beginning of winter, I began to feel pain in my wrists and fingers when I wrote."

As her condition worsened, her parents, who worked as rural middle school teachers, took her to Shanxi Provincial Children's Hospital for treatment, where she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

Her condition did not improve after a month's treatment at the hospital.

Her parents could barely afford the bills and exhausted almost all their savings paying for her hospitalization.

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