Wheelchair-bound girl overcomes challenges to excel

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-07-04 16:28
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Scoring 566 points out of 750 in this year's national college entrance exam, or gaokao, Li Hao, a wheelchair-bound girl in Changde, Hunan province has proven a physical disability is no impediment to a person with the determination to succeed, according to a report by The Paper.cn.

Li suffered an accidental injury when she was a first-grade primary school student, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. Her mother keeps an X-ray photo of Li taken last year in her phone, showing a spinal curvature of over 40 degrees. Curvature of the spine or scoliosis is classified as a severe condition and potentially damaging to a patient's lungs and heart if the curvature exceeds 100 degrees.

"Her elbows developed thick calluses due to long periods spent supporting her upper body in class, as she doesn't lie down in the classroom," Li's mother said.

In the two years after her injury, Li went to Beijing, Changsha and other cities for treatment. After returning to Changde, she skipped grades and started studying from grade four to catch up with her peers. To her teachers' surprise, despite only taking half days of class due to physical therapy, she topped the class in every exam.

Through sheer perseverance, she excelled in her studies and was admitted to the high school she dreamed of. The school provided Li and her mother accommodation for free. Though the pair insisted on no extra assistance, people never stopped offering a helping hand.

When Li was in grades two and three, her classroom was on a higher floor. A common sight at that time would be students carrying Li in her wheelchair to and from class, with even some students whose classes were far away taking a detour especially to help.

The words Li said most every day were "Thank you." And no matter how difficult her situation, Li never shed a tear in front of her classmates.

"She was the most serious student I ever taught," her head teacher in high school said.

Without exception, Li has been dedicated to her studies, never letting anything disturb her except a sometimes unbearable physical pain. Her doctor suggested she get surgery as soon as possible, but Li chose to wait to avoid missing the gaokao

At the moment she learned her gaokao score, Li appeared calm — in great contrast to her mother's excitement. "This is just the beginning of my life," she said. "There will be more changes in my future, but no matter when and where, I'm sure that I will stay on my road."

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