Love's miracle for 'glass man'

(China Daily)
Updated: 2007-07-11 07:05

Tan Chunhui manages to walk with the help of his wife, Xu Yingchun. [Li Guoxu]

It took him two minutes to walk barely more than seven meters, but he kept on, with love and support from his wife.

Tan Chunhui, 44, is called glass man because a cough could break his bones. From birth, he has suffered from osteogenesis imperfection, a congenital disease that left him unable to do little more than move from his bed to a chair.

But with the support and love of his wife, Xu Yingchun, Tan can now stand and walk on his own.

Tan is well-known in his hometown of Jinzhou, in Liaoning Province in Northeast China, not for his disease but for his intelligence and perseverance. He completed college and studied Japanese on his own from a wheelchair, and he's published articles in local newspapers and magazines.

Since 1999, Tan has been working as a sports writer for a Hong Kong television station.

Tan and Xu met in an online chatroom in spring 2001. Xu's husband had recently died and she said she "felt pessimistic despair" about life.

Xu, eight years younger than Tan, was encouraged by his fight against disease and his positive attitude toward life.

After a little over a month chatting online, Xu fell in love with Tan.

At the end of 2001, Xu, who lived in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province, visited Tan.

Tan recalled, "I will never forget my feelings when I first saw Xu. She is a pretty woman with quiet attitude, simple style and beautiful figure."

On May 2, 2002, Tan and Xu were married and Tan's life changed.

"Before the marriage, lying in bed and writing on my computer was my entire life. Now my wife takes me to walk in parks and, thanks to my wife, I saw the ocean for the first time," Tan said.

"It is no good for him to lie in bed or sit in a room all day. Though his disease is serious, I can help him to stand and walk," Xu said.

At first, Xu had to hold Tan tightly but eventually he was able to walk on his own for short distances.

"Xu trained Tan to walk inside, being very careful not to let him fall," Tan's mother said.

"People thought I could not live for long after I was born, but my parents persisted in caring for me and getting me medical treatment. And when people thought I could never stand on feet, my wife supported me and we were successful. I created two miracles with love from my parents and wife," Tan said.

China Daily

(China Daily 07/11/2007 page6)

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