ChinaZhang Xiaodong was paralyzed for 13 years because of ankylosing spondylitis, but for the past eight years, he has been doing everything on his own to take care of his father, who lies motionless due to a brain hemorrhage.
The 36-year-old man’s old saying often is: “What you can do, you should do it yourself”.
Zhang Xiaodong, who lives in Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province, has been paralyzed since 2008 after only three months of illness. At first he did not accept the truth, often lying in bed lamenting the unfairness of his life. “Reality can’t be changed, you have to accept everything,” his mother advised.
With the encouragement of his mother, Truong spent the money to buy a computer. He started learning some skills and worked part-time. When the young man began to have a steady income, his father became paralyzed due to a recurrent brain hemorrhage.
Truong said, his parents divorced when he was young, then his mother took him back to live with his grandparents. When Truong was paralyzed, his mother took care of him for four years, then died of cancer. Dad took him home to take care of him.
Taking care of a paralyzed person is not easy for a man over 50 years old. Father and son live in a cheap rented house, rain leaks everywhere. Once the father fell due to tripping over a puddle in the house. When he arrived at the hospital, he was paralyzed and could not speak.
After that, the father and son were taken care of by their grandparents. But both grandparents are over 70 years old, weak health. Truong Hieu Dong, tried to learn to do everything in the house to relieve pressure on grandparents. Previously, thanks to donations from benefactors, he was able to buy a wheelchair, allowing him to get out of bed and “walk freely” to take care of his father.
Every day, Truong gets up at 5am, prepares food until 6am, feeds his father, and then starts to clean the house. Three meals a day, washing, turning, wiping for his father… he did it all by hand. Many times the father loved his son but shed tears, Truong again encouraged: “Life is a mess, but I don’t want to live in that mess”.
Because his body was tight, his neck couldn’t move, so he had to use a long hanger to get dressed. Waking up, because he couldn’t shake the cotton blanket, Truong curled up right on top of him. Every time he cooks, he also tilts his neck to the side of the kitchen, where there is food that needs to be prepared before putting it in the pot.
Since Truong’s father fell ill, the father and son have received a family allowance in difficulty and have been able to rent a cheap house. But because on the second floor, the stairs are high, not convenient for wheelchairs, so Truong let his grandparents live there. And he and his father rented a room on the first floor, convenient to go out to buy food.
To pay the rent, Truong took care of another mental patient. This person’s parents have died and live on social assistance. He provided this person with accommodation, and the patient’s allowance he took to pay the rent.
In the house, Truong also has a feral cat. This cat jumps up and down every day, making the house that only has his voice come to life. This is also the reason why every time the cat is mentioned, this man smiles.
Recently, Truong was more hopeful about the future when he heard that there was an 80% discount on artificial joints, which he needed to walk. Previously, Truong did not dare to think of one day being able to stand on his own two feet.
Two years ago, the 36-year-old man also opened a personal page, regularly posting photos and videos of the father and son’s activities. A page called “Daily work of a father and son with polio” has become Zhang Xiaodong’s way of daily communication with the outside world.
Vy Trang (Follow sohu)