Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Huang Chuncai - China's Elephant Man


Chuncai is intelligent despite his deformity.

Chuncai getting ready for various tests before his operation at Fuda Hospital.

Chuncai's doting brother who asked if he still remembers their childhood activities.

Chuncai's beloved mother who expressed her joy at the success of Chuncai's operation. The close-knit family having a meal together.

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After my Channel 8 serial, "The Score" I turned on Okto Channel and found the documentary on Huang Chuncai - known as the Elephant Man. I had watched the movie on "The Elephant Man", an American drama film based on the true story of Joseph Merrick when I was a teenager. I had also seen a man in my neighbourhood with the same facial condition. However, nothing shocked me like Huang Chuncai who has the most severe case of neurofibromatosis. I could not help crying throughout the one hour documentary. My heart went out to him as he shared his story.

Chuncai began to develop a tumour at the age of four which gradually grew to a size of about 20 kgs on the right part of his face. It was difficult for him to speak and he had to use his hand to assist him in his slurred speech. He shared how he was ridiculed and ostracised by people who found his face too grotesque and frightening. A circus owner had even approached him to be in the circus, but he proudly declared, "I am a human being, not an animal. No matter how much money is offered, I would never leave my parents." Chuncai is a filial son and yearns to be cured so that he could work and help look after his doting parents. His brother and sister also love him and feel his pain. They try to do whatever they can for their brother.

Chuncai shared that everyday, he is prepared to go if death claims his life. But so long as he is still alive, it is a blessing and he has learnt to live with his condition. I was glad when an operation was performed for him at Fuda Hospital.
It was a very difficult and risky operation and I was all nervous and prayed that God would give him a complete recovery. The operation was a success and with the tumour gone, Chuncai felt that it was easier for him to move around. Chuncai has a good mind and is quite adroit at chess and card games. His neighbour, an elderly man, teased that Chuncai would not reveal how much money he has won, and Chuncai
coyly replied that he was just being lucky. Like the English elephant man, Joseph Merrick, I find that Chuncai has inner beauty for he loves his family and is a filial son who wants to have the chance to work and provide for the family.

I am glad that Chuncai has been blessed with a doting and caring family. His mother must have shed the most tears for she never stopped crying. She was so happy when she saw the successful operation.

From the documentary, I learn that I must never complain about anything. I must never take things for granted and above all, to be grateful to God and people for every blessing. Chuncai's brother and family are thankful for everyday that Chuncai lives. I understand from websites that his second operation was also a success. I am full of admiration for Chuncai, for he has inspired me to be more persevering and never to give up. When I think of how he struggles with his medical condition all these 30 years of his life, and yet some normal people with some setbacks can kill themselves, it makes me want to press on to make the most of my life. May God continue to bless Chuncai and his lovely family.

I hope that all of us will empathise with people who are less fortunate than us. We have no right to laugh at or ostracise anyone because of his deformity or grotesque appearance. Who does not want to be pretty or handsome.? What if we had the same condition? Above all, let us always strive to go beyond the external, and to look for the inner beauty and strength of a person.

Let us all count our blessings and name them one by one.

Gan Cao

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i hope and pray for him to have the second sugery and he is o.k.
God bless him.