A 10-year-old girl from Yibin, Sichuan province, China is being hailed as a role model for her dedication to helping her mother re-learn how to speak, read and write after she
The girl, identified as Cai Chengcheng, was only six years old when her mother, Chen Li, suffered a brain hemorrhage that left her with severe memory loss and the intelligence of a child, according to Chengdu Business Daily via South China Morning Post
“Before, Mama was the one [who] taught me how to read, now it is my turn to teach her how to read,” the young girl said. “I paired the words I wanted to teach Mama with animals and foods I liked, to make it more interesting for her.”
In what has become a part of her daily routine for four years, Cai has been utilizing objects and flash cards to aid in her teaching process. For example, when teaching her mother the word “apple,” she would give her an apple to taste, or let her hold a rabbit for the word “rabbit.”
“Mama was in a wheelchair, her left eye looked normal but her right eye was rolling backwards, as if she couldn’t see anything,” Cai recalled about the day her mother returned from the hospital. “She recognized that I was Chengcheng, but could not call me by my name.”
Cai is the only person available to take care of her mother. Her father, Cai Yong, works all day in the family’s small shop in order to earn the money necessary to pay for Li’s medical expenses while her brother, Cai Ling, has recently started high school and is busy with his studies — leaving Cai as the sole
Cai’s father, Cai Yong, works all day in the family’s shop to earn the money necessary to pay for Li’s medical expenses while her brother, Cai Ling, has recently started high school and is busy with his studies. This leaves the young girl as the sole person available to look after her mother.
On top of the teaching sessions, Cai also makes sure that her mother takes all her medication correctly and aids her in her physiotherapy exercises.
“Mama has high blood pressure and during her recovery period she had to continue taking medication. If nobody reminded her, she would have forgotten,” the young girl said.
Cai’s dedication to taking care of her mother has paid off slowly. After some time, Li was able to partially recover movement and can now help run the family shop as well as perform small tasks, although there is still a ways to go for a full recovery.
Despite the time-consuming nature of taking care of her mother, Cai still managed to fulfill her duties as a student, achieving good grades and even finding the time to take on leadership roles at school.
Cai’s commitment and hard work has earned her achievement awards for filial piety from the local government of Yibin and from the state media, CCTV. The Chinese government often recognizes individuals demonstrating filial piety through awards as a way of promoting the spread of national virtues.