Wu Yuxia, a 60-year-old widow from Dangui, Sichuan province, China has provided round-the-clock care for her severely disabled neighbor, Liu Siqiang, for more than three decades now.
The 56-year-old bedridden Liu, who lost his mother while he was only six and his father at 10, was struck by a debilitating disease that left him blind and deaf back when he was still in his teens, according to Thecover.cn via South China Morning Post.
Despite coming from a fairly large family, Liu was unfortunately left all by himself after his older brother died and his three sisters got married and moved away to start their own family.
Wu, who is not in any way related to Liu, realized that he will need someone to take care of him now that there’s no one in his life to be by his side, so she decided to take the responsibility.
“We were poor at the time, but his house nearby was just a few mud rooms,” she said, adding that it was “fate.”
Wu cared for him for about 20 years, where she would often travel from her own home to his, but 10 years ago her husband decided to build a small living space in their property so that he could live with them.
Taking care of Liu was not the only responsibility she had at the time. She was also in charge of looking after her three children as well as two of their grandparents all in one roof.
Unfortunately, she was forced to shoulder the burden herself after her husband, who was the breadwinner of the whole family, died. Wu had to work about four or five days a month just so that they could have a little extra money for their daily needs.
It’s clear that taking up these responsibilities are not such an easy task — even Wu admitted that she hasn’t had decent sleep in years.
“I get up every night at 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. to help him go to the toilet and give him water,” she was quoted saying.
Despite the years of sleepless nights, Wu said that she doesn’t regret a thing when she took in Liu and look after him. She even switched rooms so that she could be closer to Liu’s room when he needed her.
Her selfless dedication to take care of her severely disabled neighbor did not go unnoticed. Last year, Dangui authorities acknowledged the work she did and agreed to pay subsidy for looking after Liu. With this financial help, she no longer needed to go out and work anymore, and she could just dedicate all her time in taking care of her family and Liu.
More importantly, Ding Ruizan, the town’s mayor, told Wu that in case she ever become incapable of taking care of Liu, the government will take over and find someone who can look after him.
“While it may not be the same as the care Wu has given Liu for the past 30 years, we will guarantee him a decent life,” Ding said.
Images via Sina