Wang Zhiqiang has spent over 10 years of his life chained and locked up in a tiny room outside his mother’s house.
Zhiqiang, who was born deaf and mute, was reportedly placed in solitary confinement near their home Denfeng, Henan Province after he started having psychological issues, according to Sina (via MailOnline).
When he was younger, his parents sent him to a boarding school for children with special needs. While he was observed to be a smart kid, he suffered immense trauma after he was constantly bullied at the school.
He soon exhibited signs of severe mental health problems that reportedly made him a danger to other people.
“He wasn’t able to go to school any more, and his condition worsened while staying at home,” his 77-year-old mother Yue Rong, was quoted as saying.
Without the money to get him medical help, his parents resorted to the difficult decision of keeping him restrained and isolated.
“It reached a point where he was attacking other villagers. I had no choice but to chain him up and lock him in the room. It’s been more than 10 years,” Rong explained.
When his father died, his mother was forced to keep him chained in the tiny stone building near their house.
“When his father was still alive, he was able to take care of him, but when his dad passed away 12 years ago, I couldn’t handle him on my own,” the mother further lamented.
Wang Shufen, Zhiqiang’s 50-year-old sister, similarly expressed sorrow in seeing her brother’s condition.
“I wish it were me chained up and that my brother were free instead,” she said. “You never saw the times, while he was still lucid, when he begged my family to let him out.”
A video footage showed Shufen in tears as she inspected the shackles that bound her brother to the room’s wall. Zhiqiang can be seen drinking from a metal bowl and eating his food while sitting on the floor.
While the family currently receives monthly subsidies from the local government, it is still not enough to send the now 41-year-old mental patient to a psychiatric hospital. Xuanhua village’s party secretary Ding Yanfang has made a public plea to help raise enough funds to help Zhiqiang get the treatment he needs.
“When Zhiqiang was still a boy, he was very smart despite being deaf-mute,” Yanfang noted.
“When he returned from the special needs school with mental problems, there was little we could do. It was heartbreaking.”
Feature image via Sina