A mother’s love for her child is one of the most powerful and unconditional bonds in the world.
In a tragic incident, a 63-year-old Chinese mother committed suicide so that her family would be able to afford her adult son’s hospital bill. The mother jumped from her son’s nine-story balcony located in a poor neighborhood in Shenzhen in hopes that the insurance will cover her son’s hospital treatment. According to Dongguan (via Shanghaiist), her last words were:
“I’ll be fine, I will help you get the money you need.”
The heartbreaking death was believed to be in vain as it was discovered the insurance policy had long expired in November of last year. The mother reportedly committed suicide on March 22 with the expectation of an insurance payout of 300,000 yuan ($36,000). Aside from being expired, the contract also included a clause that prohibits the insurance from being effective in the case of a suicide.
Her son was diagnosed with Bechterew’s disease, or ankylosing spondylitis, in 2005, but he kept the news from his family. He finally disclosed the diagnosis to his family in 2015, 10 years after he learned of his condition, as the disease had progressively worsened.
Bechterew’s disease is a type of arthritis that affects the spinal area from the neck to the lower back, causing pain and stiffness in the spinal joints and ligaments that results in painful and limited mobility. According to Health Central, the disease primarily affects males with symptoms occurring between the ages of 15 and 45. A majority of patients respond well to medications that help lessen pain and inflammation, especially for those who begin treatment in the early stages of the disease.
The son had been unemployed since quitting his job as a restaurant manufacturer to treat his illness. The condition had left him immobile as he can no longer turn his neck nor bend at the waist.
Shenzhen Fourth People’s Hospital informed the man that his treatment of bilateral hip replacement surgery would cost a hefty sum. Since the incident has been heavily covered in the Chinese media, the Shenzhen Charity Foundation has reportedly teamed up with Shenzhen Tak hospital to come to the aid of the man and his family.