Zhang Jiasheng

Operation Date: 28 April 2008

Home Location: Dingxi, Gansu

During our first trip to Dingxi, China, we went to Shi Xia Wan (Stone Valley Creek) to meet two volunteer teachers from the Brook Education Institute. Shi Xia Wan is among one of the poorest areas in Dingxi. With help from the two young teachers, AHI went to a local clinic to inquire of any CHD children in the area. There was only one doctor on duty and he was called away by a patient. As a result, we were told to ask around for ourselves. Glancing around the barren mountains and valley, we likened the task to finding a needle in a haystack.

However, something miraculous occurred. During our aimless search, we happened to ask a lady packing potatoes outside a building if she knew of any CHD children. In the unlikeliest of coincidences, she revealed that her son Jiasheng was diagnosed with VSD, a treatable and most common form of CHD. When Jiasheng's family first learned of his disease, the doctor had recommended Jiasheng to undergo surgery as soon as possible. However, after hearing the surgical expense of $3,500, "all I could do was cry and go home," Jiasheng's mother told us. Truly, with a family income of around $80 in 2007, the cost of the life-saving operation was an impossible amount for the family to reach. The only thing his mother could do was give Jiasheng the best food in the family -- bread to eat while his three sisters only got potatoes. Jiasheng is the first CHD child that AHI visited, and he is also the first patient. 

On April 28, 2008 after the successful surgery performed by Dr. You Tao, Dr. Liu Xingguang and the cardiovascular surgery team of Gansu Province People's Hospital, we were hugging and cheering with Jiasheng's father, sharing the joy of life. Now Jiasheng is recovering well with his family after the operation. On June 26, 2008, AHI visited him again and are happy to say his fitness and health have both significantly improved. He will be a completely normal child.