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Parents Lonely Vigil As They Wait For Son Aged 4 To Die So Others Can Live

Parents Lonely Vigil As They Wait For Son Aged 4 To Die So Others Can Live

In a tiny 20 square foot room alongside a hospital Chinese man Qiu Peiliang is waiting for his son to die.

Two months ago four-year-old Yen was diagnosed with a brain stem glioma, a disease in which cancerous cells form in the tissues of the brain stem from the glial cells. The glial cells in the brain or those that hold nerve cells in place, bring food and oxygen to them, and help protect them from disease, such as infection.

His dad, 36, and his mother He Chengqin, 34, from southwest China’s Guizhou province, gave their son all the treatment that they could afford, but it didn't help, and as he slowly became more and more disabled as the cancerous cells started to press into his spinal column, they decided to give up.

Dad Qiu Peiliang said: "It was tough on him having the treatment and the doctors made it pretty clear that they didn't think he was responding, and given that he was in pain we decided it wasn't fair to continue to put him through it all. Unthinkable though it may seem to somebody not in our situation, we wanted to end his suffering and asked doctors if they would accept his organs as a donation to maybe help save another's life. Although suffering from cancer, brain stem gliomas usually do not spread outside the brain stem and so we he be safe to offer a transplant."

Under Chinese law however a person can only be accepted as an organ donor if they are either dead, or in a coma that they are medically not expected to wake up from. As a result his parents decided to rent a room next to the hospital, where they keep their son and try and make him as comfortable as possible while they wait for the time when he slips into a coma or dies.

Dad Qiu Peiliang said: "I believe that by helping another to live my son will also in some way live on. Apart from that, there is only really one other wish that I have, and that would be for the doctors to find a hospital bed for him where he can be given the sort of care that will ease his suffering before he finally passes away. We can care for him as much as we can with love, but he still suffers.

"It is hard to believe that two months ago we had a happy family and life seemed good. I'm not prepared to just put his body into the ground after he's gone. Now we're just waiting for his death so we can complete the formalities and hand him over to the doctors to hopefully save another life."

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