Tuesday, 21. April 2015
10. 07. 14. - 15:00
This Chinese father has divided opinion after he defied medics who said his son would never walk by beating him with a broom until he learned to stand on his own two feet.
Farmer Hou Fangru, 57, said he had been looking forward to a quieter life after his son Hou Cunyoung, 28, married and a short while later presented him with a granddaughter.
But all that changed three years ago after a horrific car accident that left his son in a coma, with medics saying he would never recover. After a month of visiting him in hospital Hou Cunyoung's wife Han quietly packed her things in the night, and left behind her disabled husband and daughter.
Unable to afford to pay the hospital fees to keep their son there and because he was not making any progress anyway, his parents decided to bring him to their home in the county of Sishui in east China’s Shandong province. To their amazement, with his mother cleaning him and talking to him every day, he started to come round.
Hou Fangru said: "It was clear that he was not right but he seemed to understand and could speak a little bit. But he was unable to get up out of bed or even to sit up."
And the family's difficult situation got worse when Fangru's wife was suddenly killed while crossing the road near their home.
It meant that as well as having to work he also had to care for his disabled son and granddaughter and realised that he desperately needed to teach his son to be more self-sufficient. Not knowing any other way to do that, he said he had resorted to hitting his son in order to get him to move and it worked.
He said that Hou Cunyoung could now get out of bed and walk over to the kitchen to get a drink or to use the bathroom on his own using a home-made zimmer frame or crutches and he was confident that he will eventually be able to make him walk without them.
The man's success however has divided social media with some users saying that the dad should have resorted to proper physiotherapy and others saying that it was impossible for a poor farmer to find the money to pay for it, or have the time and patience that was needed to implement it himself.
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