Saturday, 29. November 2014
24. 07. 14. - 16:00
A Chinese couple who kept their 26-year-old daughter chained up for 20 years of her life say they are now worried about who will look after her in the future.
The tragic story of Zhang Yanrong, from Zhaikou village in Luonan county in west China's Shaanxi, started when she was six and fell out of a tree while playing with friends.
Her father Yong Hao, 60, said: "We bandaged her head and put her to bed but when she woke up the next day she was unable to speak, and when it didn't get better even after the wound had apparently healed, we took her to the doctors who diagnosed brain damage and said she needed therapy to overcome it.
"But we couldn't afford the therapy, so we took her home and tried to look after her as best we could. Although in some ways she behaved normally, she still couldn't speak and in addition if we left her at home alone, when we came back we always found that she had wandered off. We were really worried that one day we wouldn't be able to find her, and not having any other alternative, started to chain her up to a tree in the garden when we were not there to look after her."
But the couple have now appeared in the media after appealing to local officials for assistance in looking after their daughter after both of them reached the age of 60, and said they were finding it increasingly difficult to care for her.
Yong Hao added: "It takes both of us to get all the jobs done as well as the work in the fields and also to look after our daughter. If one of us were to die it would be an impossible task. We want to make plans now. She isn't violent and has a calm temperament, but if we don't keep an eye on her and do not have her chained up she still walks off. She can only be free when we are home to keep an eye on her."
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