Rebirth of Abandoned Boy with Scoliosis

Public data show that there are about 10 million people suffering from different degrees of scoliosis in China and about 500,000 of them need a surgery. But most patients with severe curvatures have not received appropriate medical treatment for a long time due to the poor local medical resources or their own financial struggles.

Xirui is ten years old now. Born with scoliosis, he was abandoned and taken to a local child welfare institution. Under family-like care of the institution, he grew into a smart and self-motivated boy. At school, he behaves himself and excels in academic performance as well.

The boy always wears loose tops to cover his twisted body. But in recent years his S-shaped spine has become increasingly noticeable, which begins to affect his breathing and speech.

Clinical studies both at home and abroad have found that those with severe spinal deformities generally suffer from cardio-pulmonary insufficiency and will most likely have type II respiratory failure at the age of 40. Some patients become dyspneic before the age of 30, when the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in their body is often higher than 50 and, if they don’t receive a spine surgery soon, they will have to be put on a ventilator.


Toilsome trips




Xirui’s welfare institution cares a lot about his health and wishes to help address his spine problem as soon as possible.

In most cases, scoliosis worsens during the growth spurt before puberty. Like Xirui, many people with this disorder have visited local hospitals, one after another, but all have been told that the problem is “untreatable”.

Then they live with it, no matter how challenging it is. But as medical technology improves, more and more scoliosis sufferers have had their spine cured, and the institution’s hope to help Xirui is rekindled.

“The kid is so amazing. In his class, he has the best academic performances and whenever you see him, he is reading. The wall of his room is full of awards. He is a promising boy. But I am afraid that his physical problem will overburden him,” said a staff member of the institution.

Since it was founded in 2009, Chunhui Care Home (CCH) has helped 3670 children from 308 welfare institutions of 31 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities. These children are afflicted with more than 500 types of diseases. CCH is operated in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to facilitate the best possible medical treatment and most nurturing care for the children under its care.

Cooperating with CCH, Xirui’s institution doesn’t have to worry about his much-needed medical resources and the hefty costs anymore. It finally brought hope to the boy.

In the past ten years, the institution struggled to seek medical treatment for Xirui. It even took him to the prestigious hospitals in the provincial capital but none of them admitted him.

Despite all the setbacks, the institution didn’t give up on the boy. Its caregivers took him all the way to hospitals of other provinces and went up against all the challenges that came along: the long travel distances, costly accommodation, hard-to-get hospital regis-tration slots, complex medical checks and rechecks……

Once they lost their way and took half a day to find the hospital. Xirui was worn out and caught a bad cold. Not surprisingly, they toiled to no avail again.

Every cloud has a silver lining. There is always hope behind troubles. Some doctors told them: “You can take the kid to Beijing and Shanghai. The doctors there may have better solutions.”

But bringing the boy to hospitals in those big cities is not easy for the institution. Special care, a surgery that costs hundreds of thousands of Yuan (¥), and long-distance travels are all its big concerns.

While the institution was struggling to find a solution for the boy, Chunhui Children came to its help. CCH would not only facilitate the boy’s medical treatment in Beijing but also bring him a loving “mama” that cares for him around the clock.






After learning about Xirui’s medical needs, CCH contacted an orthopedic specialist of Beijing. The specialist checked on the boy and decided to operate on him. “The kid will have no problem living a typical life after the surgery,” he said with confidence.

Now, Xirui has lived at CCH for half a month and developed a close bond with her Chunhui mama Liu. In the days when he was in the hospital, mama Liu stayed by his side, reading with him, talking to him, washing his clothes, and preparing his meals…… “

Now, I know how it feels to have a mama. With mama liu around, I am not scared anymore,” Xirui said happily. “I feel much better in Beijing than in other places. Here I have a nice room. And there are many other children like me.” 

Now, dozens of orphaned children from welfare institutions across the country are receiving nurturing care from Chunhui mamas at CCH. 



Scoliosis surgery can be very painful and difficult. Ten screws about 6cm long and 5mm in diameter were threaded into Xirui’s outer skull plate. Two groups of steel needles about 35 cm long and 4 mm in diameter were placed into his pelvis crosswise. Four rods as thick as chopsticks held his bones in correct alignment while his vertebrae fused together to form a solid rigid bone over time. For days after the surgery, the boy felt acute pain and couldn’t move freely. 

We asked him: “Were you scared of the surgery, Xirui?” “I was very scared. But mama Liu said she would stay with me all the time. So, I was prepared for everything.” 

Since she joined CCH eight years ago, mama Liu has served almost a hundred children. In them she sees resilience and optimism. From them she learns to stay strong and hopeful no matter what happens.

“Although they are young children, they are sometimes stronger than adults. They are scared before the surgery, but they brave against it. After the surgery, when it doesn’t hurt too much, they keep talking and laughing,” said mama Liu.

While Xirui was receiving his surgery, she waited outside the operating room all the time, the way she had done with all other children under her care. 

“I have cared for many children like you or even in a worse condition than you. They all pulled through. You will be fine too,” mama Liu encouraged Xirui while showing him photos of the children she once looked after. “Look, this cute big boy. He had scoliosis too. But he has recovered and walks briskly now. Haha.” Xirui looked outside the window. It was sunny and a child was galloping on the path……

The boy regained hope for life and soon he will embrace his rebirth.