Sweetie is a 12 year old girl who lives with her parents in Qingdao, Shandong. She was diagnosed with Type V Congenital Osteogenesis Imperfecta Disease (a rare form of OI). OI is a disease that causes a lack of collagen within the bones resulting the bones to fracture and break easily. Thus OI has sometimes been dubbed, the ‘Brittle Bone’ Disease.
In addition, Sweetie also suffers from Scoliosis (a deformed spine). The fragility of Sweetie’s condition means that at least one parent must be at home at all times. The other would have to work to support the family.
During 2006, she underwent orthopedic surgery at The Children’s Hospital in Beijing. Unfortunately, her condition worsened rapidly. After which, her family visited several more consultation specialist, all of who recommended surgery. Eventually, the family learned of a University of Hong Kong hospital within Shenzhen. There they were told that due to Sweetie’s medical condition, surgery would be complicated and high-risk as she could be paralyzed, and would also require specialized expertise. Their best option was to go to Hong Kong and receive the surgery along with the treatment there.
Due to high costs of the treatment however, the family were unable to pay for the long-term hospital stay and rehabilitation Sweetie would require post-surgery. Furthermore, the traveling and living expenses of Sweetie and one of her parents would be unaffordable. Sweetie’s ongoing treatment from OI has also burdened the family savings as well.
With the help of the Society for the Relief of Disabled Children (SRDC), Sweetie was an inpatient in The Duchess of Kent Children’s Hospital (DKCH) in Hong Kong. On the October of 2014, Sweetie had a successful 12-hour posterior spinal fusion surgery and, in the same month, was discharged with a straightened back from the hospital. As an added result of her treatment, Sweetie has also gained 6.5 cm to her height!
|Before Surgery||1 month later|