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December 14, 2009

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Hospital pleads for boy's father to return

OFFICIALS from Shanghai Mingzhu Hospital have appealed for the parents of a six-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who was abandoned by his father nine months ago to contact the hospital and take the boy home.

Lu Dongdong, a Henan Province native, was taken by his father to the hospital for cerebral palsy rehabilitation in March. The father promised to visit but hospital staff couldn't reach him through the cellphone number he left and guessed the father abandoned the boy due to financial difficulties.

The hospital has hired a domestic helper to look after the boy, who has normal intelligence but can't control his body or speak.

"The father is a very polite person," said Lin Shengli, a hospital official. "We have called the police to help find the boy's family. Instead of sending him to a welfare house, the family is the best place for his growth and rehabilitation."

According to Lin, there are more than 2 million people suffering cerebral palsy in China with 40,000 to 50,000 new cases every year. Some 70 percent of those affected are from poor areas.

"A child may need over 500,000 yuan (US$73,239) for life-long rehabilitation," Lin said.

As a designated hospital for treating children with cerebral palsy under the China Population Welfare Foundation, the hospital recently received a 200,000 yuan donation from Shaanxi Tian'an Electricity Transmission and Transformation Engineering Co to sponsor treatment for children.


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