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February 22, 2014

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Mother says son will live on in gifted corneas

THE mother of an 11-month-old boy who died of a congenital immunodeficiency on Wednesday has donated the child’s corneas for transplant.

The infant was the younger of twins born to Yang Fang, from Hunan Province, last April. The elder twin died of the same disease last September.

“He had beautiful eyes,” Yang, who teaches underprivileged children in Hubei Province, said of her baby.

“I’m glad he will live on in this way,” the 26-year-old said.

Yang said the corneas have been successfully transplanted but did not elaborate.

In 2011, Yang gave birth to her first child, also a boy, who died a month later.

Her youngest child was diagnosed with the congenital disorder in October. Last month she took the boy to Shanghai for a bone marrow transplant, which doctors hoped might save him. But the procedure was unsuccessful.

After hearing of the plight of Yang’s third son, members of the public and charitable groups donated a combined 240,000 (US$39,400) to help pay for the boy’s treatment.

“With what’s left of the money I will establish a charity fund in my son’s name,” Yang said.

She said despite losing three sons, she hasn’t given up hope.

“I’m looking forward to having a healthy child one day,” she said.

Shanghai has since 2010 been part of a national organ distribution and sharing network run by the Red Cross Society of China. The scheme is being trialed in 16 provinces and cities in a bid to develop an effective donation program and end the reliance on organ transplants from executed prisoners.



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