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Donor's family wants school to pay up

By Wang Qingyun (China Daily)

08:46, July 16, 2013

Yan Yufang, father of Yan Sen whose organs were donated after his death, holds a photo of his son on March 20, six days after he died of a brain hemorrhage. (Wang Yuan / for China Daily)

The family of a 15-year-old boy whose organs were donated to five people has enlisted a lawyer to claim money raised by his school.

Yan Sen, a student from Wenxuan Middle School in Liaocheng, Shandong province, died of a brain hemorrhage in March. After his death, his parents agreed to donate his liver, kidneys and corneas.

Yan Shuqing, Yan's older sister, who had uremia, received one of his kidneys in transplant surgery in Qianfoshan Hospital in the provincial capital of Jinan.

Ten days later, Yan's school launched a donation drive among students' parents to help the family, which was in debt for the daughter's medical costs.

The school raised about 310,000 yuan ($50,486), but gave Yan's family only 60,000 yuan, said Ren Qiao, the family's lawyer.

Under an agreement the school signed with Yan's parents, the donations were to cover the costs of the daughter's treatment. When that purpose was met, the school would donate any funds left over to the Red Cross Society.

Xie Defang, director of the school's office, told local news media the school convened delegates of parents who had made the donations and decided the money would be used to treat Yan's sister, and voted to give any donations remaining after that "purpose is met", to the Red Cross.

The school provided 60,000 yuan toward Yan Shuqing's hospitalization from March to May, Xie said. The hospital also donated and the family said they had already paid 19,000 yuan but did not have receipts available.

However, the agreed purpose has not yet been met, and the school doesn't have the right to channel the money elsewhere without informing Yan's parents, Ren said.

"Though Yan Shuqing has checked out of the hospital, her treatment is not over. She needs to take medicines and have physical checkups in the future," she said. "The school can monitor how the money is used but it doesn't have the right to dispose of it."

The school might have also given the money away without the consent of all donors, Ren said.

"We got in touch with Yan's classmates and their parents, who thought the donations were already given to Yan's family. They were surprised to learn it was given to a charity organization," she said.

The Liaocheng branch of the Red Cross Society of China declined to accept the money, according to a worker surnamed Wang in the organization.

"We would only accept the money if the school, the students' parents who donated the money and the patient's family all agreed to transfer the money to us," he said.

Liu Jianlei, a financial worker at Liaocheng Charity Federation, said that organization received donations of 251,619.04 yuan in May.

"The school called us and showed us paperwork regarding the decision on how to use the donation, on which there were signatures of representatives of parents, students and teachers. Not all the people who made donations signed. The school told us that they couldn't get in touch with some of the parents," she said.

Yu Dong, a worker at the federation's office, said the organization gave the family 10,000 yuan before they received any money from the school and informed the family they could apply for a grant if necessary.

"Yet they haven't come to apply," he said.

The federation will use the money to support financially challenged people to cover things such as education and medical treatment, Yu said.

"We are preparing to sue the school for disposing of the donations without permission from us and the charity federation for unjust enrichment," said Ren, the attorney.

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