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Heartbroken father receives donations after video showing him preparing critically ill daughter for death goes viral

(People's Daily Online)    15:18, June 28, 2017

A two-year-old girl from Sichuan’s Neijing has received donations from the public after her father shared a video clip online, in which she was put into a grave to prepare for her death.

In the controversial video clip, Zhang Xinlei, who was born with Thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder that can be fatal without proper medical treatment, laid in a grave along with her father. According to media reports, the father brings the toddler to play and rest at the grave every day to prepare her for the inevitable, as the family had spent over 140,000 RMB (about $20,600) treating the girl, but they could no longer afford the medical bills.

The heart-wrenching story quickly went viral on Chinese social media platforms and made headlines around the country. As of press time, the video clip has been viewed over 16 million times, with many netizens calling for the public to make donations.

Deng Min, the girl’s mother, posted a donation request on Shuidichou.com, China’s biggest public donation and crowdfunding website, earlier this month, setting a donation goal of 200,000 RMB (about $29,400). As of press time, the family has received 4,544 donations and the current donation value is 106,273 RMB (about $15,600).

Deng also posted an announcement on Shuidichou.com, noting that she and her husband are going to have a second baby, whose cord blood may save their daughter. But it can cost 12,000 RMB (about $1,800) just to reserve cord blood, and the operation fee could run into the hundreds of thousands of RMB.

Despite the public’s sympathy for the child, many have expressed their concern over the parents’ behavior, criticizing them for damaging the girl’s mental health.

“This looks like a farce to me. The poor girl is innocent. Putting her in a grave will bring her no good, and will just harm her mental health,” a netizen wrote. “I don’t understand why the parents would want a second child, as cord blood is not an elixir. Not only that, but the second child may also inherit the fatal disease. I think the parents are irresponsible and ignorant.”

Thalassemias are a genetic disorder inherited from a person's parents. Though it can be diagnosed before birth, parents in China’s rural areas are not usually aware of such testing.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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