The family of a toddler with a serious blood disorder say they cannot afford to pay for essential treatment – so have dug her a grave for her to “adapt” to.
Zhang Xinlei, a two-year-old from rural China, was born with thalassaemia, a genetic condition that causes a lack of haemoglobin in the blood and can lead to severe tiredness and heart palpatations.
Without regular blood transfusions and medication, the disease can cause life-threatening organ damage.
Xinlei’s father Zhang Liyong, a 24-year-old who lives near the city of Neijiang in China’s south-western Sichuan province, said he had spent all his savings on medical treatment for his daughter, according to Chinese media.
In footage published by Pear Video, Mr Zhang lies down in the grave with Xinlei, while her mother Deng Min, pregnant with another child, sits close by.
China has three main health insurance schemes, for urban workers, other city-dwellers and a rural co-operative medical scheme, which covers 805 million people, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
But recent WHO research said China “faces great challenges in providing access to good quality health services and financial protection for patients”.
Mr Zhang said he had spent over 100,000 yuan (£11,490) on treatment for Xinlei, and had “borrowed money from many”, according to a translation by MailOnline.
The couple have decided to give up on treatment as they can borrow no more and instead are bringing her every day to play at the grave “where she will rest in peace”. – Independent
You can follow BangkokJack on Facebook & Twitter. Email tips and suggestions to email@example.com – Feel free to comment on story below