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Talk of the day -- Good deed comes full circle

2014/05/02 17:55:55

A organ donor card.

After 15-year-old Tseng Yi-chen was declared brain dead in May 2011 following an unfortunate accident at home, his mother, Tung Yi-hsuan, made his organs available for donation to see his memory live on through one last good deed.

Last year, Tung herself was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer that had spread to her brain. Her husband was unable to take care of her around the clock because he teaches English at a local cram school every evening.

In a remarkable turn of events, however, two young men whose lives were changed after receiving Tseng's organs have volunteered to take care of Tung at the hospital when her husband can't.

The following are excerpts from reports on the story by two major daily Chinese-language newspapers:

United Daily News:

Tung Yi-hsuan, who allowed her son's organs to be donated after he was declared brain dead, has been suffering from cancer since last year.

Wang Peng-fu and Wang Lu-yuan, recipients of her son's organs, are now taking turns at her bedside to feed her and look after her.

"We lost a precious jewel, but gained two valuable pieces of jade in return," said Tung's husband Tseng Ching-yun.

Three years ago, Tseng's son, Tseng Yi-chen, had been suffering from a high fever when he accidentally fell down a flight of stairs, injuring his head.

The boy fell into a coma, and the hospital, unable to revive him, declared him brain dead just two days after Mother's Day -- the celebration of which his father now compares to "a final sending off."

Wang Peng-fu, who received Tseng's heart, said that he will "contribute two hundred percent of his energy to society" and that it is his "duty" to take care of the cancer-stricken mother.

The 21-year-old Wang Peng-fu was born with a congenital heart disease. When he was 18, doctors told him that he had the heart of an 80-year-old -- and it was only going to get worse.

The recipient of Tseng's kidney, 20-year-old Wang Lu-yuan, had been suffering from various diseases because of his deteriorating kidney since he was in elementary school, including albuminuria and hematuria, forcing him to undergo dialysis starting when he was in the fourth grade.

The two described their never-ending wait for possible donations as "torment" and said that Tseng's donations gave them a chance at a new life.

Tung's husband said that the two are "just like family," and that his two new "sons" have been great help. He and his wife are both very grateful that the love left behind by their late son could end up bringing three families together. (May 2, 2014)

China Times:

Tung Yi-hsuan, 44, was diagnosed with advanced adenocarcinoma, a common form of lung cancer, last year. She was the mother who agreed to donate her son's organs after he was declared brain dead following an accident three years earlier.

Recalling the events of 2011 after doctors told her there was nothing they could do to help her son recover, Tung said the loss of her son was "too painful," and so she decided to let her son "help other mothers and fathers (by donating his organs)."

Tseng's heart, liver and kidney were all donated, and this show of faith did not go unrewarded, as fate brought Tung together with two recipients of her son's organs who have been taking care of her ever since.

To prevent any unforeseen issues after organ transplants, hospitals generally do not disclose any information about donors or recipients. But "affinity" is a funny thing.

At Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital's memorial service for organ donors in 2012, a teary Tung approached Wang Peng-fu and said, "I have a feeling that you have my son's heart." The incredible scene brought tears to the eyes of the medical staff close by. Tung said it was simply "instinct."

Wang Peng-fu, who had been suffering from a congenital heart disease, received Tseng's heart and was given a new chance at life. He was at the memorial service to pay his respects when he met Tseng's mother.

Tung met the recipient of Tseng's kidney, Wang Lu-yuan, not long after. And the three have been in close contact ever since, living only 10 minutes apart from each other.

After Tung discovered she had lung cancer, she underwent targeted therapy and chemotherapy, and her condition seemed to improve. But more recently she had to be hospitalized when her situation worsened, and her speech was affected by the spread of cancerous cells to her brain.

Because Tung's husband, Tseng Ching-yun, teaches English at a cram school in the evenings, he cannot be at his wife's bedside during those hours, but Wang Peng-fu and Wang Lu-yuan immediately offered to take turns at the hospital after discovering Tung's condition.

They are there almost every night: one every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the other every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The two feed her, talk with her and give her massages, caring for her to such a point that medical workers at first mistook them for her sons.

Speaking to media yesterday, Tung held the hands of her two caregivers, her eyes full of compassion. Wang Peng-fu told her to rest easy, as he plans to give back to society what he has received two-hundredfold. Wang Lu-yuan asked the hospital to allow him to say a few words at the donor memorial service on May 3 so he can call on everyone to support Tung. (May 2, 2014)

(By John Scot Feng)