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Paraplegic Boy Walks to School on his Hands

Hand standing, crawling, and walking with a cane

By Virginia Wu
Epoch Times Staff
Created: September 21, 2012 Last Updated: September 24, 2012
Related articles: China » Society
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Yan Yuhong walks on his hands near his village. It takes him more than an hour to get to school every day. (Weibo.com)

Yan Yuhong walks on his hands near his village. It takes him more than an hour to get to school every day. (Weibo.com)

It takes ten-year-old Yan Yuhong more than an hour, using numerous methods, to get to school each day, and yet, he has been doing this persistently—rain or shine—for four years. 

Yan’s grandmother told the Huaxi City Daily that Yan experienced a high fever at the age of one and contracted polio, which caused his paraplegia. Yan began to crawl when he was about four or five years old and later learned to walk on his hands.

Every morning at 7:15 a.m., Yan sets off for school from his home village in the city of Yibin in Sichuan Province, with his sister at his side holding his backpack and hers, and his grandmother following behind them.

During this journey, Yan must alternate between hand standing, crawling, and walking with a cane. The roads are often rocky and hurt his hands. Sometimes he takes off his shoes to put on his hands so he can continue. 

When they encounter a slippery field that he cannot pass, Yan’s grandmother carries him on her back. Yan, concerned for his grandmother’s well being, continues walking on his own as soon as they cross the field. 

After more than an hour, he finally arrives at school. Yan must repeat this process later in the day, when he returns home.

Yan’s family has always given him love and support throughout his life. They have never thought of giving up on him and have searched far and wide for a cure. When their money ran out, his parents left home to work as laborers, while Yan’s grandparents took care of him. His parents are now selling fish for a living at home.

“I hope that he will do well in his studies so that he can make a living for himself when he gets older,” said his grandmother, tears welling in her eyes.

“I need to work hard and excel at my studies,” says Yan, doing his homework under the light at night. “This is my goal. Only then will I be able to repay my grandmother.”

Read this original Chinese article. 

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