A mother has been abandoned by her husband and parents-in-law after her 9-year-old daughter was hospitalized for the 38th time due to aplastic anemia.
The mother, last name Liu, 27, is reportedly unable to work due to being a full-time carer for her daughter in Yunnan Province, China. She relies of donations from live streaming to pay for her daughter’s blood transfusions, according to a March 27 report by Chinese state-sponsored media The Paper.
The girl, given the false name Gloria, was suddenly hospitalized for the first time on Jan. 20, 2018. Her father disappeared and cut-off contact in July 2018. Gloria’s paternal grand parents stopped contact with her after her illness emerged. No information was given on her maternal grandparents or relatives.
“Aplastic anemia is a condition that occurs when your body stops producing enough new blood cells,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “Aplastic anemia leaves you feeling fatigued and with a higher risk of infections and uncontrolled bleeding.”
Live streaming, a form of sharing live video over the internet, is Liu’s only form of limited income for her daughter’s health, according to The Paper.
“Mom, why don’t dad, grandpa, and grandma come to visit me?” Gloria asked her mother, according to the The Paper. Liu was unable to answer her.
Before Jan. 20, 2018, Gloria was reportedly no different from any other child. On that day, blood spots began appearing around her eyes and she had to be taken to the intensive care unit at the hospital.
After running tests, doctors found Gloria’s blood platelet count to be dangerously low and she was given a blood transfusion. Each transfusion costs about $150. Gloria has already had 38 blood transfusion.
Doctors did a bone marrow biopsy, and Gloria was diagnosed with aplastic anemia.
“At the time, I thought the sky was going to collapse,” Liu told The Paper. “But still I do everything I can to help cure my daughter.”
Symptoms of aplastic anemia include fatigue, frequent or prolonged infections, easy bruising, nosebleeds or bleeding gums, rashes, and dizziness or headaches, according to the Mayo Clinic.
With the news of Gloria’s illness, her paternal grandparents suddenly stopped contacting her, according to the paper. Gloria’s father helped for some time but then suddenly in July, 2018, he vanished as well.
“He said he was going to go find work to help treat our daughter but he never came back afterward,” Liu told The Paper. Her husband blocked her phone number, along with her WeChat account, the main messaging app in China.
Liu takes Gloria to the hospital for transfusions almost every week. “The hardest part is carrying her on my back,” Liu told The Paper. Gloria is said to be taller than other 9-year-old children, and weighs almost 75 pounds.
Sometimes, Gloria has to hold spots in line at the hospital while Liu looks for doctors. Chinese hospitals work on a first-come-first-serve basis where patients have to take numbers.
To attempt to make some money to cover the costs of the transfusions, Liu has been live streaming since February 2018. On these live streams, she tells others about their family situation. She has received under $1,000 in donations.
Others have also come to show support to her and her daughter. A woman who sells children’s clothes donated three sets of clothing to Gloria on March 24, according to The Paper.
Another treatment option for aplastic anemia is a bone marrow transfusion. However, doctors told Liu that the cost would be over $7,500. Liu can only continue helping Gloria receive blood transfusion for the time being.