Friday, 07. March 2014 - 13:03
16. 06. 12. - 11:00
A Chinese mum-of-two disfigured by horrific tumours growing on her face has been told by doctors she will make a full recovery from her condition after the Communist government said it would foot the bill for her surgery.
Li Hongfang, 40, has been shunned in public after a rare type of bone cancer caused tissue to grow under her facial skin, distorting her features beyond recognition.
Hongfang - a mother-of-two - has endured the condition, known as Chordoma, for more than a decade because she has no money to pay for surgery which is only available in China at a price.
Now officials at Qianxian People’s Hospital, near Xi’an in western China’s Shaanxi province, say they have been ordered to spare no expense, after her case became a source of shame for the country's ailing health service thanks to pressure from international media.
Medical director Xue Gang said: "Our superiors told us specially that we should cure Li Hongfang’s illness at all costs"
Local government officials have pledged to meet all costs for her surgery and ongoing radiotherapy to make sure the tumours stay gone.
Spokesman Si Dangku confirmed: "We will pay and if we run out of funds, the regional government will pay."
Surgeon Pan Lin - from Xijing Hospital, where Hongfang is preparing for her operation - said she will look completely normal after the surgery.
"The condition is rare but the tumours are benign so her life is not in danger.
"After the tumours have been removed we will provide some cosmetic surgery and she will end up a beauty again," he added.
Hongfang is now undergoing a series of pre-op tests before the surgery can begin.
But she said: "I am so grateful to the people who made this happen."
"I just want to look normal again, like I feel inside. I'm not a monster and I don't want to look like one," she added.
Hongfang had originally thought that the first swelling on her face was in infected insect bite.
'It didn't even itch or ache in any way – but it also didn't go away and in fact just got bigger and bigger," she said.
China's health service fell apart when the old state system was dismantled and medical fees introduced.
Tens of millions of people cannot even see a doctor and cannot afford treatment.
National History Museum shows ancient gold coins returned from UK
The Romanian National History Museum in Bucharest has exhibited a rare collection of ancient gold coins that had vanished and have now been returned from the UK where the customs had held them.
Romanian woman gives a birth for free in Serbian hospital and then leaves a baby
Hospital staff in the northern Serbian town of Pozarevac where shocked when a Romanian woman entered there, gave birth and then secretly left abandoning the baby.
Arctic opens a new fridge production line in Gaesti
Romanian company Arctic has opened a new fridge production line in the town of Gaesti in the south of the country.
Romanian businessmen discuss cooperation with Oman
Businessmen representing Romanian companies will stay in Oman for two days discussing possible ways of cooperation between the two countries.
Serbia is a homeland of vampires, not Romania, claims American journalist
An American journalist has revealed the homeland of vampires is Serbia, not Romania.
Simona Halep wins a tournament in Sofia
Romanian tennis star Simona Halep has won the WTA tournament in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
Emil Constantinescu meets president of Azerbaijan
Former President of Romania Emil Constantinescu has met the president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in Baku
Architect of Romanian Parliament Palace dies
The Architect of the Parliament Palace in Bucharest has died.
Solar farm completed near Brasov
French company Voltec Solar have copleted a 2.5 MW solar farm in Romania near the city of Brasov.
Hungarian minority protests in Szekely
The Hungarian minority protested on Sunday demanding autonomy for the Szekely area.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days