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Widow who saved epileptic boy fears for his future

By Tian Xuefei and Zhou Huiying in Harbin | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-01 08:23

Widow who saved epileptic boy fears for his future

Yang Shuxiang and her adopted son Yang Shaolin enjoy the sunshine in Harbin, Heilongjiang province. [Zhou Huiying/China Daily]

Retiree helped 21 infants lost or abandoned at Harbin Railway Station

Every day Yang Shuxiang takes her adopted son Yang Shaolin, nicknamed Dabao, for a trip in Harbin, Heilongjiang province.

It is the happiest time for Dabao, 38, especially when they ride around aimlessly in a bus.

Dabao has a mental disability, and raising him has been a journey of joy and heartache for Yang. He was the first of 21 children she saved.

They are all children who got lost or were abandoned at Harbin Railway Station where she worked.

The others she took care of at home until she tracked down their parents or put them into a children's home. Dabao is the only one who has remained.

"I still remember it was on Oct 2, 1979, that I found an unattended package, wiggling gently and emitting a baby's cries, on a seat in the mother-and-child room," said Yang, 62, now retired.

"As a passenger clerk on duty, I went immediately to check on it."

It was a baby boy just months old. Yang and her colleagues searched for his parents, in every corner of the station, but nobody came to claim him. Out of pity and charity, Yang took the baby home.

"Almost all my friends and relatives urged me to send him away as soon as possible," Yang said.

"Fortunately, my husband and mother gave me support."

Yang's mother moved in to help care for the boy. Their plan was to find his parents with the help of police, the local civil affairs department and the media.

Yet one year later, they still had no leads.

"By that time we had built a deep relationship with him," she said. "We decided to adopt him."

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