Wu Yuanbi, a 53-year-old woman, from Chongqing, China, has recently performed surgery on herself, with a common kitchen knife.
Wu, who works as a migrant worker, has been suffering from a chronic condition known as Budd-Chiari syndrome, for the last 13 years. This causes her stomach to gradually fill up with large quantities of fluid, rendering her unable to work and making id difficult to perform even the most simple tasks. Back in 2002, Wu and her family used all their life savings to pay for a medical procedure in which doctors removed 25 liters of fluid from her belly. Unfortunately, a relapse of the condition followed, and the woman found herself in need of a second surgery. However, she and her family were too poor to pay the 50,000 yuan ($7,686) fee, so Wu Yuanbi was forced to do something truly shocking.
One day, after her husband, Cao Yunhui, left for work, the woman slit her stomach open with a kitchen knife, desperate to relieve the pressure that had built up inside. She had to endure excruciating pain for several hours, until her husband came home and found her lying in a pool of yellow fluid and intestines. She was immediately rushed to the hospital with a 10 cm-long cut across her stomach, and saved by the medical staff. Wu later said “If I had passed away, I would have at least spared my family the trouble of looking after me.”
After all the media coverage, Wu Yuanbi is currently being treated free of charge, at a hospital in Chongqing, but who knows what will happen the next time fluid builds up in her stomach. Chinese authorities say many rural families go bankrupt after this kind of expensive surgical procedures, simply because they don’t want to spend money on cheap insurance. But, according to Wu’s husband, this wasn’t an option for them because government insurance simply didn’t cover the procedure his wife needed.
via China Daily