Home>Service> Awardees of Fervent Global Love of Lives Award> 9th Fervent Global Love of Lives Award 2006> Wheelchair phoenix─ Liang Yi
The braver the more beautiful
      In 2001 at the age of 22, Liang Yi graduated the first in her class from Communication University of China Department of Broadcasting. At a time when her life was in full bloom, destiny took her for an unexpected turn. On September 22, 2001, the eve of a rehearsal before her hosting a grand ceremony, she had to face a cruel reality that her life had changed from that moment from a glorious hostess in TV station to a completely paralyzed patient. She did not even get a change to think clearly about how to confront the sudden loss of career and love, not to mention the endless treatment and enormous amount of medical expenses. She once decided to commit suicide when she was in despair.

      After the support and care of modern Hua Tuo Dr. Ling Fene, family and many good people from everywhere, she finally chose “The braver the more beautiful”. She built up “Love to Care” website to encourage people in sickness; she participated in “programs of public interest” to share her experience in fighting the disease; she joined the “charity program” to share her love with everyone. Liang Yi confronts her disability with optimism and bravely faces the challenge of rehabilitation. She has walked out of the shadow of depression; like a phoenix with open wings, she inspires thousands of people who struggle for their life. She deserves to be called “wheelchair phoenix”.

      Born 1979 in Hunan, Liang Yi was a talented and polite pretty girl whom her parents were proud of. At 12, sh e got on stage for the first time and her performance caused a great sensation in Hunan. After graduating from middle school, she got into Hunan Teachers’ Academy with her music talent. She started systematical training in vocal and dancing. When she was 16, she was the champion of Hunan Province 7th young singer TV award; in the same year, she was awarded the first prize in 1st TV host contest. 

      Two years later, she got into the Communication University of China College of Broadcasting and Hosting, a cradle of star TV host, which was originally Beijing Broadcasting College. In 2001, she graduated the first from her class and became TV host in Hunan TV station City Channel with great potential ahead of her. At her first appearance on May 27, long-haired pretty Liang Yi got everyone’s attention and impressed the whole nation. Then, she was praised as the “most distinguished female figure” in Hunan TV station City Channel, and was assigned to the large-scale live entertainment show “City Sweetheart” and musical program “City New Voice”. Her walk of fame seemed to take shape slowly but steadily……

      A tragedy suddenly attacked--five minutes that changed her world.
      September 22, 2001 is the day Liang Yi will definitely remember for the rest of her life. That morning, as usual, she came to the TV station for recording; when she was preparing for the rehearsal, she was hit by a sudden pain on her neck. The sudden rupture of a spongy-shaped hemangioma on her neck spinal cord caused complete paralysis within five minutes because the blood stream had suppressed the central nervous system. She could not feel from her neck down. Liang Yi had to rely on oxygen to maintain her feeble life. Doctor issued four death notices of warning in 24 hours. Death had lingered alongside her at the time.

      Liang Yi has a rare disease which has no warning; and she spends a lot of time finding the treatment. After lying on bed for 65 days, she found Dr. Ling Fene in Beijing Xuan Wu Hospital to operate on her. The operation was successful and Liang Yi’s upper body recovered. Yet, she still needs to sit on wheelchair for the rest of her life because her lower body is paralyzed. This whole thing happened when she was only 22.
      Cherish life; choose to be brave.
      Liang Yi’s illness has turned her life upside down. A pretty girl turned into a patient who cannot take care of self. The following surgeries have given her more scars; and she also gained weight during the treatment. Liang Yi felt she was in the bottom of the universe; she cried every day and changed phone number so as to stop any contact with outside world.

      The energy of life finally shines through layers of clouds. Because of the encouragement and attention from family, friends and many other strangers, young Liang Yi eventually found hope in a time of desperation. She gradually accepts the fact and gets back to her normal self. She learns to calmly confront the adversity with smile. 

      For a seriously paralyzed patient, rehabilitation training is a must every day. Liang Yi said: “This is my job”. She spent at least six hours a day to do a simple task several thousand times such as sit up, turn around, crawl on the mat. She said: “Sometimes, I think I am like a clumsy child. I need to use the strength of my whole body to do every task. Sometimes, I feel I am a real athlete. For a full recovery, I cannot take a break.” The doctors, nurses and patients all like her very much because of her courage. Slowly, she could feel something on her legs; she could sit up steadily; her arms got stronger and stronger. Liang Yi likes to do arm wrestling with her friends when they come to visit her. When she laughs, you definitely can feel that she is back to the pretty energetic girl who is full of passion and joy. 

      Liang Yi said that this illness brought her disaster but making her stronger. She wants people to learn the value and meaning of life.
      Pass on the courage; pass on love.
      In addition to rehabilitation training, Liang Yi works hard to give back to society and pass on courage and love. “How did you get through this disastrous time”, people would ask her. Liang Yi always answers with her pretty shiny eyes that: “Luckily, I am still alive”.

      She works in radio station and a TV program as a guest or host. She made appearance in several programs including Central TV station , Hunan TV , Beijing TV station , ShanDong TV station , Phoenix TV , China Education TV station . Liang Yi’s story has motivated millions of audiences, and she started “Hope Project” to donate money and help children who could not afford school. She had records made for sharing her experiences and inspiring people. She studied English and psychology at home to further advance in knowledge.

      In August 2005, she set up a personal website; people around the world reached out to help her get through the financial difficulty during treatment. She shared her feelings and life experience with many friends on the website. Through the site, Liang Yi together with fellow patients around the globe became friends and searched for the answer about recovery. The website has become the third most visited website in Baidu Search Engine.

      Liang Yi’s next project is to transform personal website to a Love to Care website and help more people. She felt she had become stronger than she was by “helping people”. A Chinese student who went to study in Germany suffered from depression and wanted to commit suicide. Liang Yi tried to talk him out of it through telephone and electronic mail. A young man from ShanDong, China was in a coma because of car accident. His parents who are in tears found Liang Yi and asked her to wake up their son….

      A young man from Hunan had a serious car accident; his motor and language function was affected due to brain injury, in addition to his unmanageable temper because of illness. His mother asked Liang Yi to meet his son because Liang Yi’s positive attitude towards the difficult rehabilitation. Liang Yi had conversation with him every day and assisted him in speaking problems. After a while, the young man got back to normal temperament and had learnt to communicate with people.

      A 74-year-old gentleman had a cyst on his neck which caused serious pain. Doctor suggested him for a surgery, but he did not want it. His wife came to Liang Yi for help. Liang Yi tried her best to convince him by explaining medical information and her experiences. Finally, the old man got recovery from the surgery and became good friends with Liang Yi.

      Liang Yi said: “Sky gets brighter after suffering from bad storms”. Right now, her favorite expression is smile. She believes life cannot be destroyed no matter how cruel the destiny is, as long as one has passion and works hard. Her optimism and courage is like a light house which brings warmth to everyone near her. People call her “Smile Angel” and “Wheelchair Phoenix”.