Home>Service> Global Love of Lives Award> 15th Fervent Global Love of Lives Award> The Chinese Mother with no Legs—Sung Ya-ching
Gratitude for victory over death, disability prompting a love to share
      The reason why I live such a fruitful life, is because I have never considered myself a disabled person. –Sung Ya-ching

      In the year 1981, Sung Ya-ching had been a sweet teenage girl in the best years of her life. Who was to know that the 17-year-old Ya-ching would have been run over by a speeding bus on her way to school, suddenly turning from a girl in the bloom of health to being a disabled person with paralyzed legs? In the 30 years of her life following the accident, Ya-ching went through five major “drastic” operations, and was more than once almost claimed by Death as his own. What Ya-ching never expected was that, despite the dullness and monotony of her days spent in recovery, she would experience the beauty and wonder of human love. It was during the many months she spent in hospitals that she became fast friends with the medical staff, who have all helped her to muster the will and determination to live. With the loving care of parents, family, and her husband An-ming Guan, Ya-ching lived through these 30 years of life, and is determined to share her experience with people who have, like her, met with difficulties and misfortunes. “Life is priceless, you can only live once. I value life, and I love to live. In the face of misfortune and bitter illness, I have chosen to be strong and to wrestle with Death for my own life. On life’s journey, I have weathered storms, but I have also smiled and welcomed the rainbows.” Ya-ching’s unwavering enthusiasm and strength of character have inspired countless others, and there are even friends who consider Ya-ching their very own “psychologist.”

The wheels that crushed a young girl’s dreams
      Sung Ya-ching was born in 1964 in Taiyuan City, Shangxi Province. She was one of eight siblings in the family, and all ten family members were supported by her parent’s meager salaries. Life was hard, but they were happy! April 11th, 1981, was an unforgettable day for Ya-ching. After lunch, she went on her bicycle to hurry back to school, but just as she neared the campus, a speeding bus coming from the opposite direction ran over her and caught her under its rear wheels. She was dragged for almost 2 meters before the bus stopped. She retained her consciousness while bystanders rescued her from underneath the bus, stopped a passing vehicle, and took her to the nearest hospital.

Pain like a thousand knife cuts
      After she arrived at the hospital, Ya-ching began to lose consciousness, and went under shortly afterwards. When she next woke, it was already sunset, and it was the severe pain in her back that awoke her. The ensuing medical exams made Ya-ching faint with the immense pain for several times, and while she was struggling between clarity and unconsciousness, she heard the doctors say, “Cross-sectional comminuted bone fracture in 12 places in the chest and one in the waist, all nerves severed beneath the lumbar vertebrae, paralysis of both lower limbs, faecal and urinary incontinence, she will never be able to stand again.”
      After her doctors met for joint diagnosis, they decided that Ya-ching had been too severely wounded and refused to operate on her, forcing her to transfer to another hospital. At that time, she was undergoing blood transfusion, wore an oxygen mask, and lied on a stretcher, while four people supported the stretcher with their arms. They progressed slowly and carefully, holding her blood transfusion bag high up in the air, but Ya-ching still fainted several times from the gripping pain in her back.

Undergoing decompressive laminectomy with only local anaesthesia
      Ya-ching’s mother pled and insisted that the doctors perform operations on her daughter, and finally the doctors agreed to perform decompressive laminectomy. But because Ya-ching had been intermittently in and out of consciousness after sustaining her injuries, they didn’t dare to put her under general anaesthesia, and rendered the decision to implement only local anesthesia for the operation. While she drifted in and out of consciousness, she suddenly felt as if an entire mountain had been dropped on her back, and screamed out with the pain. The pain was so great, she had even scratched the skin off of the doctors’ and nurses’ hands.
      When she finally woke, it was in the middle of the night. The first thing Ya-ching saw upon awakening, were the tearful joyous faces of her middle-aged parents. After her operation, Ya-ching could only emit sounds with her mouth, while the rest of her body remained inanimate, just as if she had been rooted to her bed. And the pain resulting from the operation wounds were only just begun. Her mother called for a nurse to inject analgesics for her, but because her head was congested and swollen, analgesics could only be applied sparingly, resulting in pain that was almost unbearable for Ya-ching, who was then not even 17.

The spell of “100 days”—you may never be able to stand again
      Half a month later, the stitches from the operation were removed, and Ya-ching couldn’t wait but to ask her mother, “How soon may I recover and leave the hospital?” Her mother said, “For muscle and bone injuries, you need to wait for a hundred days. 100 days later, you will be able to walk.” The days passed by, on the morning of the hundredth day, Ya-ching hurried and excitedly woke up and tried to get out of bed. Her parents supported her on each side, and tried to pull her up, while Ya-ching did her best to rise and stand. But she couldn’t feel her lower body at all, fell to the ground, and couldn’t even stand. She suddenly let out a wail, the first time since her injury that she cried so bitterly and painfully, because she finally realized that her mother and doctors had been lying to her all along. They knew that even after 200 days, she wouldn’t be able to stand, and might never do so again for her entire life…

Growing up overnight
      Ya-ching never said a word, because she knew that, for all the months she stayed in the hospital, her mother seldom went back home in order to give her the best of care, even though her youngest sister was then only seven years old. All the patients sharing a room with her thought she was the youngest of the family, because her parents spent every spare moment looking after her, just as if she were a baby. Since the day Ya-ching was hit by the bus, her mother never went back to work again, like she had dismissed herself, but her mother never said a word about losing her job. In that moment, it was as if Ya-ching suddenly grew up, and she told herself, “No matter what happens, I will never cry and shout and my parents again. I will never only think of myself again, because my thoughts must be for the parents whose hair have turned white overnight for me.

The miracle of being one in ten thousand
      From the day she left the hospital, Ya-ching went on the slow and painful journey of rehabilitation. Even though she fell, countless times, from her bed to the ground, even though she crawled and crept, crept and crawled, until her knees and arms were bloody, she persevered through it all just to make herself learn how to stand up. After six months, with the aid of a crutch on each arm and all the strength she could muster, Ya-ching finally took the first step forward. That was the moment she understood the real meaning of stepping out. This first step inspired in her incredible hope and determination, and seven years later after the accident, she switched from double crutch to a single crutch, and the atrophic muscles in her legs began to rehabilitate again. Furthermore, she stopped experiencing faecal and urinary incontinence, and began to experience feeling in her paralyzed peripheral nerves again. The doctors joyfully told her, her recovery from severe paralysis was a miracle that comes to only one in ten thousand!
      In all thirty years after the accident, Ya-ching has never stopped fighting illness and pain. In 1990, she overcame the most common complication in patients with severe paralysis—the threat of sepsis. In 1992, she overcame the second most common complication—uremia. Through all these years, she has been hospitalized multiple times, undergone five major surgeries, and consider injections and medications a part of everyday life. but Ya-ching takes it all in stride, and never utters a word of frustration, because Ya-ching loves life, and loves to live.

The miracle and hopes of life
      Ya-ching’s husband Guan An-ming was a platoon leader in her brother’s military unit. He heard of Ya-ching’s accident and sufferings from her brother, felt compassionate, and wrote a letter of encouragement to Ya-ching. Letters were how they communicated, but both their parents did not welcome this blossoming relationship. Pressure from all sides did not intimidate them, and after three years of hard fighting, they finally won their parents’ consent and married. In 1990, Ya-ching even surpassed all expectations of patients suffering from paralysis, and gave birth to a lovely, healthy daughter, Guan How-yueh.
      Cherishing the rainbow days of storm and rain, appreciating the life that is enriched by hardship and tears
      These past years, Ya-ching has actively participated in many public benefit events for the disabled, and won commendations from many quarters. On many occasions, she has shared her own painful experiences, and told others who are experiencing difficulties that, “Life is precious.” In 1997, she was even awarded the China National First Annual “Five-Virtues Civilized Families” commendation, in which her family was chosen as a role model. China Network Television as well as provincial and municipal networks and national newspapers have all covered Ya-ching’s story of conquering death and paralysis, and her efforts in sharing life’s story with others.