17th March '08 - Wan Lao Yang.

I was watching TV today and flicking through the channels and saw a documentry about a nine year old girl from China named Wan Lao Yang.

She had a skin disorder which made her more sensitive to UV light and caused her to grow tumours on her face. Her nose and most of her left eye were destroyed by it. She had to stay out of the light and had been donated a special coat with a hood to protect her for when she went outside, the tumours had got so big though that the hood on the coat would hurt her face when she wore it.

She was from a poor family and her grandfather had been giving her herbal medicine which had no effect other than staining the tumour black. The tumour also smelled and she was shunned by other people in the village, she was desperate to go back to school and be normal again.

Dr Atherton from London was a skin care specialist and he was sent to see her. They wanted to see if he could do something about her appearance, he said it had got beyond that stage and he had to remove the tumour to save her life, they would worry about her appearance afterwards. If they knew about it sooner then it would have been a simple operation but the tumour was deep in her face and may have spread to other parts of her body.

She traveled with her father to Shanghai for the operation, her mother said that as long as her daughter was normal again then she (the mother) could die rested, the mother wasn't ill she just meant that her daughter's well being was the main thing she wanted from life.

Wan Lao Yang constantly had a positive attitude but there was a heartfelt scene when she cried on the phone talking with her mother and sister. It was hard to watch and I felt upset watching it.

She had the operation but she was left with a hole where her nose and left eye were, she had a skin graft from her tummy that failed and then she had another from her leg. The Dr was saying that she could get an attachment body part to fill the hole left in her face once it had fully healed, he showed pictures of other people with fake noses and eyes and she felt pleased with the quality of them.

There was worry about what would happen to her in the future and the Dr said that she would be very lucky if she would live more than another ten years. Then the programme ended and as the credits went up I noticed the documentry was two years old so I wondered what had happend to her since and looked her up on the internet.

I found out what happend on Yahoo Answers because other people had asked the same question from when the documentry was on before. She died on June 25th 2006 just a few weeks after the operation, her cancerous tumor had spread to other parts of her body.

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