A seriously ill girl whose parents had four more children in the hope of finding her a suitable transplant donor is on the road to recovery.
Zhenzhen, 10, from Meizhou in eastern Guangdong province, was diagnosed with thalassemia - a genetic and potentially fatal blood disorder - as a baby and needed a bone-marrow transplant to save her life.
"We were told by a doctor that she wouldn't live past the age of 10 and that the treatment was very expensive," her mother, Zhang Qiubo, told Guangzhou Daily. "She used to have frequent fevers and other symptoms."
After Zhang and her husband failed to prove a suitable match, the couple realized their daughter's best chance of finding a suitable donor was a brother or sister.
"I can't stop loving my daughter. I just can't. I would do anything I could to save her," Zhang said, who had four more children between 2009 and 2015.
She conceded the expanded family put a financial strain on the family, as the couple, both street vendors, earn only about 3,000 yuan (0) a month.
Her husband contemplated giving up after their fourth child failed to be a match for Zhenzhen, just like her other siblings, Zhang said. However, hope was restored when she fell pregnant for a fifth time in April 2014 and doctors said the child would be a perfect donor.
Thanks to donations from local foundations and residents touched by the family's plight, Zhenzhen underwent a bone-marrow transplant at a hospital affiliated to Guangxi Medical University in Nanning, capital of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, in early 2015.
The child has been recovering well and is enrolled in a primary school in Zhaoqing, a city about 110 kilometers from Guangzhou, according to a report by Guangzhou Daily.
Zhang is living in Meizhou, her hometown in the eastern part of Guangdong, looking after her four other children, while Zhenzhen lives with her father, who is a migrant worker.
"I can only offer heartfelt thanks to the kind people who donated or helped Zhenzhen, and I hope to be able to repay them one day," Zhang said.