An Italian woman living in China has pledged 200,000 yuan (,900) to help a man who was badly burned as a baby to undergo reconstructive facial surgery, according to local media.
The woman contacted the doctors treating Zhao Xuecheng in Wuhan, Hubei province, after reading about his plight in the media, Wuhan Evening News reported. She was identified only as the regional director of a medical company.
Zhao, 22, was taken in as baby by vegetable farmers who discovered him abandoned under a bridge in Xiangyang, Hubei. His face had severe burn injuries, but the couple could not afford the cost of plastic surgery.
As a child, Zhao was rejected by the local schools because of his facial disfigurement so had to be home-schooled by his parents who had only primary school education themselves.
Li Xianyu, his mother, said she believes surgery will make it possible for her son to find a job and enter society. However, an operation in Chongqing in January failed to meet expectations, so the family traveled to Wuhan for further treatment.
Xie Weiguo, vice-president at Wuhan Third Hospital, said Zhao needs to undergo a number of operations over a period of six months to a year. The total cost, he said, will be in the region of 200,000 to 300,000 yuan.
On Thursday, the hospital received an initial payment of 50,000 yuan from the Italian donor. The hospital has also raised more than 40,000 yuan in donations from employees and has waived some expenses.
Donations will be handled by the Hubei Charity Federation's fund for burned women and children, according to Wuhan Third Hospital.