Xia and Liang's late son, second left.
Jiang Jingwei, a Shanghai police officer, saw his son and wife off at the airport for a Spring Festival family reunion. Then he took his own flight to Taiyuan in north China.
Jiang was off to visit the woman who believes he is her long-lost son.
For more than five years, he has been providing emotional comfort to Liang Qiaoying and her husband, Xia Zhenhai, an elderly couple who lost their son 15 years ago,
A gas leak in 2003 not only took the son's life, but also damaged his wife's health and memory. In the next seven years, Xia focused on looking after his wife, who suffered serious brain damage and cannot move her limbs.
Almost every day she asked to see her son, but Xia felt he had to hide the truth and told her that their son was on duty in other cities. In 2010, Xia saw Jiang on television and was struck by the resemblance to his son.
A TV reality show learned about Xia's story and got in touch with Jiang.
"In the beginning, I felt a little bit hesitant since it is very difficult to call a stranger 'mum'," he told CCTV News. But Jiang's father encouraged him to pretend to be Xia's son.
Footage from the show revealed that Liang and his wife broke down into tears when she heard Jiang call her "mama."
On stage, Xia told his "mom" he had to be on duty in Shanghai and felt sorry that he could stay at home with her.
She was told that Jiang had to speak mandarin and lost his accent and has never doubted he is her "son." The police officer has kept in touch with the couple with regular phone and video calls.
"Even though we do not have any blood relationship, it is fate that I can help him," Jiang said.
He invited his "parents" to visit Shanghai and showed them places of interest in the city in May 2017.
Xia told the Pear that since his wife saw their "son," her health has dramatically improved.