Tuesday, June 3, 2008

if you think your health insurance is bad...

Rao Jiacang of Taining, China had surgery on his chest back in 1998. During the surgery, the doctors opened his chest to remove a severe bacterial infection in his lung. The surgery also involved removal of some outer tissue and part of his ribs.

Unfortunately, the surgeons could not complete the procedure all-at-once. More work had to be done. So, they stitched the lung and packed off the wound.

More unfortunately, after two surgeries, Rao's money ran out. Without money, the hospital would not complete his treatment.

Today, 10 years after the original surgery, 51-year-old Rao still has a gaping hole in his side that measures 7 inches long by 3 inches wide. The wound crosses his right chest and actually allows part of his heart to be seen. (Rao is dextrocardiac-- which means that his heart is slightly to the right of his chest.)

Rao keeps the wound covered using sterile coverings and cigarette packages. One local doctor said, "It's a miracle that Rao could have lived so many years with such a massive opening in his chest."

Although Rao as become "used to" the huge wound in his side, he is now looking for a benefactor to help him complete his surgery.

As you can imagine, the wound is not a pretty sight. For the sake of some of my more squeamish readers who do not wish to look at it, I posted pictures of the actual wound here (in a falsely dated post):


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