Although this Chinese man is an adult, he looks like a toddler. At just 2 feet and 7 inches tall, he stopped growing when he was only two years old. And doctors have no idea what happened. They are utterly clueless. And all his mom wants is for him to know and love her.
The young man from rural China, Wang Tianfang, is unable to speak. He also requires 24-hour care from his family and loved ones. Because he hasn’t changed in decades, his heartbroken mother just wants to know why. But doctors have been unable to diagnose his strange condition.
Although his life is limited, his mother promised to do anything possible to help him live a happy life. And she vowed to do that no matter what. Her biggest wish in life is to hear her son, Tianfang, call her “mother” at least once.
Tianfang lives with his mother in eastern China. He was born in 1987, making him 30-years-old, but stopped growing when he was a toddler. His mother is 57-year-old Chu Xiaoping. And she just wants to take care of her boy and one day hear him call her mother. But that tragically has not yet happened.
Living in Wangfan Village in Yuexi County in China’s Anhui Province is not easy for the mother and her son. Because they are in the country, she doesn’t have access to a lot of medical expertise and equipment that might make her son’s life easier.
But she remembers his youth clearly. Between the age of two and three, Tianfang suddenly stopped growing. He stayed at just 80 cm tall, which is about 2 feet and 7 inches. And as his body stopped growing, so did his brain. As far as experts can tell, his intelligence has not changed since when he was a toddler.
When Tianfang turned three years old and had stopped growing, community members recommended that she simply abandon her son. They told her to leave him to die, and she could have another baby, hopefully, one who was “normal.”
Despite this pressure from her family, Chu refused to leave her son. Although he had a rare and unknown growth defect, she still loved him with all her heart. And that’s when she made a choice to look after her son no matter what.
Because he needs constant care just like a baby, Chu has taken on the role as Tianfang’s sole caretaker. And she still somehow finds time to earn a living wage picking leaves from tea plants in the mountains. She also works a few hours each week as a cleaning lady.
Caring for her son is incredibly difficult, but she chose to do it because she felt like it was the right thing to do. While others told her to leave him at the temple and let him become someone else’s responsibility, she knew that it was up to her to raise her boy. And she wanted to do that.
And even if she never hears him speak the word “mother” during his whole life, she will still love him because that is what a good mother does.