Husband wants to abandon disabled son, wife divorces and raises boy who attends Harvard

Zou Hongyan faced a heartbreaking decision when her son was born with cerebral palsy, as the doctor recommended giving up on him. What stunned her even more was her husband’s agreement with the doctor. In her unwavering determination, she divorced her husband and embarked on a relentless journey to help her son, Ding Zheng, with his condition.

Hongyan’s greatest fear was her son’s brain development. She feared he might have mental disabilities. To prevent this, she sought treatment at the Hubei Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine from an early age. A critical turning point was when a test revealed that Ding’s intelligence level was normal at just 100 days old. Despite physical challenges caused by damaged motor neurons, Hongyan never allowed her son to give up, teaching him resilience.

One non-negotiable aspect of their journey was Ding learning to eat with chopsticks, as it was integral to Chinese culture. Hongyan aimed to prevent her son from feeling ashamed of his illness.

Despite facing financial challenges and living in a tiny space, Hongyan worked tirelessly, even selling insurance for five years, to afford her son’s treatments.

Dr. Xiao Daiqi, formerly at the Hubei Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, praised Hongyan’s dedication to her son’s early and continuous treatment, emphasizing its importance for cerebral palsy patients.

Ding, now grown up, remembers his mother’s sacrifices, like the time she carried him on her bike to the hospital in heavy snow. Despite the hardships, Hongyan never wavered in her commitment to her son. Her unwavering love and determination paid off when Ding not only walked for the first time but also achieved academic success. He graduated from Peking University in Environmental Science and Engineering and later gained admission to Harvard Law School in March 2016, a testament to his mother’s unwavering support and his own resilience.

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