A rural family who faced a wave of criticism from Chinese internet users following claims they misappropriated money given to treat their dying two-year-old daughter have denied the reports.
An article about Wang Fengya, from Taikang county in Henan province, who died from a malignant eye tumour at the beginning of this month, went viral on social media last week.
It accused the girl’s mother Yang Meiqin of raising 150,000 yuan (US$23,900) from a fundraising website by using Fengya’s plight to solicit public sympathy.
The article alleged she did not use the money to treat the girl’s illness but instead took Fengya’s brother to receive cleft palate surgery at a high-end private clinic in Beijing.
This irked Chinese internet users, with some accusing Fengya’s family of favouring boys over girls – a mindset deeply rooted in Chinese culture. Some internet users described the mother and father as unqualified to be parents.
But in an interview with news portal jiemian.com, Yang said they had only managed to raise 36,000 of the target amount of 150,000 yuan through shuidichou.com.
The mother also said her son’s operation had been funded by a charity and had been carried out before they sought help in funding Fengya’s treatment.
Yang said a police investigation had confirmed their claim that they spent all the money they received on Fengya’s treatment – apart from an unspent 1,000 yuan which would be donated to the local authorities.
A village doctor also told the news portal that Fengya’s family had never given up trying to treat her tumour before the girl’s death.
The interview prompted web users to reassess their reaction to the case, with many expressing their apologies to Fengya’s family.
“We should be rational next time and wait for more evidence before criticising,” said one internet user.
This article Chinese family denies misusing cash given to treat dying daughter’s tumour first appeared on South China Morning Post