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Agony leads to joy of walking tall

Updated: 2015-03-19 08:04
By SUN LI/HU MEIDONG (China Daily)

Woman's deformity since birth corrected after 10 months' treatment and painful rehabilitation

Agony leads to joy of walking tall

Chen Tuanzhi practices walking with the aid of a medical worker after receiving treatment in Taiwan  CHINA DAILY 

Chen Tuanzhi felt excruciating pain when she walked on her feet for the first time in 26 years.

The woman from Xiamen, Fujian province, had been suffering from an extremely serious congenital condition known as genu recurvatum since she was born. The rare disease made her legs below the knees bend backward about 90 degrees.

The deformity meant Chen could not walk normally. She had to swing her arms forcefully in order to move her pelvis and thighs.

After a series of corrective surgeries, the last of which was performed in January, Chen was finally able to stand and walk normally.

The first steps she took caused tremendous pain because she had not used her lower leg muscles for such a long time. She held back her tears. To her the pain was a blessing and part of her rebirth.

Chen's deformity worried her parents, who are farmers. They sought a remedy while she was still a baby, but their efforts were in vain. Local hospitals were unable to treat the condition.

Growing up, Chen gradually realized she was different from others. With an upbeat personality, she adapted to life, practicing her way of walking. She shrugged off the many minor injuries caused by bumping into things and learned to live with her slow pace of movement.

Chen became involved with various charitable activities whose aim was to help the disabled. Her attitude impressed the authorities of a school for autistic children in Xiamen, and they later recruited her as an office clerk.

Chen's condition soon attracted wide attention. At the end of 2012, the Xiamen Charity Federation and volunteers from the Tzu Chi Foundation of Taiwan sent her for treatment at Taiwan's Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital.

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