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Step by step: Wang Guihong's path to academic success

By LIU KUN in Wuhan and LI XINRAN | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-05 06:41
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Wang Guihong participated in a torch relay as part of the graduation celebration held at Wuhan University of Biotechnology on June 15, 2022. [Photo provided to China Daily]

If life is like a long hike for everyone, then Wang Guihong has encountered a few "bumps" at the starting line.

Wang, 23, comes from a farming family in Sihe village, Laifeng county in Enshi Tujia and Miao autonomous prefecture, Central China's Hubei province. At the age of 3, she lost her right leg in a traffic accident.

Even after the amputation, Wang wasn't completely out of danger. Several hospitals issued critical illness notices, but her mother never gave up hope. "If it weren't for my mother, I wouldn't be standing here today," Wang said.

Wang's father hired a carpenter to make crutches for her because she needed a new pair almost every month.

This was just the beginning of her many challenges. During her second year of high school, Wang was diagnosed with severe hydronephrosis. Opting for a conservative and temporary measure, she used a renal drainage bag until after her college entrance exam, when she had the diseased kidney removed.

Despite facing health challenges, Wang was admitted to the School of Foreign Languages of Wuhan University of Biotechnology in 2019 to pursue an associate degree in Business English. Even while using crutches, she enjoyed a vibrant school life, encountering warmth and kindness.

"My classmates genuinely respected me, treating me like they treated everybody else. Sometimes I even forgot that I was different," said Wang.

Wang ran for the position of psychological commissar in her class. Her speech and positive energy deeply impressed Wang Keyun, who later became one of her closest friends. "She never complains about the challenges she faces or is sensitive about her disability. She simply walks at a slower pace than most people," said Wang Keyun.

The prolonged use of crutches caused Wang to develop scoliosis. During high school, one of Wang's classmates got a prosthetic leg, which sparked hope in her. However, the price tag of over 100,000 yuan was astronomical for her family at the time.

Her parents saved, borrowed, and finally raised the funds needed.

After getting the prosthetic leg, a period of adaptation and practice followed. Wang lost count of the falls and scars accumulated in the first six months before saying goodbye to the crutches she had relied on for the past 19 years.

"The prosthetic leg company offered to coat the metal in flesh-colored paint, but I declined. This is the real me, a part of me," said Wang.

The school administration and staff have also gone the extra mile to enhance Wang's college experience and ease financial burdens. They relocated her to a sunnier dorm due to her rheumatism condition, and helped her apply for various programs and scholarships.

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