After 15-year-old Tseng Yi-chen (曾一宸) was declared brain dead in May 2011 following an accident at home, his mother, Tung Yi-hsuan (董懿萱), made his organs available for donation to see his memory live on through one last good deed.
Last year, Tung herself was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer that had spread to her brain.
After she underwent targeted therapy and chemotherapy, her condition seemed to improve, but more recently she had to be hospitalized when her situation worsened and the spread of the disease affected her ability to speak.
Photo: Huang Hsu-lei, Taipei Times
Her husband was unable to take care of her around the clock because he teaches English at a local cram school every evening.
However, two young men whose lives were changed by Tseng’s organs have volunteered to take care of Tung at the hospital when her husband cannot.
Wang Peng-fu (王鵬富), 21, and Wang Lu-yuan (王律淵), 20, take turns at Tung’s bedside to feed and look after her.
They are there almost every night: One comes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the other every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The two feed her, talk with her and give her massages, caring for her to the degree that medical workers at first mistook them for her sons.
“We lost a precious jewel, but gained two valuable pieces of jade in return,” said Tung’s husband, Tseng Ching-yun (曾慶雲).
Three years ago, Tseng Yi-chen had been suffering from a high fever when he fell down a flight of stairs, injuring his head.
He fell into a coma and the hospital, unable to revive him, declared him brain dead just two days after Mother’s Day — the celebration of which his father now compares to “a final sending off.”
Recalling the events of 2011, Tung said the loss of her son was “too painful,” so she decided to let him “help other mothers and fathers.”
To prevent any unforeseen issues after organ transplants, hospitals generally do not disclose any information about donors or recipients. However, “sympathy” is a funny thing.
At Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s memorial service for organ donors in 2012, a teary Tung approached Wang Peng-fu and said: “I have a feeling that you have my son’s heart.”
The scene brought tears to the eyes of nearby medical staff. Tung said it was simply “instinct.”
Wang Peng-fu, who had received Tseng Yi-chen’s heart, was at the memorial service to pay his respects when he met Tseng’s mother.
Tung met the recipient of one of Tseng Yi-chen’s kidneys, Wang Lu-yuan, not long after, and the three have been in close contact ever since.
Wang Peng-fu said he will “contribute 200 percent” of his energy to society and that it is his duty to take care of his donor’s mother.
Wang Peng-fu had a congenital heart disease. When he was 18, doctors told him that he had the heart of an 80-year-old — and it was only going to get worse.
Wang Lu-yuan suffered from several health conditions due to his deteriorating kidney since he was in elementary school, including albuminuria and hematuria. He had required dialysis since he was in the fourth grade.
The two described their wait for possible donations as “torment” and said that Tseng Yi-chen’s donations gave them a chance at a new life.
Tung’s husband said the two are “just like family,” and that his two new “sons” have been a great help. He and his wife are both very grateful that the love left behind by their late son could end up bringing the three families together.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan
The US on Thursday removed a warning against all international travel, and placed Taiwan on a list of 13 destinations where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is “very low.” The list was compiled almost five months after the US Department of State issued a “global level 4 health advisory,” urging US citizens to avoid all international travel. On Thursday, the department announced that it was lifting the advisory, saying that “with health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the Department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice.” The US