It was a chance meeting. But it made the difference between life and possible death of a 2-year-old boy suffering from leukemia.
Just when lack of money had driven Li Guishu and Wang Zhihua to stop their son's treatment and return home to Hebei province on Monday, they heard a round of loud applause for someone at Tianjin railway station.
It was Premier Wen Jiabao whom passengers were applauding. The premier was returning to Beijing after an inspection trip in Tianjin, the Beijing Times said yesterday.
Yang Zhengkui, Li's brother-in-law, says he will never forget the scene. "The premier was shaking hands with the passengers. When he came to us, he asked what we were doing in Tianjian and I told him that the boy had an aggressive form of leukemia and we could not afford his treatment."
The child was sleeping in his mother's arms. Wen looked at him and enquired about the symptoms of the disease. He then held Yang's hand and said: "Come to Beijing, and I will make arrangements for his treatment."
Wang couldn't believe her ears, nor could she hold back her emotions. She knelt in front of the premier and kept saying "thank you" before Wen and other officials lifted her up.
All this while Li was away, buying yogurt for his son. He returned to see his wife visibly excited and saying repeatedly: "We met the premier, we met the premier".
"It was like in a dream All we knew was that our child had the hope of life," Li says.
Let's see, where does Grandpa Wen win points with the laobaixing...
-- small defenseless child: CHECK
-- cancer: CHECK
-- poor working parents: CHECK
-- personal donation (he donated 10,000 RMB for the operation, as the article goes on to tell us): CHECK
-- wrestling a rabid bear to the ground with his bare hands and then releasing it into the wild, after curing it of its diseases: PROBABLY CHECK