Happier times

Life wasn't always so tough for Mr Xu Jiangshan and his son, Jiahao.

Mr Xu used to run a car repair workshop, with his then-wife helping him in the business.

He could even afford to buy a 150sqm house where the family of three lived together comfortably.

But in early 2008, Mr Xu lost his right leg to vasculitis (a condition where the blood vessels are inflamed).

And to raise money for his medical treatment, he sold their home for 200,000 yuan (S$40,500) - half the valued price.

By then, his wife had left him.

But Mr Xu did not give up hope.

A year later, he borrowed money to open a small grocery store, helping to make ends meet.

Just as Mr Xu thought that they could start life anew, he suffered a relapse and his left leg had to be amputated.

Still, he persevered. Winding up the grocery store, he took the money to invest in a three-wheel motorbike and provided transport services for people in his county.

He says: "I lost both legs but I could still operate and manoeuvre the motorised vehicle."

Until he was dealt another blow last year. This time, he lost his right hand and the middle finger on his left hand.

The hospital charges also left him with a debt of 80,000 yuan.

After their story was publicised, donations poured in from social welfare organisations and people who were moved by Jiahao's filial piety and courage.

Mr Xu says: "It has helped to ease our financial woes and that helps to give us more hope to move on."