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Mum Refused To Give Up Her Disabled Son At Birth - He's Just Got Into Harvard

Mum Refused To Give Up Her Disabled Son At Birth - He's Just Got Into Harvard

A mum refused to give up her child at birth after doctors informed her that he'd be disabled. He's now enrolling at Harvard Law School.

Back in 1988, Zuo Hongyan was told by doctors in Hubei province, China, that her son, Ding Ding, was not worth saving as he had disabilities.

They recommended that she gave him up. Her partner agreed, but Zuo outright refused, reports the Mail.

Her husband said that she was stubborn, but she insisted on keeping him as he had 'kicked her in the belly' and she was determined.


She felt that her husband was being selfish - they divorced as a result. She brought up Ding Ding alone. During his childhood, she encouraged him to do his very best and to prove doctors wrong.

She got a full-time teaching job, but as she was supporting him alone, she also took up several part-time jobs on the side.

She ensured that she always had enough time to tutor Ding Ding too and ensure that he kept up with the other children. The fact that he's now enrolling at Harvard says a lot.


His disabilities became more obvious as he grew up. He couldn't stand until he was two, he couldn't walk until he was three, and he didn't jump until he was six.

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She told the Mail: "I didn't want him to feel ashamed about this physical problems. Because he had inferior abilities in many areas, I was quite strict on him to work hard to catch up where he had difficulties."

He graduated from Peking University School of Environmental Science and Engineering in 2011. He then pursued a Masters from Peking University International Law School. After that, he worked for two years. However, he recently applied for Harvard and got the incredible news that he'd been successful.


"I never dared to dream of applying to Harvard," Ding Ding said.

"It was my mother who never stopped encouraging me to give it a try. Whenever I had any doubts, she would guide me forward."

Xinhua News Agency and South China Morning Post report that when he was born, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy after intrauterine asphyxia in the womb.

Doctors said that the most sensible thing to do would be to give him up, as bringing him up would 'drag their lives down', reports the Mail.


Apparently, it's a lot more common to give up disabled children in China compared to the West. In fact, in 2014, Chinese authorities estimated that 98 percent of the 576,000 children in orphanages are disabled.

Well done to Ding Ding and his mum.

Featured Image Credit: Weibo

Topics: law, China, Harvard

Mel Ramsay

Mel Ramsay has been a Senior Journalist for Tyla and LADbible since 2015. She started her career writing obituaries and funeral guides online. Since then, her work has been published in a wide variety of national and local news sites. She is part of the BBC's Generation project and has spoken about young people, politics and mental health on television, radio and online. Contact her - [email protected]