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A mum who was planning to donate her liver to her dying son has now learned that she was given the wrong baby almost 28 years ago when she proved not to be a good match for the transplant.
The doctors said the cancer was so bad that the best hope the young man had was to get a liver transplant. Ms Xu offered to help, and assumed she'd be a match.
That's when things started to get even more strange.
She explained: "I [...] had DNA tests done behind Abin's back.
"About a week later, we learned that Abin wasn't our biological child."
Now, Ms Xu gave birth to her son back on 15 June 1992 while she was working in the Henan Province city of Kaifeng, but she learned that Abin was one of three boys that were born in the Huaihe Hospital of Henan University that day.
Somehow, thanks to an unlikely mishap among the staff, Ms Xu and Mr Yao were given the wrong child three days later when they left.
So, even though they left the hospital happy, and with a healthy baby boy, it wasn't the healthy baby boy they'd created together.
Their biological son, identified only as 'Awu' was then given to another family, Mr and Mrs Guo, who live in the Henan city of Zhumadian. They too only learned recently that they've raised another couple's child.
Because of his frailty, Ms Xu and her husband have continued to look into this without telling Abin. They believe that the potential trauma could affect his health more.
She explained: "When I contacted Abin's biological mother, she told me that she was a Hepatitis B carrier.
"Her son was meant to be given a high-dosage Hepatitis B vaccine shortly after birth, but it was wrongly given to my son instead.
"This has left Abin with such severe cancer at such a young age.
"This whole tragedy was caused by the hospital alone."
Once the mistake was discovered, Ms Xu tracked her son down to that city and reported his details to the local police station in the hope they'd help her find him.
He worked at that very station.
Awu told local media: "When the police first called my foster father, he thought it was a scam.
"But coincidentally, my biological mother reported it to the same police station where I work.
"They called me back to the station to verify details. There I met my biological father and my uncle for the first time.
"I was totally perplexed. I thought it was impossible for something like this to happen.
"It was a flood of different emotions. It's very difficult to describe with words."
Awu said he plans to stay in the city, but will visit his biological parents often. He wants them to move to Henan when they retire.
He continued: "My foster parents treated me very well, providing me with education, care and love.
"I hope to resolve this in a way that doesn't harm either set of my parents.
"They're both my parents. I don't want to upset either side."
According to the reports, the maternity test came back on 21 April and proved their suspicions to be true, but it isn't clear if the dying son has been told, or if he will be told at all.
He still has a chance of survival if a donor is found.
The Kaifeng Hospital Commission has opened an investigation, but the teaching hospital's director Zhang Yijie said: "At this pointing, finding the doctor who made the mistake would be an academic exercise.
"The most important thing now is how to compensate the families."
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