Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The mother watches while a truck crushes her 3-year-old. 9 years later she weeps when she sees THAT on her daughter.


Qian Hongyan from the Chinese province Yunnan is just 3 years old when her life changes forever. A huge truck catches the child and crushes everything below her waist. "I saw it at the last second, I stood on the other side of the street and couldn't do anything," tells her mother Zhou Huan-Ping. "The image of my little girl disappearing underneath these huge wheels that were bigger than her, will haunt me for the rest of my life."
Youtube/Brandee Floella
So that Qian survives, the doctors must amputate both legs as well as remove her hipbones and her bottom ribs. She is only left with a stump as an upper body. But her poor parents do not have the money to provide her with expensive prosthetics. But her great need inspires her grandfather to be inventive. He cuts open a basketball, places the girl inside and gives her 2 pieces of wood for handgrips. Using the grips, the girl can move on her own again!
Youtube/Brandee Floella
"I woke up and my legs felt ice cold," remembers Qian. "I asked my mom if she coud put my shoes on. She didn't say anything, but I felt her tears fall on my face.
Then I knew that I would never need socks or shoes again in this life, or pants. I'm walking with a basketball!"
Youtube/Brandee Floella

In her village, they call her the "Basketball Girl." Thanks to the internet, the story of the brave girl becomes known all over the country. And at the age of 12, something happens that Qian never thought would be possible: she has legs for the first time again! Donations have given her specially designed prosthetics.
Youtube/Brandee Floella
But for her ultimate performance she doesn't need legs at all. The young girl joins a swimming club for disabled children, the first of its kind in China. "I had to try so much harder to learn to swim than the other kids," remembers Qian. "It was like I couldn't float, I kept sinking." But the former "Basketball Girl" refused to give up. And 2 years after first learning to swim, she wins the 2009 national swimming championship for disabled children! Her first gold medal! Qian trained over 4 hours a day and dreams of winning at the Paralympics one day.
Youtube/Brandee Floella
Unbelievable what the girl without legs has accomplished! And even when the now 20-year-old woman is so excited about her new prosthetics, she still hasn't sworn off her basketball: "It's much easier to get out of the pool with it!"
Youtube/Brandee Floella
Qian Hongyan is an inspiration for us all. The Chinese girl did not let herself be defined by her difficult fate and has followed her own path with utmost determination - whether on prosthetics or on a cut-open basketball. When this story also unbelievably impressed you, then SHARE it with everyone that you know!