On June 28, 2016, members from Shanghai Children’s Medical Center and Project HOPE celebrated International Epilepsy Caring Day. Prior to the start of the day’s activities, a few parents spoke to Project HOPE about taking care of children living with epilepsy. Here, Song WanPeng, a father of a child with epilepsy tells his story.
When I discovered that my child had epilepsy, I struggled to come to terms with the diagnosis. The process was definitely the hardest on my child, but it was also very difficult for me to go through. My family and I had many financial difficulties throughout the entire journey; the medicine was extremely expensive and affording my child’s treatment was a major challenge that we constantly faced. Paying for my child’s hospital and treatment fees were burdens that added to the larger issue of caring for my child’s health. It was also tough for me, along with my family, to not be pessimistic and have negative thoughts during the more difficult parts of the treatment process. It was easy to lose faith and feel sad and hopeless whenever I saw my child suffering, and it took me a long time to find the positivity in the situation.
Although the process has been challenging, it has taught me a great deal about keeping a positive mentality. Feeling depressed and helpless did nothing to help our circumstances — it only made everyone, including my child, suffer more than before. Changing my perspective and trying to see the light in the situation made the process much easier for my family. Being able to live more freely and be more relaxed, rather than restricted by my constant negativity, made me realize that the condition was not as awful as I had thought before – it could be controlled.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the work of the doctors at Shanghai Children's Medical Center (SCMC). Because of the hospital staff who worked daily to improve my child’s health, my child’s condition has improved greatly. I am thankful that my child was able to receive the best treatment possible because of SCMC. We were unable to get this type of treatment at the other hospitals we visited near where we lived, and none of those hospitals would have been able to help my child’s situation like the medical professionals at SCMC did, especially Dr. Wang. He was eager to help, and with his training and knowledge, improved my child’s condition and relieved the stress that epilepsy had put on my family.
While the treatment process is still ongoing and will still take some time, I see a bright future for my child. I see my child growing up to live a happy and healthy life and that having epilepsy does not hold my child back from achieving great things. But most of all, I hope that my child lives in an accepting world that wants to help people with various conditions and sees them as no different than they are.
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