Mom wouldn’t give up “mentally disabled” baby, nurtures him all the way to Harvard

When Ding Ding was born, he almost suffocated during his delivery in 1988, which left him with cerebral palsy. Doctors in Hubei, China told his mother, Zou Hongyan, that she should give up her baby since he would be disabled and would possibly have low intelligence.

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Though Ding’s father agreed, Zou refused. She kept her son and ended up divorcing her husband.


Source: SCMP

Zou took on several jobs just to make ends meet and provide for her son.

In her time off, she nurtured her son by taking him to rehab and learned how to massage his stiff muscles. She also played intelligence boosting games and puzzles with him to stimulate his mind.


Source: SCMP

She was determined to help her son overcome his disabilities and insisted on training him to use chopsticks even though it was difficult for him.

“I didn’t want him to feel ashamed about this physical problems,” she said, according to Southern China Morning Post. “Because he had inferior abilities in many areas, I was quite strict on him to work hard to catch up where he had difficulties.”


Source: SCMP

Her strict demeanor paid off. Ding ended up graduating with a bachelor’s degree from Peking University’s Environmental Science and Engineering School and later enrolled in the school’s International Law School to get his master’s degree.

Ding worked for two years before enrolling in a US Ivy League school, Harvard University.


Source: SCMP

Though Ding misses his mother, who lives in Jingzhou, Hubei province, he says he will always appreciate the “close friendship” that he has with his “spiritual mentor.”

This story goes to show that there is no difficulty or type of adversity that a mother’s love can’t overcome.

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Source: Southern China Morning Post

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