As we gather with our family during the traditional celebratory holiday season, there is a lot to thank for and a lot to empathize for those who have experienced sufferings. In China, a loving husband has practically dedicated his life's mission to taking care of his paralyzed wife. After 56 years, He is still thankful every day that his wife is alive and continues to hope for a cure.

"She is my wife. Who would take care of her if I don't?" 84-year-old Du Yuanfa whispered as he wiped his wife's face with trembling hands.

In China, the true-life story of the 84-year-old man who has taken care of his paralyzed wife for the past 56 years has not only touched many hearts but also gives real testimony to the wedding vow of "To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part." 

Du Yuanfa and his wife Zhou Yuai live in Linyi city of Shandong province. When Du was 28 years old, he married 19-year-old Zhou in November 1958. In those days, the marriage was arranged by a matchmaker. Du never even saw his bride before they got married. He said that he was told the young woman had a good character and was an honest and sincere person. Their wedding was simple, and Du only got 6 days off from his job at a coal mine. He could only come home periodically because of the heavy work schedule, but he and his wife were happy.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck after only 5 months. Du had to rush home because his wife became seriously ill. It turned out that she had rheumatoid arthritis on bone, which also affected her heart and kidneys. She could not walk or go to the bathroom herself. Du put her into a wheelbarrow and pushed her around to visit local hospitals to no avail. Zhou's symptoms actually became worse, and eventually she stayed paralyzed in bed. He was told by doctors that his wife would not recover for the rest of her life and would be unable to have children.

Relatives and friends advised Du to divorce his wife. He refused. He quit his job so that he could stay with his wife and told her he would always take care of her. He shouldered the care of his wife by himself, and the work is hard and nonstop. In the summer, he washed his wife every day to keep her cool. In the winter, he carried her outside to get some sunshine and fresh air. He also did not give up on a search for a cure. After being told to try Chinese traditional herbal medicine, he often climbed the hills to pick herbs to make the medicinal broth which he would taste first to make sure it's not poisonous before feeding it to his wife.

The years passed. Now, it's been 56 years since Du took it as his mission to care for his wife, for life.

Over the years, the couple's plight and Du's unwavering devotion to his invalid wife has touched many local residents. Often people would give him help with groceries and share cooked dishes. The local government also gives them a small stipend. In a recent interview, he smilingly told the reporter that he grew over 50 pumpkins in his backyard, and he planned to give those pumpkins to show his appreciation to those who have helped the couple. However, it will take him a few more days because he hasn't been feeling well.

Does he have a special wish?

Du answered immediately, "I wish she could speak more clearly. In recent years, she is just mumbling. I don't understand what she's mumbling about. I have no idea if she wants to chat with me or wants to scold me." He pointed at his wife with a smile.

 ~ NancyZdramaland

Want a heartwarming family drama for the holidays? Watch Answer Me 1988:

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