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Devoted husband cares for paralysed wife for 56 years

Author: Victoria Richards
Publication: The Times of India
Date: December 17, 2015
URL:   http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/Devoted-husband-cares-for-paralysed-wife-for-56-years/articleshow/50213485.cms

A devoted husband has spent the last 56 years caring for his bed-ridden wife, who lost all sensation in her body when she was 20.

Du Yuanfa, 84, of Sunjiayu, in east China's Shandong Province, gave up his job as a coal miner in 1959, shortly after Zhou Yu'ai contracted a mysterious illness and became completely paralysed.

The couple had only been married for five months at the time, the People's Daily Online reported, yet Du vowed to "take care of her forever".

He found out about the tragic turn in events when he received a letter informing him that she was "sick and bed-bound", while working in a coal mine in a nearby city in Tai'an.

He returned home to discover his young wife was no longer able to look after herself, her whole body was stiff and she could not turn or even hold objects in her hands.

The couple, who live in a simple stone-built home, were told that Zhou was infertile and would be confined to her bed for the rest of her life.

Friends advised Du to annul the marriage and start again, but he refused. He then quit his job to look after her full-time.

In the six decades since they married, Du, who also works as a farmer, has spoon-fed her meals, changed her bed-pans, boiled traditional Chinese medicines to try to help her get well and taken her to different hospitals for consultations, the Mail Online reported.

His enduring devotion has so touched his neighbours that they often visit with groceries and medicines for the pair.

Local officials have listed the couple as the recipients of charity offers.

And he is so committed to finding her a cure, that he journeys into remote Chinese mountains every time he hears of a herbal recipe - and then tastes it first before giving it to her, to make sure it's not poisonous.
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