A mother hoping to donate her liver to save her dying son was shocked to learn that the hospital had given her the wrong baby nearly 28 years ago.
Ms Xu, 52, from the city of Jiujiang in East China’s Jiangxi Province, said the hospital may also have prevented her son’s advanced liver cancer had they not made the blunder and failed to immunise ‘Abin’, 27, against Hepatitis B in 1992.
Ms Xu and her husband Mr Yao made the “earth-shattering” discovery last month, a few weeks after Abin, 27, fell ill on 17th February and was later diagnosed with end-stage liver cancer.
She took her son to Zhongshan Hospital in Shanghai, where experts said his best chance of survival was a liver transplant.
Ms Xu, who described herself as “fit and healthy”, offered hers, but subsequent tests showed her blood failed to match that of her son.
Ms Xu said: “I went back to Jingxi and had DNA tests done behind Abin’s back.
“About a week later, we learned that Abin wasn’t our biological child.”
Ms Xu gave birth to her son on 15th June 1992 while working in the city of Kaifeng in Central China’s Henan Province.
She later learned that Abin was one of three boys born on the same day at Huaihe Hospital of Henan University.
An apparent mix-up by hospital staff meant that, three days after delivering a healthy boy, Ms Xu and Mr Yao were given the wrong child to take home.
Their biological son, ‘Awu’, 27, was handed to another couple, Mr and Ms Guo, who live in the Henan city of Zhumadian, and who only learned this month that they had been raising another couple’s child.
Ms Xu said she and her husband continued to investigate without telling Abin, who still does not know he is not their biological son. The couple fear the news would be too much trauma for their son to take.
Ms Xu added: “When I contacted Abin’s biological mother, she told me that she was a Hepatitis B carrier.
“Her son was meant to be given a high-dosage Hepatitis B vaccine shortly after birth, but it was wrongly given to my son instead.
“This has left Abin with such severe cancer at such a young age.
“This whole tragedy was caused by the hospital alone.”
When Ms Xu tracked her biological son to Zhumadian, she reported the incident to a local police station hoping they would help find Awu, providing officers with details such as his national identification number.
It then transpired that Awu worked at the very police station where the report was filed.
Awu told local media: “When the police first called my foster father, he thought it was a scam.
“But coincidentally, my biological mother reported it to the same police station where I work.
“My colleague then called me with his phone. That’s how I knew it had to be real.
“They called me back to the station to verify details. There I met my biological father and my uncle for the first time.
“I was totally perplexed. I thought it was impossible for something like this to happen.
“It’s been over 20 years. I have a child of my own now.
“It was a flood of different emotions. It’s very difficult to describe with words.”
Awu said he would remain in Zhumadian and visit his biological parents often. He plans to bring them to Henan Province after they retire, the cop revealed.
He said: “My foster parents treated me very well, providing me with education, care and love.
“I hope to resolve this in a way that doesn’t harm either set of my parents.
“They’re both my parents. I don’t want to upset either side.”
According to reports, Awu’s paternity test results returned on 21st April, confirming that he was indeed the son of Ms Xu and Mr Yao.
It was unclear, however, when Mr and Ms Guo planned to reveal their true identity to their dying biological son.
Ms Xu told local media she and her husband would “not give up” on saving Abin, whose best chance for survival is still a living liver donor.
Meanwhile, the Kaifeng Health Commission said it was overseeing an investigation into the historical records of Huaihe Hospital of Henan University.
The teaching hospital’s director, Zhang Yijie, said a thorough investigation was ongoing, and that the facility would not avoid its liability in the matter.
He said: “At this pointing, finding the doctor who made the mistake would be an academic exercise.
“The most important thing now is how to compensate the families.”
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