This 10-Year-Old Girl Has Been Sole Caretaker To Her 'Childlike' Mother For Four Years

Her local government acknowledged her filial piety with an award.

Cover image via via South China Morning Post/Barely Supermommy

10-year-old Cai Cheng Cheng has been hailed as a model of filial piety for her dedication as her mother's sole caretaker for the last four years

Cheng Cheng was only six years old when her mother Chen Li suffered a brain haemorrhage, resulting in Chen having severe memory loss and the intelligence of a young child.

Chen had been out for a walk with her husband, Cai Yong, when she began to experience headaches. The couple returned home to rest, but Chen fell unconscious and was rushed to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a brain haemorrhage, reported The Straits Times.

The family of four - which includes an older son - live in Yibin, China.

Little Cheng Cheng was left to care for her mother, as her father and brother were both busy with work

Cai Yong had to work late hours at the small family shop to pay for his wife's hospital bills, while their son, Cai Ling, had just begun high school.

In a report by South China Morning Post, Cheng Cheng recalled the day her mother came home from the hospital, "Mama was in a wheelchair, her left eye looked normal but her right eye was rolling backwards, as if she couldn't see anything."

She recognised that I was Cheng Cheng, but could not call me by my name.
Cai Cheng Cheng

Prior to her homecoming, Chen Li had been unconscious for more than a month at the hospital. Cheng Cheng would visit her daily after school, begging her mother to wake up.

Before heading to school or bed, Cheng Cheng would have to supervise her mother's physiotherapy exercises twice a day

Cheng Cheng also ensured her mother remembered to take her medicine in the most creative way possible: by pasting seven printouts of different cartoon characters which she matched with the different medications Chen Li had to take daily.

"Mama has high blood pressure and during her recovery period she had to continue taking medication. If nobody reminded her, she would have forgotten," said Cheng Cheng.

Cheng Cheng also took up the task of teaching Chen Li how to read, write, and speak again - like a mother would teach a young child

Cheng Cheng (left) with her mother.

Image via China Morning Post

Cheng Cheng used flashcards - that her mother had once used with her - and memory games to help Chen Li learn new words.

"I paired the words I wanted to teach her with animals and foods I liked, to make it more interesting for her," Cheng Cheng said.

For example, she would give her mother an apple to eat when teaching the word "apple" and let her hold a rabbit to teach her the word "rabbit".

All thanks to Cheng Cheng's hard work, her mother has gone from learning one word a day to now relearning how to speak and read again. Chen Li is also able to do simple mathematical calculations to help out at the family's shop. 

Despite all the difficulties of being the sole caretaker of an adult at her age, Cheng Cheng still managed to do well in her studies

South China Morning Post reported that Cheng Cheng not only achieved good grades in school, but has also taken up a number of leadership roles.

Additionally, she has been recognised and awarded by the local government and the state broadcaster CCTV for her "outstanding filial piety".

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