The Man Who First Admits Himself as 'Son of Comfort Woman' Needs Urgent Help for Severe Illness

Luo Shanxue, the first in China to publicly acknowledge that he is the son of a comfort woman, lies in bed in his life-threatening situation at Wuhan Union Hospital in Hubei Province.
Luo Shanxue, the first in China to publicly acknowledge that he is the son of a comfort woman, lies in bed in his life-threatening situation at Wuhan Union Hospital in Hubei Province.
By Esther TianNovember 9th, 2023

The 78-year-old man, Luo Shanxue, who is the first in China to publicly acknowledge that he is the son of a comfort woman, is critically ill and urgently needs assistance.

Recently, Luo has been facing a life-threatening situation at Wuhan Union Hospital in Hubei Province. After the elderly man had been hospitalized for several days, his guardian did not show up. A Christian woman L (pseudonym), acting as a volunteer, and the director of the Tianmen Nursing Home in the province, where the elderly man lived before falling ill, have been tirelessly shuttling back and forth for his examinations, surgery, and subsequent treatment. After spending over 100,000 yuan on medical expenses, the elderly man has not yet passed the critical period. L and the director have already exhausted all their resources and are unable to continue paying for the daily medication. They have also found a volunteer Christian man to accompany the grandfather. Currently, he can’t persist as he hasn’t had a break for many days.

L introduced some information about Luo to the Christian Times, a Chinese online Christian newspaper. In June of this year, a male believer who had been involved in charity work asked for L's help in finding a hospital in Wuhan to treat the knee problem that Luo had been suffering from for years. Later, Luo and his nephew came to Wuhan Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, where the doctor suggested conservative treatment initially, with surgery only if necessary, to be performed after autumn. During his stay in Wuhan, many tender-hearted Christians and volunteers came to visit him, which made him reluctant to leave them, then he did not return to his hometown in Guangxi with his nephew. Later, he came to the Tianmen Nursing Home. During this time, he expressed that it was the warmest and most dignified period of his life.

In October, as the leaves fell at the nursing home, he took the initiative to sweep them. However, he suddenly fainted while sweeping the leaves. The director immediately wanted to take him to the hospital, but the elderly man, feeling that he was in relatively good health, stubbornly refused to go. Seeing no improvement two days later, the director insisted on calling an ambulance to take him to the hospital. On October 23, after an examination at the First People's Hospital of Tianmen, it was determined that there was a rupture and bleeding of a cerebral artery aneurysm. That afternoon, Luo was sent to Wuhan Union Hospital for treatment. Learning of his identity, the hospital performed surgery on him throughout the night without receiving the surgical fee at first. The surgery carried significant risks, with L and the director praying outside the operating room all night. The surgery went smoothly, and they jointly paid the surgical fee of 70,000 yuan as volunteers. Following the surgery, Luo spent several days in the ICU, incurring daily expenses of over 10,000 yuan, which they also covered.

As of November 6, after 15 days of examination in Tianmen and hospitalization in Wuhan, the total treatment expenses amounted to over 140,000 yuan. This included a special assistance grant of 6,000 yuan from the Shanghai Normal University Education Development Foundation's "Comfort Women Investigation and Aid" project for 2023 and a personal donation of 10,000 yuan from Professors Chen and Su of the research center.

In these days, the elderly man has been experiencing recurrent fevers after the surgery, and the doctors said that this situation was quite dangerous, and they could not guarantee if he could withstand it. However, the guardian of Luo Shanxue has not yet arrived.

Therefore, the volunteers hoped that more individuals would pay attention to this senior man so that he could continue to get medical treatment.

When speaking to the media many years ago, Luo claimed that he was someone who shouldn't have been born into this world. He was subjected to insults by relatives and neighbors from the moment he was born, and in the impoverished era, he only received three years of education. As he grew older and learned about his identity, no girl was willing to marry him, and thus, he remains single to this day. Most of Luo's life was spent in humiliation, but he was brave, willing to openly acknowledge his identity and testify to the atrocities committed by Japan during its invasion of China.

Documentary films featuring Luo Shanxue and his mother Wei Shaolan, titled "Thirty-Two" and "Twenty-Two," have revealed these elderly comfort women survivors’ challenging lives to the public.

Directed by Guo Ke in 2017, "Twenty-Two" focuses on the lives of elderly women who were forced to serve as comfort women during the Japanese invasion of China, according to Wikipedia. Previously, Guo made the film "Thirty-Two," which depicts the lives of the comfort woman survivor, surnamed Wei, and her "Japanese son," surnamed Luo. At that time, there were only 32 publicly identified survivors of comfort women in mainland China. As a result, the first documentary short film was named "Thirty-Two." After being released in the United States on March 30, 2014, the film was on show in China on November 11, 2014, when there were only 22 elderly survivors remaining.

- Translated by Abigail Wu

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