The only chersihed dream of a nine-year-old Xiang Xiang is to have his face back and be able to look at himself in the mirror like other children.
The young boy suffered severe burns to his face and head four years ago after he fell into a fire four years ago. Later he underwent a skin graft operation and had to spend years wearing a white coloured mask while waiting for his skin to heal. The boy was dubbed ‘Mask Boy’ and was bullied by his peers.
The boy father, Mr Wang, said, “In the past my son hated the mask and often when he was getting ready to sleep he would hide the mask hoping that the next day hewould not need to wear it any more. People were staring at Xiang Xiang’s injury which made the child very sad. My son said to me that he had to do the operation so that he could get rid of the mask.”
After the story of Xiang Xiang was spread around the globe and led to a fund being set up to help pay for the boy’s treatment. Now Xiang’s his breathing ability had recovered and his family have taken him to Beijing, where he will undergo a series of further operations to repair the damage to his face and body at a cost of around 300,000 yuan (£32,000).
The latest operations will look to address the opening and closing of his mouth, the limited use of his hand and hair loss. He needed to undergo further surgeries to ensure that he did not develop in an unnatural manner. As he grows up, and with skin growing back, it is possible that doctors will need further rectifying operations. There will be at least seven to ten plastic surgery operations to complete the basic recovery.