Xiao Ying was just 3 years old when a large rat attacked her, biting off most of her nose and causing serious injuries to her lips.
Suffering from chronic pain, shunned by society and relentlessly bullied at school to the point where she was forced to quit, Xiao Ying's prospects for gainful employment and a normal life were looking bleak.
Her sad situation was compounded by the fact that her father was single and she was an only child. As Xiao Ying later related, by the summer of 2010 feelings of guilt and helplessness drove her to take action in a very unusual way: she crafted a rough sandwich board which read “Please help me find a job, my father is working too hard and I really want to help him. A monthly pay of 300 yuan would do.”
With the signboard hanging from her neck, she stood day after day in front of the offices of The Women's Federation in Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian province in southeastern China. Since 300 yuan is only about $45, Xiao Ying was clearly acting out of desperation.
Amazingly, her silent yet strident cry for help was not only noticed by sympathetic journalists, it was acted upon by those who could actually make a difference, such as the Fuzhou Minhan Plastic Surgery Hospital. Representatives of the hospital approached Xiao Ying and offered to perform nasal and lip reconstruction surgery for her at no charge – what we in the West call “pro bono”. While such voluntary professional services done “for the public good” are not uncommon in the UK and USA, this may be the first time it has happened in China.
Xiao Ying's story remained mostly unknown until this week, when the now radiant woman appeared with her sponsors at a press conference.
Not only did Xiao Ying proudly show off her new nose and reconstructed lips, she also announced that the Fujian Health Professional Technology Institute had generously offered her three years of free nursing training with paid internship opportunities during school vacations, plus a monthly cash subsidy of 500 yuan of monthly subsidies.
Everyone loves happy endings, and China's netizens are no different. At press time, the phrase 无鼻女, or “noseless girl” was the second-most searched term at Chinese top search engine Baidu's popular figures search list, and a search for the term at Google.hk brings up almost one million results. It seems that for Xiao Ying, the sweet smell of success is finally within reach. (via Baidu, FZnews, and wwj8315的博客)