Doctors in Taiwan fulfill Burmese patient's dream to write

Teenager from Myanmar diagnosed with rare hand disease undergoes free surgeries at Shin Kong Hospital

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Zhang Tzu-Mo writes for the first time Dec. 23. (Shin Kong Hospital photo)

Zhang Tzu-Mo writes for the first time Dec. 23. (Shin Kong Hospital photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Zhang Tzu-Mo (張子墨), a 15-year-old from Myanmar born with symbrachydactyly, a rare condition in which the limbs were underdeveloped in the womb, on Monday (Dec. 23) fulfilled his dream to write with the help of Shin Kong Hospital in Taipei.

With bones missing from four of his fingers, the Burmese teenager has had to rely on both hands while performing daily activities. He has had no choice but to endure the congenital condition since his family could not afford the expensive treatment.

In April of this year, a medical team, led by Shin Kong Hospital Director Hou Sheng-mao (侯勝茂), encountered Zhang during a visit to the Southeast Asian country to establish a platform for referring patients to Taiwan. The hospital promised to cover the entirety of Zhang's health expenses and developed a multi-phase treatment plan to help improve his condition, reported Liberty Times.

Lin Yu-Hsien (林育賢), director of Shin Kong's plastic surgery department, said that Zhang received his second surgery earlier this month, which greatly improved his ability to grab and hold objects. He added that microsurgeries could be performed in the future depending on Zhang's progress in physical therapy sessions, reported Radio Taiwan International.

As Zhang held a pen to write down his name for the first time, Shin Kong Hospital said that his story can instill hope into the hearts of Southeast Asian patients and that the hospital will continue to provide medical assistance to those in need. The hospital also expressed a desire for the Taiwanese government to sustain its effort to build up a good medical reputation for the country.