It's always heartbreaking hearing stories like this one out of China about 14-month-old Zhao Huikang, a boy born with a rare facial deformity that's left him with an abnormally wide mouth (or a transverse facial cleft) that has caused experts to call him the "Mask Baby."
Zhao was born to a poor, rural family in the Hunan province and despite cultural pressures, his family refused to abandon him or treat him any differently -- though doctors were reluctant to even let his mother see him immediately after he was born.
Thankfully the boy is all set for corrective surgery, which will hopefully reset his face bones, muscles, and tissues and will allow him to eat normally. He's not been able to do that since birth and has been severely malnourished because of it.
Sometimes I worry about the silliest things with my kid -- Is he not saying enough words? Did he walk too late? Does he have enough friends his age to play with? -- and then you read a story like this and it gives you such perspective.
There's always a family out there that is suffering more than you, no matter what, and thankfully there are good people (like the doctor taking on Zhao's surgery for free) who do what's right for those with such a hard lot in life.
Hopefully this sweet boy can find some peace and relief through this surgery and he'll be healthy and happy soon enough.
What do you think of this poor baby?
Image via health.msn.co.nz