Chinese kidney transplant survivor living the ‘university dream’ thanks to late brother

A young man from east China who battled kidney disease and overcame his brother’s suicide has achieved both their dreams of going to university, local media reported.

Gao Honghui, 26, was diagnosed with uremia in 2010 while at high school and was forced to take many years away from his studies. However, after having a kidney transplant in 2014, he was able to return to school, and after successfully completing the college entrance exam earlier this year, was recently awarded a place at Anhui Agricultural University to study computer science, News.sina.com reported on Wednesday.

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Gao comes from a poor background and when he and, soon after, his younger brother were diagnosed with kidney disease it placed an enormous financial burden on the family.

So much so that Gao’s brother took his own life, saying in a note he left to his family that, “I will die but my brother will be saved.”

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Gao said the death of his brother was a nightmare. “For the first few days after he passed away I felt like the sky was falling in,” he said.

But seven years on, he said he owes it to his late brother and himself to make the most of his opportunity.

“My brother used to say he wanted to go to university, so I must accomplish his dream for him,” he said.

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Gao, who still needs to undergo regular health checks because of his condition, said he chose Anhui Agricultural University because of its proximity to his home, the report said.

When asked how his family would cope with the renewed financial pressure of him studying, he said he was confident they would manage.

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“The hardest days have passed. Is there anything I couldn’t overcome in the future?”

The report said that several local charities and family friends have promised to help pay for Gao’s tuition. A similar fundraising effort covered the cost of his kidney transplant in 2010.

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The story generated many messages of support online.

One person on Weibo praised Gao for his determination to make it to university after coming from such a humble background, while another wrote: “Please be brave and live on well for your brother.”

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