I am He Xinglong. I was born in Letang Village, Shanxi Province. Letang was a poverty-stricken mountain village. When I was young, there was no doctor in the village. When people got sick, they just waited and hoped.
When I was 16, I was admitted to medical school, but my family could not afford the tuition fees. Villagers clubbed together to make up the amount. At that moment, I made up my mind to study hard and repay the kindness of the villagers.
After graduation, I refused offers from cities and returned home. My father sold all his corn and his only two sheep to help me open a simple clinic in a loess cave. I promised to provide a 24/7 visiting service.
At first, there was no transportation. I walked across mountains and rivers to treat patients. One winter the snow leaked into my shoes and my toes almost got frozen off. But no matter the weather, if a villager got sick, I was always on call.
To buy more time with patients, I bought my first motorcycle with a loan. In the past 20 years, I have been through seven motorcycles and served people in 28 villages. For those who could not afford my medical services and medicines, I offered to treat them for free as much as possible.
Today, the new rural cooperative medical scheme covers the entire nation. Villagers can afford healthcare services and can access medical resources from big hospitals. New equipment has been installed in my clinic and I more motivated than ever! (Illustrations by Li Chen; story translated by Liu Xiaochi)