In many places, the cost of healthcare means people often have to decide between getting essential treatment or eating. Sometimes, in order to make money for both, desperate loved ones resort to unconventional methods which may raise some eyebrows and sink some hearts.
Recently, desperation to pay a child's hospital bills drove a young mother to do what most would never dream of. In Shenzhen, a large city in China, the mother of twins was forced to sell her breast milk to raise money for one of her little girls.
Pedestrians spotted the woman standing by the street, holding her other daughter. Next to her, her husband stood, head bowed, too ashamed to look up. Between them was a sign which described her predicament.
It said, "I am a 24-year-old woman who gave birth to twin daughters. I am in urgent need of money to help cure one of my daughters who is seriously ill." The sign went on to say she was willing to provide on-site breastfeeding for people of all ages.
On the floor, the sad couple laid out a photo of their baby daughter, her medical records and a poverty assistance certificate.
A life of poverty leading to desperation
Chinese media were able to track the young mother down. They found out that she was from a poor family and had been working since she was only 8-years-old.
Her luck did not improve with her marriage to a 31 year old Chinese man as he too was poor. When they found out she was pregnant, they were overjoyed.
But shortly after delivery, they found out that one of her daughters had been diagnosed with septic shock and purulent meningitis. The hospital bills for her treatment added up to about $15,500.
It's unclear if this poor woman ever received the help she needed. After she went viral, several people offered to donate the money needed for her baby's treatment. But many others expressed disgust at her actions, saying it was "a vulgar way of asking for help".
Do you think you could ever do something like this?