How honesty and turnips paid off for a farmer in China

Picture from SCMP

By John Isaac

Honesty is always the best policy and for a poor man in China, he got more than he bargained for a simple act of honesty.

Tang Shaolong's son, Jinan, was admitted in hospital for a blood condition and needed a marrow transplant.

Tang was only a farmer and while he was not a matching donor, he also did not have the RM240,000 needed for the surgery.

The family had already borrowed from relatives and friends to pay for their son's care at the hospital.

One day, Tang left the hospital to get some food for his son and along the way, he found a wallet with RM12,100, bank cards, a business card and driving licence.

At first Tang felt it was from God and he could use it for his son.

However, on second thought, he guessed since the money was found near the hospital, someone else probably needed it badly too.

According to the SCMP, Tang then returned it to Ding Yilong, a vegetable wholesaler and also refused any reward.

Following that the two men kept in touch via social media and Ding then learned of Tang's plight.

Ding said he was not cash rich, but he did have around 200 tonnes of turnips in his warehouse which he needed to clear by May.

“I decided to donate the turnips to Tang Shaolong, and we can sell them together to raise money for the boy,” Ding said.

Their story appeared in the Shandong newspaper Qilu Evening News and in two days, the vegetables had all been sold.

The turnips brought in about 500,000 yuan (RM303,000), enough to cover the cost of the bone marrow transplant, Tang was quoted by Beijing Youth Daily as saying.

He said the hospital sterile ward where he and his son must be isolated in the days before the transplant would be available in about a month.