Li Hao*, 13, has never had the chance to go to school, unlike the other children in his village, Qingquan Town in the northern Chengdu suburb of Qiangbaijiang.
The boy is only 1.4 meters tall but already weighs 120kg. He is unable to walk normally. By the time he was 5, with his classmates laughing at him and Li Hao unable to participate in normal activities, his teacher suggested he stop going to school.
Until he was 5 years old, Li Hao looked just like a normal kid his age. But soon after, his body began to blow up like a balloon, the result of a disease. From that time on, he would eat a pound of rice or noodles and a plate of pickled vegetables at every meal, three meals a day. His grandmother didn't have enough money to buy more.
Li Hao's mother abandoned him when he was only 1 year old. His father and step-mother live with Li Hao's step-sister in Mianyang. His grandfather passed away not long ago, so the only people at home are Li Hao and his grandmother.
Nobody else in the family has had such a health problem, said his grandmother. However, when he was born, it appeared that Li Hao had slight cerebral palsy, which, although it barely affected his speech or motor skills, left him barely able to remember anything. To this day, he can count only to 50.
The excessive fat in his body has given Li Hao heart problems, and has also affected his reproductive development. Late last month, Li Hao checked into the General Hospital of Chengdu Military Region to accept treatment for pneumonia. Since his fat is too thick, the nurses could only insert the IV into his veins by trial and error, leaving his arms bruised.
*This is the alias the Chinese media have bestowed upon the patient.