Hua Qing-Yun (1922-2002), Jinhua City, Zhejiang
Survivor of biological warfare in Zhejiang
One day in September 1942, my father and I were cutting firewood in the mountain when an itching blister appeared on my leg. Thinking it was caused by the scratch of branches, I didn't care about it. My leg suddenly turned red and swollen in the evening. Then it began to ulcerate, and the fester flesh kept falling one piece after another. My father's leg was also ulcerated. At that time, over 20 villagers were infected by ulcerative skin lesions on legs. My father died of it five years later. My family was too poor to have money to cure it. My mother picked herbs to treat my legs, but they didn't work. When I was 17, the ulceration was so serious that I was unable to work. My mother had to support the family alone. Over a decade ago, my mother passed away, and nobody took care of my life. I have to spend the rest of my life with the minimum allowance of 2 yuan per day given by the Government and alms given by my neighbors. Several days ago, the lower part of my leg disjointed due to ulceration. Now I cannot stand up. I just sit here and wait for the end of my life.