Many children around the world learn about their ten fingers and ten toes through the nursery rhyme “This Little Piggy.” For 3-month-old Hong Hong, his parents are going to have to improvise a bit once they get beyond ten; the little boy was born with 16 toes and 15 fingers.Hong suffers from a condition known as polydactylism. His parents, migrant workers from the village of Zhongping, were worried that this situation might develop. According to the infant’s father, Zou Chenglin, his wife also suffers from the genetic disorder. She has one extra finger and toe on her hands and feet. However, these extra digits haven’t prevented her from being a successful textile worker in a factory in Shenzhen City, located in the Guangdong province.
When the couple learned she was pregnant, they went to three different hospitals in Shenzhen. After a series of tests, all the scans were negative, leading both parents, and the doctors, to believe that Hong Hong would not have any extra digits.As soon as Hong was born in a hospital near his parents’ village in the Hunan province, they saw that the scans had been wrong. The little boy ended up having eight fingers on his left hand, seven fingers on his right hand, and eight toes per foot. Concerning Hong’s hands, he does not have any thumbs, but he does have two palms on each hand. Zou and his wife recently visited twelve hospitals where they learned that there is relief on the horizon for their son.
When Hong is between six and twelve months old, a series of operations can be performed that will cure the polydactylism. Unfortunately, the procedures will collectively cost somewhere in the range of $15,500 to $77,000. That amount is well above what the factory worker parents are able to afford. They have reached out to local charities in hopes that they will be able to raise the necessary money during the next nine months.