Isolated in a cage that his parents believed would protect him, Weiqing Peng now faces a grim future as his mother’s years slowly come to an end.
For four decades, 48-year-old Weiqing has been locked inside a cage in his home in Zhengzhou, Henan Province’s capital, in central China.
His mother, Waimei Peng, said that at age six, her son suffered a high fever followed by damage to his brain, which subsequently altered his behavior. Then the young Weiqing would suffer epileptic episodes.
Amid fears that the boy would hurt himself, and with minimal resources to afford him the much-needed medical treatment, Mrs. Peng, together with her late husband, enclosed her son in a cage; it’s bars were fixed and expanded as the boy grew.
Mrs. Peng recalls her son’s behaviors that she said led her to cage him for 40 years. There were times when he would “cut himself with a knife and glass debris,” and that he would “fall down and hit his face and make it bleed.”
Today, as she feeds him through the bars, Mrs. Peng, now age 80, speaks about the fate of her son, worrying that no one will take care of him when she dies.
Ironically, the very cage that his parents thought would protect him has now turned futile and useless, isolating him from possibilities that would have helped him gain even a shred of independence.
Now it seems that hope has eluded him as he remains inside the cage, facing the inevitable loss of his only “protector,” his mother.