The victim, aged just 19, had never gone to school after he began developing symptoms of psychosis, and his poor family had no choice but to forgo the expensive treatment. The son named Yin Xinzhao, who lives in Liuping Village of Xi’an, capital of north-west China’s Shaanxi Province, developed the problem after a head injury.
He reportedly got into a physical altercation with some other boys and ended up being struck hard on the head. His mother, surnamed Xia, said ever since that day some 11 years ago, her son has never been the same. Yin, aged just eight at the time, was diagnosed with schizophrenia by local doctors, but the poor family that relied on farming to make ends meet simply could not afford to treat him.
In the end they gave up on him and let him follow them around the house, allowing his condition to worsen over the years. He also relied heavily on his parents for simple everyday tasks like eating and using the loo, reports said.Things took a turn for the worse at the beginning of this year, however, after Yin is said to have lashed out and hurt other village residents.
His parents then decided the only way to keep him – and others – safe was to lock him up in a steel cage. They had a 5-square-metre (53-square-foot) cage built and began keeping Yin inside, feeding him through the gaps in the metal bars. Fortunately for Yin, he did not have to suffer the same fate as many other mentally-ill villagers who are locked away for decades.
Friends of the family saw his shocking living conditions and reported them to local media, who helped contact doctors at a hospital. Reports said the Yikang Psychiatric Hospital agreed to take Yin in as a patient and treat him pro bono.
Doctors there confirmed Yin’s schizophrenia diagnosis, and added that he may also suffer from severe intellectual disabilities. While there is little hope that Yin can recover from his condition, his family can at least rest easy in the knowledge that their son is now in good hands.