When his mother, Yi Xilian, gave birth to him, she had to beg to see the baby boy. After doctors finally permitted her to, she completely broke down. There were no signs before the birth that her son would have any health issues — seeing his face completely caught her off guard.
While it is unclear what caused the transverse facial cleft, doctors say it could be anything from an infection in the embryo to taking medications during pregnancy.
See more of how this family grew to care for their precious son below.
Multiple ultrasounds show that her baby boy was healthy. However, during Kangkang’s birth in the delivery room, doctors and family would not let Yi see her newborn son.
“My family didn’t allow me to see my son at the beginning, and I pleaded with my husband to let me have a look. Before they passed me the baby, they told me ‘don’t be sad, don’t be sad’, but when I saw my son, I collapsed,” said Yi.