Goodbye to a scar that helped find long-lost parents

Kang Ying admitted to some sadness at removing the scar but as she had reunited with her birth parents 24 years after she went missing, the scar had completed its mission.
Li Qian / SHINE

Kang Ying poses with her birth parents and her son before surgery to remove the scar on her forehead.

A forehead scar that helped a woman to reunite with her birth parents 24 years after she went missing was surgically removed yesterday in Shanghai.

The 28-year-old Kang Ying, born Wang Qifeng, wandered off on January 8, 1994, while her parents were running their roadside fruit stall in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

Wang Mingqing, 50, and his wife, Liu Dengying, 49, never gave up hope of finding their daughter.

Their efforts paid off in March when Kang got in touch with her birth father after she was surprised to find that her details, especially a small scar on her forehead, matched those of Wang’s long-lost daughter.

Following DNA tests, Kang was confirmed as the daughter of Wang and Liu, and they reunited on April 3 in Chengdu.

The story has touched millions of hearts across the country, including doctors at Shanghai’s No.455 Hospital of People’s Liberation Army. They decided to offer free surgery to help Kang to remove the scar. 

Kang admitted to some sadness at removing the scar but said that as she had reunited with her birth parents, the scar had completed its mission.

Now mother of a 7-year-old girl and an 18-month-old boy, she said she can fully understand how much her birth parents had suffered after she went missing.

Her father said: “We’ve met her adopted family. They are nice people. It depends on her where to stay, and we won’t force her to make decision.”

After she separated from her birth parents, Kang was adopted by a man living in Laifeng County, less than 20 kilometers from her parents’ hometown of Tongxian Town and nearly 100 kilometers away from Chengdu.

“I could hardly remember what happened when I went missing,” Kang said.

From a young age, she heard stories that she was picked up on the street, but she had thought it was just a joke.

“My adopted father died when I was just a little girl, and I was raised by his mother and brothers. Every one treated me so good,” she said.

In 2015, she married and moved to northeast China’s Jilin Province.

“After she was missing, we screamed out her name and rushed to ask nearby shoppers if they saw her,” said her birth father. “We paid visits to orphanages and handed out leaflets,” but to no avail, said Wang. 

A taxi driver, Wang gave passengers a card printed with his daughter’s information.

The story soon went viral following media exposure last June.

At the April 3 reunion, Kang said: “I had told myself not to cry. But at the first sight, I just couldn’t help busting into tears.”

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