Deaf woman wins spot at top university after massive effort pays off

Though life kept throwing Jiang more challenges, the positive woman regarded them as "gifts of fate." 

Most of you will have heard the saying, "When one door closes, another one opens." That really reflects the encouraging story of a deaf woman from central China who earned a place at a top Chinese university for a doctorate, relying on her ability to lip-read.

Jiang Mengnan

Jiang Mengnan, 26, was recently accepted by the School of Life Science at Tsinghua University for a doctorate and will begin her study at China's top university in Beijing from September, Yangtze Evening News reported.

Jiang, from the Yao ethnic minority, was born in Yizhang County, Hunan Province.

She lost her hearing in both ears due to ototoxic drugs (drugs that damage the hearing) when she was just six months old. That's when her parents, who were both middle school teachers, decided to teach her lip reading to help her better integrate into society in the future.

Though life kept throwing Jiang more challenges, the positive woman regarded them as "gifts of fate." 

She said in an interview, "I've had a positive attitude since I was young, thanks to my parents who had a good influence on me." She says her parents always accompanied, supported and encouraged her.

Hearing loss brought difficulties to Jiang, not only in daily life but also in study.

Her lip reading skills weren't enough to take in all the information teachers taught in class. In order to keep up with her classmates, Jiang had to not only work hard in class, but study hard in her spare time.

After putting in more effort than many of her peers, Jiang participated in the national college entrance exam in 2011 and was admitted to Jilin University with high scores. Later, she continued her study for a master's degree at the same university.

Jiang Mengnan (second from left) poses for a graduation photo.

During that period, she once returned to her hometown as a volunteer to visit blind, deaf and mentally disabled children at a special education school. Many departments from her hometown have invited her to share her experience with local disabled people.

"I felt grateful for the kind remarks and care from the public which have motivated me to continue working hard," Jiang said. 

"For those who have lost their hearing just like me, I want to tell them that we don't need to feel inferior — as long as we make enough effort, we can do whatever healthy people can do, and perhaps even better."

Jiang Mengnan and her roommates

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