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  • Chris McMillan

China’s ‘folded boy’, 19, takes first surgical step on the road to standing up straight for the firs

South China Morning Post


5th June 2023


China’s ‘folded boy’, 19, takes first surgical step on the road to standing up straight for the first time in 10 years

By Yating Yang in Beijing


  • 19-year-old Jiang Yanchen’s condition means he has been almost bent double since he was in primary school

  • Brave teenager is in Beijing to undergo a gruelling schedule of surgery the whole of China is hoping will be a succes

A courageous university student who has been dubbed China’s “folded boy” and whose determination to succeed has moved many once again has captured the national imagination.


Jiang Yanchen, 19, who suffers from ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis that causes inflammation in the joints and ligaments of the spine, has embarked on a new round of surgery in Beijing.


His rare condition means that his neck bends backwards leaving only a hands width between his head and spine and a body height of just one metre.


Jiang has bore the burden and pain of his condition since primary school where he had to kneel down to study in class.

However, the physical agony did not deter him from realising his dream of going to university.


Last year, he became a freshman majoring in Energy and Power Engineering at Dezhou University, in his hometown of Dezhou in eastern China’s Shandong province.


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