Disabled 4-year-old boy's energetic dance to Little Apple tune moves thousands in China

Xiao Feng, as the boy is affectionately known in Chinese media, was filmed prancing and flipping on his hospital bed in the central Hubei province using his arms and the stumps of what used to be his legs. -- PHOTO: YOUTUBE SCREENGRAB
Xiao Feng, as the boy is affectionately known in Chinese media, was filmed prancing and flipping on his hospital bed in the central Hubei province using his arms and the stumps of what used to be his legs. -- PHOTO: YOUTUBE SCREENGRAB

A four-year-old boy has moved thousands of people in China by dancing energetically and joyously to the Little Apple song that has swept China - even though both his legs had been amputated after an accident.

Xiao Feng, as the boy is affectionately known in Chinese media, was filmed prancing and flipping on his hospital bed in the central Hubei province using his arms and the stumps of what used to be his legs.

The video clip was uploaded on Monday and has gone viral. Some viewers have dubbed the clip the "saddest Little Apple" so far, others could not help shedding tears as they watched, China Daily reported.

Little Apple or Xiao Ping Guo is a catchy song composed to a 1980s disco beat which has won over millions in China since being launched last year by the popular performers, Chopsticks Brothers.

"Xiao Feng has always had a strong sense of rhythm and would dance to music," his mother Zhang Xiyu was quoted by Sina.com as saying. "Even though he doesn't have legs now, he still loves to prance around and create his own dance moves."

Xiao Feng's infectious dance moves and joie de vivre have won him his own legions of fans. After the boy's plight came to light together with his dance video, a donation drive for him launched on Wednesday raised more than 500,000 yuan (S$108,316) from some 10,000 donors, Sina.com reported.

The funds are a god-send to Xiao Feng's impoverished family, who live in a village in the mountains of Hubei's Enshi town. The family owes some 150,000 yuan as a result of Xiao Feng's medical bills since the toddler was run over by a car in 2012.

Besides having both legs amputated, Xiao Feng has problems urinating due to injuries sustained in the accident and has to receive weekly treatment at a hospital.

At home, he is put in a wash pan and drags himself around with the help of a stool.

Yet, the boy has remained chirpy and strong, said Sina.com. Whenever his mother, Madam Zhang, cries over his suffering, he would console her by saying that he would be getting prosthetic legs soon.

And, according to a volunteer identified only as Xiao Cheng at the Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan where Xiao Feng is being treated, the toddler has become hospital staff's source of joy with his cheerfulness.

"Everyone at the hospital loves him," said Xiao Cheng, who added that the boy loves to be hoisted up and twirled around as if he were flying.

"His cheerfulness and optimism has infected people around him."

The money raised by the donation drive will go towards Xiao Feng's treatment and prosthetic legs, which reports said will be fitted on the boy soon.

The boy's wish to fly was also granted on Wednesday, when China Eastern Airlines made him a "little pilot", complete with a tour of a plane and its cockpit for the boy and his parents at Tianhe airport in Wuhan.

The company also promised free tickets to the boy and his family when they finished medical treatment in Wuhan for their trip home to Enshi. It will be Xiao Feng's first trip on a plane.

seokhwai@sph.com.sg