A critically ill Chinese toddler and her family have received more than S$20,000 in donations from the public, after a video of her playing and resting in her would-be grave went viral online.
Two-year-old Zhang Xinlei was born with thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder in which the body produces abnormal red blood cells. According to Chinese media portal People's Daily, the illness can be fatal without proper medical treatment.
Her family has spent over 140,000 yuan (S$28,500) on medical bills, but said they could not afford to continue seeking treatment.
To prepare her for the inevitable, her father reportedly brings her to her grave every day. The video has been viewed more than 16 million times.
The girl's mother, Deng Min, is expecting a second child, whose cord blood was claimed to be able to help save Xinlei.
But the treatment process could cost hundred of thousands of yuan.
The family posted a request on Chinese crowdfunding website shuidichou.com with a donation goal of 200,000 yuan. They have reached more than half of their goal, as netizens called on the public to make donations.
However, others have concerns about the impact of Xinlei's parents' actions on her mental well-being.
"This looks like a farce to me. The poor girl is innocent. Putting her in a grave will bring her no good, and will just harm her mental health," a netizen wrote.
"I don't understand why the parents would want a second child, as cord blood is not an elixir. Not only that, but the second child may also inherit the fatal disease. I think the parents are irresponsible and ignorant."