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Story Publication logo November 16, 2015

Dying To Breathe published by Initium Media in Hong Kong

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English

China’s deadly mining accidents hit the international news headlines frequently. But the country's...

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He Quangui, a former gold miner, is slowly dying of silicosis—an irreversible but preventable lung disease he contracted from years of working in small, unregulated mines in Henan Province in central China. Since he became ill 10 years ago, his wife, Mi Shixiu, 36, has had to take care of his every need. When he is too sickly to walk, she carries him, even up flights of stairs. Image by Sim Chi Yin. China, 2013.

Photographer and Pulitzer Center grantee Sim Chi Yin has spent​ ​the past​ four years documenting the life of He Quangui's, a gold miner in China, as he struggled with silicosis.

​When she started the project, she expected to tell the story of how silicosis effects a patient and his family​. But instead she witnessed the love between He ​​and his wif​e ​that sustained him for so long.

​​Silicosis, a lung disease associated with mining, is the most common occupational disease in China, a country that produces the most gold in the world.

He, from Shaanxi Province, is one of the thousands of men in the region that suffers from silicosis. It has been three months since he died. Initium Media in Hong Kong published the story in traditional Chinese here.

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