I had my daughter at the Pyongyang Maternity Hospital that the Korean women call “parents’ home“. Seeing her in sweet sleep in my arms I was in rapture, thinking whether I should bring her up as a musician or an athlete. Seeing her growing charmingly was the source of happiness of my family.

Pyongyang Maternity Hospital

Pyongyang Maternity Hospital

We, however, fell into a pool of tears when she, nine months old, was diagnosed as congenital dislocation of thigh bone joint. It hurt my heart severely. When I saw other children of my daughter’s age toddling guided by the hand of their mothers, I could not but shed tears of hopelessness over the worry that she had to walk with a limp for her whole life. Agonizing over her destiny I took her to the Okryu Children’s Hospital. After examining her, Jong Yong Ho, head of the department of the limb trauma and orthopedic surgery, told me not to worry too much, encouraging that she could be cured.

Okryu Children's Hospital

Okryu Children’s Hospital

So, I and my daughter were admitted into the hospital soon. But I was still in anxiety if they could treat her. One day several days later a woman came to see the department head with a girl university student. I was told that the student had been completely cured of congenital dislocation of thigh bone joint 16 years before by the head doctor. It had happened so long before that the doctor could not recognize her at once, and the girl also could not remember the past as she was so young at that time. But their meeting was very impressive. I often witnessed such happenings, which gave me confidence. And when I saw such congenital problems as deformed heart and cerebral blood vessels cured in a short span of time, I could fully understand the medical qualifications of the hospital.

At last my daughter took the plaster bandage off. When I was standing in a nervous frame of mind, she ran up to me, calling “mama.” Seeing her walking in a complete recovery which I had wished even in a dream, and the medical staff smiling in delight, tears of happiness ran down my cheeks.

Doctors, me and my daughter at the playground near Okryu Children's Hospital

Doctors, me and my daughter at the playground near Okryu Children’s Hospital

I took photos of my daughter playing on the slide and riding a tricyle in the indoor playground of the hospital all day long. During her 17 months of stay in the hospital she received a lot of nutritive foods as well as treatment, but I don’t have any idea of the cost. My two-year-old daughter started toddling at the hospital and learned “Thank you, doctor” above all other words. Indeed, the hospital represented the genuine image of our socialist country. The reality of my country where the children are the kings of the country is reflected in the existence of the hospital and its medical equipment, and the medical workers’ sincere devotion to the children.

When I left the hospital I stopped in front of the acrylic picture We Are the Happiest in the World in the entrance hall, which depicts the bright smile of the children. I said to myself, “They say a mother’s love for her children knows no bounds, but there’s more than that about my socialist country. It brought my daughter Yon Jong to her feet with a greater love than I can give. My country has completely relieved her of her worry and inspired a great hope in her. It is just the genuine mother of my daughter.

Jong Yong,

Neighbourhood Unit No. 54,

Janghun-dong No. 1,

Mangyongdae District,

Pyongyang City