Astonished doctors are trying to save the hands of tormented Zhang Chuanqiu who was chained so tightly in an illegal prison that his flesh grew over his shackles.
Zhang, 27, had been chained to a cowshed in Hunan, southern China, in 2005 after falling out with village officials over a loan to build his house. But his chains had been so agonisingly tight that Zhang's own flesh began to absorb them.
"The only person who did not give up on me was my mother who waited for her time and rescued me," he explained. Now Zhang is trying to raise the £1,000 surgeons have told him he needs for an operation to remove the chains and save his hands from further infection.
"They cause me a lot of pain. They are always inflamed and ooze pus all the time. But we have no money so I have to rely on charity or the good heart of a hospital or doctor to save my hands," he said.