BEIJING, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- A woman with Lou Gehrig's disease gave birth to a baby boy Wednesday morning at a hospital in Beijing, Xinhua learned.
The baby, born 35 weeks premature, is in intensive care at the Aviation General Hospital in northern Beijing. His weight and health condition are not yet known.
Lyu Yuanfang, 31, had to give birth via Cesarean section before 36 weeks in case her own health problems put the fetus at risk.
The new mother has yet to wake up from general anesthesia.
She was sent to the operation room at 8:30 a.m. and the baby was born about an hour later.
The couple named the baby Luo Guilong, said Lyu's husband Luo Zhongmu.
"'Gui' is another name for my hometown in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and 'long' represents my wife's home province of Gansu," Luo said.
Lyu Yuanfang has Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal, incurable neuromuscular disease that progresses rapidly.
She is believed to be the first ALS sufferer to give birth in China. She was turned away by several hospitals, as doctors feared her disease could cause respiratory failure during the Cesarean section and prove fatal for both mother and child.
After the couple's story was covered by local media, managers at the Aviation General Hospital offered to perform a Cesarean section for Lyu, as well as shoulder all of her medical costs.
There are currently about 200,000 ALS patients in China. Since treatment is expensive and not covered by most social welfare programs, many are forced to forego care.
ALS strikes one to three people in every 100,000. Patients progressively lose muscle strength, eventually becoming paralyzed and unable to speak, move, swallow or breathe. British scientist Stephen Hawking is one of the most well-known ALS patients.