A mother in China was forced to choose between her two children after discovering both were fighting for their lives after suffering from kidney failure, and a transplant would save only one of them, Central European News (CEN) reported.

Lian Ronghua, 54, discovered that the health of her sons, Li Haiqing, 26, and Li Haisong, 24, was deteriorating and both were hospitalized. While she and her husband offered their own kidneys, the boys’ father suffers from high blood pressure, making a donation potentially lethal.

Lian was tested and found to be an almost perfect match, but she could only save the life of one of her boys. The devastated woman chose her youngest, and they underwent surgery in Xiamen, the capital city of southeastern China’s Fujian province.

"The operation was a complete success. The youngest boy is now back on his feet and starting to rebuild his life, but his brother's condition in hospital has worsened seriously and unless he finds a donor soon, the prognosis is not good,” hospital spokesman Hsin Chiu told CEN.

According to the news outlet, the final decision was made after Haiqing argued that, because he had the disease first and was forced to drop out of college, his brother’s future had more potential. Haisong was able to graduate before being hospitalized.

The family is now praying for a miracle and a donor for the older son’s life.