Young collision victim still unaware of parents' deaths

09:14, July 27, 2011      

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Xiang Weiyi, the last passenger rescued from the Wenzhou train crash, sleeps in a hospital bed in Wenzhou on Tuesday. At the head of the bed are toys given her by local residents. Provided to China Daily

Doctors say girl could keep leg, leave intensive care within days

As the last passenger rescued from the Wenzhou train collision - a 2-year-old girl - prepares to leave intensive care, doctors are withholding the news of her parents' demise to protect her from mental shock.

The girl, Xiang Weiyi, was rescued on Sunday, 21 hours after a bullet train barreled into the rear end of another bullet train that has stopped on the tracks in Wenzhou city, Zhejiang province. Her parents were not so fortunate; both died in the crash.

Worried about the effect that such devastating news could have on the girl just as she is showing signs of a strong recovery, doctors have not told her of the deaths.

Those tending to Xiang meanwhile said she may avoid losing her left leg, which the crash put in danger of being amputated, and could soon leave intensive care.

"The girl's condition has been improving every day," Chen Xingxong, a doctor at the No 2 Hospital in Wenzhou, said at a news conference on Tuesday morning. "We do not plan to perform an amputation of her left leg or foot.

"Her left foot still isn't receiving a sufficient blood supply. But the blood circulation to her fourth and fifth toes, which were in a dangerous condition, has been restored to 90 percent of its normal level."

A cousin of the girl's father, who declined to give his name, said a doctor has told the family that the girl's liver and kidneys, which had suffered from compression, have improved and that she can soon be moved to a general ward.

Xiang was found in the rear carriage of a bullet train that was hit after it had stalled on tracks in Wenzhou. At the time of the rescue, emergency responders had been ordered to stop searching for survivors and to begin clearing the wreckage away from the accident site.

The search, though, continued at the insistence of a Wenzhou police officer named Shao Yerong, who said the carriage should be looked into before it was pulled from the 15-meter-high track to the ground.

Since being rescued, Xiang has exhibited signs of mental clarity. She has been able to name the relatives who have visited her every day in the intensive care unit.

"She kept looking for her mom after the surgery was performed on her leg on Sunday morning and asking her mom to hug her," the cousin of the girl's father told China Daily on Tuesday.

"When her uncles come to visit her this afternoon, she called her grandmother over for a hug. She is a bright girl, and maybe she has a sense that her parents are no longer alive."

The cousin said the girl's grandmother would often take care of her when the parents were busy. She wanted to visit the girl in the hospital but could not because the deaths of her son and daughter-in-law had left her distraught and she is now in bad health.

Chen Lihao, standing committee member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, promised to give 1 yuan (16 cents) to the girl for every time a web post in which he prayed for her health and praised the rescuers was forwarded. By 11:50 pm on Tuesday night, his post had been forwarded more than 750,000 times on, a microblogging site similar to Twitter.

Grateful for the generosity, the cousin has nonetheless decided to decline Chen's offer.

"He has spoken with us, and we appreciate his help very much," the cousin said. "But we will not accept his donation. Our top priority now is to see her recover. We don't have any energy left to deal with donations.

"Besides, Yiyi (a nickname for the girl) still has us, and we will bring her up."

Source: China Daily
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