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Rescue hero may lose both legs

By Li Yao (China Daily)

08:50, July 16, 2012

Yin Li takes care of her injured son Li Boya in the intensive care unit at the Second Hospital of Qinhuangdao in Hebei province on Saturday. Liu Xuezhong / for China Daily

Rail police student who saved man from train says he would do it again

A 20-year-old student who risked his life in an attempt to save a suicidal man from being hit by a train could lose both legs below the knee.

Li Boya is in stable condition at the Second Hospital of Qinhuangdao in Hebei province after undergoing surgery to save his right leg.

Li's lower left leg was amputated and his right foot damaged. Doctors are hopeful the right leg can be saved and have transplanted his left foot to the right leg so he will only need one artificial leg in the future. Good blood flow has been restored after the transplant.

"He is under close monitoring," said Zhang Xu, director of hand and foot surgery at the hospital. "Post-transplant infections are a big concern. It will take another week to have the final say on whether the transplant succeeded or not."

Li, soon to be in his second year at Railway Police College in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province, had been working as a summer intern at Qinhuangdao's Changli Railway Station.

About 5:40 pm on July 9, seconds before a train arrived, Li saw a man jump onto the tracks and ran to pull him up. Despite making an emergency stop, the train ran over Li, severing his right foot and his left leg below the knee.

"He needs a long time for the bones and tendons to recover. Some minor injuries may be spotted after his condition improves further and more examinations are done," Zhang said, adding that Li may be transferred to another hospital with better resources, probably in Beijing, when his condition is stable enough.

The hospital also sent a psychotherapist to help Li and his family cope with the traumatic experience.

"He is very strong and has a positive outlook," said Liu Wenming, the psychotherapist who has spent the past week at Li's bedside.

Li's parents arrived from Pingdingshan, Henan province, on July 10. According to a report by Beijing News, his mother, Yin Li, asked her son if he regretted what he did. Li responded he would still try to save others in similar circumstances.

The Beijing railway police authority has rewarded Li 200,000 yuan ($31,700) for his heroic act and promised him a job when he finishes his studies in Zhengzhou.

Li has also won much admiration and public sympathy for losing a leg at such a young age. There have been offers of donations for medical expenses, but Li's father, Li Song, posted a micro blog on July 13 saying the family did not need private donations.

Public security and railway authorities have instructed the family to provide Li good treatment, but it remains unclear to what extent he can recover, the father wrote on the micro blog.

The man who attempted suicide, Liu Shichen, 41, lay on the ground between the tracks and was hit on the head when the train passed. He has been unconscious in a hospital since the incident.

The reason for Liu's suicide attempt remains unknown. Railway police have contacted his family from Harbin, capital of Northeast China's Heilongjiang province.


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