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Paralyzed man gets new ventilator

By Xu Junqian  (

09:46, February 01, 2013

The paralyzed man who has been breathing with the help of a respiratory bag and a home-made ventilator for seven years is getting a new "lung".

Fu Xuepeng, a 30-year-old native of Taizhou, Zhejiang province, is doing pretty well with his new "lung" — a modern, computerized ventilator sponsored by a medical equipment maker.

"For the first time in five years, I slept well last night," said Wang Lanqin, Fu's mother, who, for the past half decade, has been taking turns with her husband to keep her son breathing.

On Wednesday afternoon, Fu was connected to the new machine, which cost 200,000 yuan ($31,800) and was given to him by Beijing Kangfuzhijia Trading Co, after some trials at the Taizhou No 1 People's Hospital.

There were no complications or discomfort for Fu with the new machine, and it is expected that the former mechanic could be released from the hospital before the Spring Festival.

The machine is equipped with batteries that last six to eight hours in case there is a power cut when Fu goes back home, a shabby cottage where the humming home-made ventilator and a TV are the only electric appliances.

Before this, Fu had to be looked after for 24 hours as once the home-made ventilator — assembled by his father and relatives for about 200 yuan from instructions given on a TV program — stopped working for three minutes, he could be dead.

Donations from all over the country reached more than 70,000 yuan by Thursday, and most of the donors refused to leave their names, said Wang, the mother.

Expat readers also wrote to China Daily, expressing their willingness to donate money and food to help the family.

"Although we may not be able to return all the donations, we would like to remember all the names of our benefactors," said Wang, who keeps a small notebook and makes a record of every donation they receive.

The family — who still owes hundreds of thousands of yuan, which were mostly used to pay for the medical bills after the accident — plans to use the money to treat their only son first.

But according to Wang Qiugen, an orthopedist from the Shanghai First People's Hospital, who went all the way to Taizhou to look at Fu's case, the chances for the man to make a full recovery are slim.

Because Fu is afflicted with high paraplegia, it is unlikely the 30-year-old could walk again. It would also be very risky for him to have surgery, considering his physical condition, Wang said.

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