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Girl travels 16 hours to save wounded eye

(Global Times)

09:54, June 14, 2013

Doctors assess a 12-year-old girl's eye injury Thursday afternoon at the Eye and ENT Hospital of Fudan University. Photo: Cai Xianmin/GT

The 12-year-old Jiangxi Province girl who suffered a grievous eye injury will likely still lose vision in her right eye despite her 16-plus-hour trek to Shanghai Thursday for medical treatment, a doctor told the Global Times.

The girl, surnamed Wu, was admitted to the emergency department of the Eye and ENT Hospital of Fudan University at 4:03 pm to treat her wounded eye, which had somehow been pierced with a bamboo stick Wednesday while she was playing with her cousin in Shangrao, Jiangxi Province.

At 8 pm, doctors started surgery on her right eye, said Gan Dekang, director of ophthalmology in the hospital's emergency department. Although Wu's eyeball will regain its normal physical appearance, Wu will not recover her vision in that eye.

The hospital invited doctors from Huashan Hospital to check Wu for brain damage because the bamboo stick had penetrated her brain. "Fortunately, the girl's brain is all right, though her eye has been terribly injured," Gan told the Global Times.

Wu's story first caught the public's attention after Jiangxi Daily reported on its microblog Thursday morning that a 12-year-old girl had suffered an eye injury that needed to be treated within 24 hours at a hospital in either Shanghai or Guangzhou.

After Wu went to the No.2 Hospital affiliated to Nanchang University in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, doctors advised her uncle that he should take her to a hospital in Shanghai for treatment.

Walking out of the hospital around midnight, Wu's uncle found a car to take them to Shanghai, but the driver lost his way. After six hours on the road, Wu, her aunt and her uncle were still in Nanchang, an eight- or nine-hour drive away from Shanghai.

Because doctors advised against taking the girl on a plane, Wu's uncle found a taxi driver willing to take them all the way to Shanghai for 2,000 yuan ($326). The driver, Zhang Xianbing, promised to make the trip in eight hours and waived any additional costs.

The Jiangxi Daily posted the taxi's license car plate number and the telephone number of Wu's uncle online, urging readers to help guide the car to Shanghai. The post was forwarded more than 1,000 times.

Shanghai police sent traffic police officers to a toll gate to wait for them and police vehicles eventually escorted the taxi to the hospital.

Wu's parents, who work in Shantou, Guangdong Province, flew to Shanghai Thursday morning and met her when she arrived at the hospital.

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