SHANGHAI – A 4-year-old boy from Henan province who suffered severe head trauma, after his stepmother allegedly hitting him with a heavy metal cooking spatula, is to have a third operation on Wednesday after being transferred to a Shanghai hospital.
The child, named Yu Zhongbao, who is being treated at Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, was transferred from the hospital in Zhengzhou after undergoing two operations.
“The hospital and even our son asked us to stop treatment because they said the child has a high chance of being in a vegetative state,” said Fang Hengqin, 49, the boy’s grandmother.
However, his grandparents refused and the boy finally opened his eyes after being in a coma for seven days.
“I couldn’t stop crying when he called me grandmother again,” Fang said, “They say it is a miracle.”
The boy’s parents separated when he was 2 years old and the child was sent to live with his grandparents, who make a living by doing odd jobs and recycling waste products in Beijing.
But the grandparents decided to send the boy back to live with his father and stepmother in February, because they thought it would be better for him.
“I couldn’t believe my cute grandson was badly hurt after only two months,” said Fang. “He never got hurt when he was with us.”
The father and stepmother claimed that the wound was caused when the boy fell in the bathroom, but the boy said his stepmother had hit him with a cooking spatula.
“I want my son to be caught and put in prison, and his wife as well, they need to pay for this,” said Fang.
The boy’s father and stepmother have gone missing, but even if they are found the local police said there is not enough evidence to charge the stepmother, as the testimony of a 4-year-old boy is not enough on its own.
However, Li Xiangfu, a policeman at the local police station said they have forwarded the case to the criminal investigation unit.
The cost of the surgery will be around 60,000 yuan ($9,400), which is an astronomical sum for the family. But the boy is lucky, Fang said, they have received lots of donations from people nationwide.
“Lots of unknown people come to see him every day, and bring toys, snacks, clothes and money,” she said, “I don’t know how to return their kindness.”
Zuozuoma, a volunteer with an NGO that specializes in helping children in poverty said that they have raised more than 80,000 yuan, which is quite enough for the operation.
“We may launch another donation for the child after his treatment,” she said.