Coma tot’s parents taking it day by day

HANGZHOU – The parents of a girl who fell from a 10th-floor apartment into the arms of a passer-by told China Daily on Tuesday they have been unable to return home since the accident.

By day, Zhang Zhonghua and his wife keep a vigil outside the ward where their 2-year-old daughter, Zhang Fangyu, has been lying in a coma since Saturday. At night, they sleep in a nearby hotel as family members take up their posts.

The couple has even recorded words of encouragement and a children’s song onto a tape to be played to her when they are not there.

“When she came out of surgery, we shouted her name and we saw tears running down her face,” recalled Zhang outside the intensive care unit at Zhejiang Children’s Hospital. “The doctors told us her pulse became faster too. She must have heard us. So we tried the recorder and hope it will help.”

Flipping a switch, a voice came through a small speaker. “Come on, Niu Niu (the child’s nickname). Be brave,” it said.

“The doctors say my daughter’s condition is more stable (than on Monday), but she still can’t breathe on her own,” said Zhang. “In addition to her brain injury, she has a perforated stomach, which makes her case more complicated,” he added.

Although Zhang has spent much of the last few days standing at the entrance of the ICU, anxiously waiting for doctors with news, his wife sits with her back toward the entrance.

She was too upset to talk on Tuesday and burst into tears as soon as anyone asked about her daughter.

“I’m in a much better mood today,” said Zhang Zhonghua, trying to smile. “After all, my daughter has survived for one more day.”

After finishing a quick lunch on Tuesday, the couple stood face to face and held each other’s hands. With their foreheads pressed together, Zhang whispered encouraging words to his wife.

“My wife and I feel grateful for the kind wishes and the concern from society,” he told China Daily, although the tiredness can be clearly seen on his face.

A family friend who was visiting to show his support said he has been concerned about how the couple is coping with the stress. “I’m a bit relieved today. At least they’re willing to eat something now,” he said.

Fangyu fell after climbing through the window of the family’s apartment in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province. She would certainly have died were it not for the quick reactions of Wu Juping, who was passing at the time and managed to catch her before she hit the ground.

The 31-year-old mother suffered a broken arm in the incident and is receiving treatment at the Fuyang Traditional Chinese Medicine Bone Fracture Hospital. Zhang said he has been thinking about visiting her but has been unable to leave his daughter. Instead he asked his brother to drop by on Sunday.

“I really hope I can bring Niu Niu to visit Wu so she can thank her rescuer in person. I just don’t know when Niu Niu will recover,” he said.

Wu, who was been dubbed “the most beautiful mother” for her heroics, keeps in regular contact with the girl’s family to check on her condition.

“I hope she can recover as soon as possible. I want to visit her when I’m able to leave the hospital,” she told China Daily.

Outside Wu’s ward, more than 10 bunches of flowers were laid on the ground. So far she has been interviewed by more than 50 media organizations. As demand for her time is so high the hospital has set aside an hour for interviews every day.

“I’m not used to so much media attention. What I did is no big deal,” she said. A micro blog has now been set up to update fans on Wu’s condition. “Since I can’t type by myself, the website staff will help me,” reads one of the first entries.

Wu is still waiting for surgery on her arm and doctors were unable to say when she will leave the hospital, which on Monday announced it will waive her 50,000-yuan ($7,700) treatment fee.

Alibaba, where she works in customer service, also plans to give her 200,000 yuan as a reward for her bravery.

Source: China Daily

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