Injuries may leave survived toddler disabled

Updated: 2011-08-25 09:48

By Wang Hongyi (China Daily)

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SHANGHAI - The doctor treating the 2-year-old girl who was the last survivor pulled from the wreckage of last month's high-speed train crash said there is a high probability that she will be disabled.

"She has suffered irreversible injury to her nerves and muscles and fibrosis was found in part of her left leg," said Dr Zhao Li.

Xiang Weiyi, nicknamed Yiyi by Chinese netizens, was trapped for more than 21 hours following the July 23 high-speed train crash in Wenzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, which left 40 dead - including her parents - and nearly 200 injured.

Squeezed among the wreckage for such a long time, the girl's left leg was badly injured and she received five operations on her left leg at a hospital in Wenzhou, where doctors feared they would have to amputate, before being transferred to Shanghai's Xinhua Hospital for further treatment.

"It is still hard to judge the best level that Yiyi can return to," said Zhao, director of the hospital's pediatric orthopedics department. "But to return the normal level of limb function is all but impossible."

Zhao said doctors are doing their best to treat the girl, but the main priority at the moment is to close the leg wounds.

The hospital has also arranged special medical staff to provide daily counseling to Yiyi to help her overcome the trauma.

The orphaned girl captured the hearts of the nation when she was pulled from the train wreckage seriously injured. But although Shanghai residents have said they want to visit the girl, the hospital has requested that they hold off for the time being.

"Checks and appraisal work on Yiyi are not yet finished. In order to have a better treatment environment, residents are requested not to visit her at present," said the hospital's spokesman Wu Tao.