Story by: Scott Feng, Sub-Editor:Francis George, Agency: AsiaWire
Video Credit: AsiaWire
A three-year-old who fled her neighbour’s home with her dress on fire has survived despite being found half an hour later with second-degree burns covering 54 percent of her body.
The toddler named ‘Xin Xin’ had been in intensive care for more than two months following the September incident, with doctors finally declaring her condition stable in mid-November.
Now her poverty-stricken parents are struggling to raise the 600,000 RMB (69,000 GBP) needed for her treatment, which will involve countless skin grafts until she reaches adolescence.
The girl’s mum and dad, Zhang Dazhen and Lin Weilong, live in the village of Qingcuo in Quanzhou’s Quangang District in East China’s Fujian Province.
Their only child Xin Xin had only been attending nursery school for three days when the accident happened at 5:50pm on 10th September.
It is still unclear how the tot’s dress was set ablaze, but CCTV footage shows her sprinting out the front door of her neighbour’s home while her three-year-old friend, who is also her neighbour, runs after her.
Lin says the boy was clutching a lighter in his right hand, suggesting that he had set his daughter’s dress on fire, but the accusation has become impossible to prove.
Xin Xin was found by villagers half an hour later, her dress having completely burnt away, and her neck, chest, back and shoulders covered in red and bloody blisters.
She was rushed to the People’s Liberation Army 95 Hospital where she was immediately put in intensive care.
Xin Xin’s mum Zhang said: “When I first saw my daughter after the accident, her entire dress was gone and she was red all over, with blood coming from her wounds.”
Fighting inhalation injuries as well as kidney failure from the trauma, Xin Xin spent 17 days in the ICU, with medics twice informing her parents that she was critical and might not make it.
She was then transferred to the ICU at the larger PLA 910 Hospital, where she stayed for two months before being moved to the general ward mid-November following a period of recovery.
Her parents say they have spent more than 300,000 RMB – 34,530 GBP – of money borrowed from friends and family on Xin Xin’s treatment, but the hospital says they will need double that for her recovery treatment to come.
The girl’s attending burn specialist, surnamed Lin, has since performed two skin transplants using tissue from her head and legs.
He explained: “When her scars have healed, she will need to do many more cosmetic procedures. This can only stop when she reaches puberty.”
He added: “As Xin Xin grows, her grafted skin will suffer from contractures, requiring constant surgery. If not, her tendons will shorten and she will become deformed and disabled.”
Xin Xin’s dad Lin is a plumber and is now turning to members of the public for help to raise funds for his little girl.
Local media have provided his fundraising account under the name Lin Weilong at the Fujian Branch of the Agricultural Bank of China. The account number is 6228480688863129872 and the Bank’s SWIFT code is ABOCCNBJ130.
Meanwhile, the family’s neighbours have reportedly offered 27,000 RMB – 3,100 GBP – towards Xin Xin’s treatment.
The boy’s father says “there is no proof” to suggest his son was the one who lit Xin Xin’s dress on fire, despite the girl’s father saying that the CCTV footage showed the little boy holding a lighter.
Authorities are investigating.
Picture Credit: AsiaWire