'Miracle' survivor refused entry to kindergarten

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 23 July, 2012, 12:00am


The 'miracle girl' survivor of last year's Wenzhou high-speed train crash, Xiang Weiyi, has been turned away by Shanghai kindergartens because of her injured leg.

Nicknamed Yiyi, she was the last person to be pulled alive from the wreckage after the July 23 collision, which left 40 people dead and nearly 200 injured. Her mother and father were among the dead.

Xiang Yuyu , her father's younger brother, said the family had tried to find a kindergarten to accept Yiyi, who is now three-and-a-half years old, but they had all said they concerned about her left leg.

'They said she is still not completely recovered. They asked if she fell down, who should accept the responsibility? It's hard to identify who should be responsible,' Xiang said.

He said Yiyi can walk, run and jump, although not as quickly or as smoothly as other children. Her left ankle has been weakened and she cannot stamp her heel. When she walks, her left foot splays outwards.

'But Yiyi's condition won't affect her studies or ability to fit in to a kindergarten,' her uncle said.

On a microblog called 'Little Weiyi' he wrote that Yiyi has six small schoolbags and that every time she passes a kindergarten she calls out: 'Look uncle, here is a kindergarten.'

She envies the children playing happily, he wrote, adding that if she could be enrolled she would be able to have a more normal childhood with no inferiority complex.

Yiyi was rescued more than 20 hours after the train collision, long after efforts to search for survivors were abandoned. She suffered extensive internal injuries and her left leg was severely injured and later turned gangrenous. She had at least five operations in Wenzhou before being transferred to Shanghai's Xinhua Hospital, a major paediatric centre.

She is receiving rehabilitation treatment at the hospital and her grandparents, who have rented an apartment nearby, take care of her.

He said Yiyi never asked about her parents and had 'a bit of a shadow in her mind', but he refused to elaborate on her psychological status.

On the Sina microblog account of Yiyi's late mother, many users posted good wishes for the girl's growth and candle icons expressing their shared pain ahead of the anniversary.