Appeal to save brave Yiyi's leg

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 August, 2011, 12:00am


The family of 2 1/2-year-old Xiang Weiyi, who was pulled alive from the wreckage of last month's high-speed train crash, has asked the Ministry of Railways to help find medical experts to save her left leg.

In an open letter titled 'Please save Yiyi's legs' posted on his microblog on Sunday, her uncle, Xiang Yuyu, said it was feared she might lose the use of her left leg.

The toddler (pictured), nicknamed Yiyi, was the last person to be rescued from the train wreckage.

Her parents were among more than 40 people who died in the accident in Wenzhou. The Ministry of Railways has contacted the Ministry of Health to arrange for specialists from Beijing's Jishuitan Hospital, famed for its orthopaedic department, to go to Wenzhou and help her treatment, Xinhua reported.

Yiyi was found almost 22 hours after six high-speed train carriages derailed on July 23.

She suffered extensive internal injuries and her left leg was badly crushed. Doctors initially feared it might have to be amputated.

Weiyi has had five operations to remove rotten and dead muscle and seal her wounds.

Despite conquering infections and fevers, doctors still warn of the possibility of disability in the left leg.

'Until now, little Yiyi still cannot feel a thing in her lower left leg and it needs further treatment to restore nerve function,' Xiang wrote. 'We cannot exclude the possibility that Yiyi's legs will suffer major impairment.' He urged the government to waste no time in organising neurologists to draft the best treatment plan.

'What Yiyi wants is not just a guarantee that her leg is not amputated, but resumption of the functions of her legs to the best level,' Xiang wrote.

He also appealed to the health ministry to seek help from overseas experts and said the family would do all it could to aid her rehabilitation.

Xiang wrote that the family wanted to transfer Yiyi from Wenzhou Medical School Affiliated Children's Hospital when her health improved and have her moved to Huashan Hospital, a prestigious hospital in Shanghai.

'Little Yiyi is orphaned by the disaster but she is the child of this republic,' he wrote. 'The world owes her so much and she deserves all we do for her.

'She suffered alone in the dark for a long time in the carriage, but we cannot let her drag on with the sick leg, which should not belong to her in the first place, and walk through life with difficulty.'