‘He only wanted to protect me’: Chinese boy who refused to leave mother’s side when house caught fire left fighting for life

Seven-year-old in intensive care after he refused to leave burning building until his mother was rescued 

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 April, 2018, 4:36pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 April, 2018, 7:47pm

A boy who refused to leave his mother’s side when she was trapped in a fire at their home in southern China suffered life-threatening injuries, according to a local newspaper report.

The family have been trying to raise money to pay for medical treatment for Jin Ming Li, who is in intensive care following the incident, and have so far raised almost half a million yuan (US$80,000).

Jin, aged seven, lay by his mother’s side and refused to leave after she was trapped by fallen objects when their home in Sanya, a city on the southern end of Hainan island, caught fire in the early morning of March 30, according to Southern City Daily.

The child’s father, Jin Haitao, had gone to work early.

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The report did not explain how they had been rescued but both suffered severe burns and remain in hospital. 

“I felt pain in my body and in my heart. I wasn’t able to protect my child,” his mother, Li Xiyin, was quoted as saying from her hospital bed, tearfully recalling the moment the fire broke out.

“He lay by my side and said he would only leave if I leave: he wanted to protect me. How is he so thoughtful?”

While Li’s condition remains relatively stable, her son suffered respiratory damage and is still in intensive care, the article reported.

Chen Xinlong, director of the burns and plastics department at the hospital, said the boy was in a serious condition and would need at least two or three operations if his condition stabilised.

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The family set up a fund for people to donate towards operations, which raised 450,000 yuan in just four hours.

“I don’t know what to say,” his father was quoted as saying. “My family are so thankful for the donations.”

It was initially estimated that his treatment would be 500,000 yuan, but Chen warned that figure may double given his present condition.