Chinese toddler survives on his own for five days on tap water after grandfather dies

Three-year-old boy found by a relative who went to the house to borrow tools

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 July, 2018, 7:31pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 July, 2018, 7:31pm

A three-year-old boy survived on his own for five days on just tap water after his grandfather died at their home in a village in southern China, according to a local newspaper.

The toddler was found by a relative on Friday morning lying unconscious near the body of his 66-year-old grandfather, Wei Ximing, at the village in Shangli county, in the Guangxi region, Nanguo Morning Post reported.

Wei’s cousin, Wei Jingyu, said she discovered the boy when she visited the house to borrow some farm tools, according to the report on Sunday.

The 72-year-old said no one answered when she called out as she arrived, and there was water coming downstairs from the second floor of the house.

“My cousin was lying on the floor near his bed,” Wei Jingyu told the newspaper.

She said the toddler was next to his grandfather and barely breathing so she carried him out to the neighbours for help.

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After being given milk and a saline solution, the boy regained consciousness and his health was believed to be improving.

“He’s really lucky … we heard a child crying in the past few days but we’ve been so busy with our farm work we didn’t really pay much attention,” Wei Jiang, who lives in the village, was quoted as saying.

The boy was being cared for by his grandfather, whose wife had died, because his mother had left and his 25-year-old father was working in Guangdong province, Wei Jingyu told the newspaper.

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He is one of some 61 million “left-behind children” from poor families in China whose parents – either one or both – have left their rural homes to find jobs as migrant workers in the cities.

The boy’s grandfather was a sheep herder and had used his life savings to build the two-storey brick house, though he could not afford to renovate it, according to the report.