By Dave Andrusko
Thanks to the generosity of an unnamed party, little Xiong Junyi, from Anhui, east China, who suffered severe brain damage in an accident at his father’s workplace, underwent life-saving brain surgery last week.
Xiong somehow got stuck on a mail delivery conveyor belt when he visited his father’s place of work December 1.
But his story is far more complicated than even the brain surgery that took place at the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai January 30.
The fate of the 18-month-old toddler went international when it was learned that his parents, Zhengqing and Guangqun, had unsuccessfully petitioned the local civil affairs bureau to turn off their child’s life-support.
Prior to the surgery, the doctor at Anhui Province Children’s hospital who is in charge of Xiong’s treatment, told Shanghaiist.com, “He suffered hypoxia, without a heartbeat and breath for eight minutes.” Dr. Jin Danqun added, “Generally speaking, over four minutes of hypoxia will lead to irreversible brain damage.”
According to Sara Malm of MailOnline, Xiong’s parents made the request because “they were unable to afford proper care for him, which would lead to him slowly dying in severe pain.”
Then came the surgery
Dr. Li Hao, director of the children hospital’s neurosurgery department, said that the follow-up rehabilitation will need a good deal of time, energy and money, and that they were optimistic the boy would have a chance of recovery, although it was still unclear to what degree.
He said: “We can’t promise how well he can recover. The best result would be that he can take care of himself in the future.”
The encouraging part of the story is that Xiong was given the necessary surgery and that his father is more optimistic. “This hospital is one of the best in the country and we will work with doctors in any way we can to help our boy,” Zhengqing said. “Now at least there is hope.”
The discouraging part is that his case is apparently being used to “open a discussion” about euthanasia. Shanghaiist.com reported
While euthanasia is regarded as criminal homicide under the current legal system, more and more people have begun calling for its legislation, specifically for minors, after the media brought to light a number of stories such as this one.