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March 30, 2012

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Baby with meningitis goes home healthy

AFTER 10 days of medical treatment, a four-month-old baby with meningitis who was rushed 210 kilometers under police escort to Shanghai last Tuesday has fully recovered and left the hospital yesterday.

Doctors with Children's Hospital of Fudan University told Shanghai Daily that the boy, diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis and who had only a 50 percent chance of survival, is in stable condition after recovery and should not have any complications.

"The baby is fortunate to have survived a 72-hour period under observation and gradually recovered," said Wang Zhi, deputy director with the hospital. "Green channel (emergency lanes) and police escort won us precious time to rescue the baby."

The baby, nicknamed Xixi, and his parents left for their hometown of Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, yesterday afternoon.

The baby's father, surnamed Hu, told Shanghai Daily that it was probably the first time that he was so glad to hear the baby crying out loud on the hospital bed.

"When we took the baby to Shanghai for medical treatment, he was so weak that he didn't even have the strength to cry," said Hu. "Red spots were all over his body and he would not give any response when we called his name."

Hu said the family was driven to despair when Ningbo hospital doctors said they could do nothing with such a serious case of meningitis due to their limited skills and lack of medical facilities.

"We rushed to Shanghai, trying to give the baby some more hope. Thanks to doctors and the police, the baby was given a chance to live," he said.

Police in Zhejiang Province and Shanghai sent squad cars to escort the ambulance and the baby's parents' car.

They made the 210-kilometer journey from Ningbo to the Shanghai hospital in 130 minutes.

Police were sent after the parents' friends appealed for help through a microblog. The post was forwarded more than 5,000 times and caught the police's attention.


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