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Girl sent home after living 5 years in Shanghai hospital

AN 11-year-old girl who has lived in the city's Ruijin Hospital for five years after she was abandoned by her parents, left Shanghai yesterday with officials from her native town in Jiangxi Province.

The girl surnamed Ding was hospitalized in July 2007 after pictures of her wounds and bruises, allegedly inflicted by her stepmother, were posted online, drawing wide public sympathy.

Local police made an investigation with help from the Shanghai Ruijin Hospital and found the child abuse case was faked. Its purpose was to get free medical treatment for the girl's serious congenital disease in the spine.

When she arrived in the hospital, she was paralyzed, vomiting blood and leaking urine. After treatment, her health recovered but she was still paralyzed. The hospital contacted her parents to take her home months later, but they claimed they had been divorced and their new families would not accept the girl.

Ding had since stayed in the hospital for five years. Recently, the hospital contacted Boyang County officials in Jiangxi and they agreed to take the girl back to her parents and give her education. The hospital waived her 300,000 yuan (US$47,600) medical fees.


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