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September 8, 2010

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Mother of burnt 5-year-old to return

FIVE-YEAR-OLD Zhang Zhao is excited about today - not only will he undergo the first of a series of free surgeries to help repair his looks after his face was seriously burnt in a fire but he may also get to see his mother.

The Shanghai Charity Foundation said that Zhang's mother, who abandoned him after the terrible fire, would show up today before the surgery to support her son.

"We all hope that the mother can be back home because Zhang and his family really need her," said Li Chen, an official with the foundation.

Doctors have finished the pre-operation examination, having invited psychologists for mental consultation over Zhang. They said the boy was in relatively stable mood.

Today's operation will mend the tissues around his eyes and mouth, to solve the problem of visual development and eating difficulty. The second phase, to be carried out in four to six months, will mainly involve the plastic surgery part, doctors said.

Born in suburban Jinshan District, the boy's farmer family have endured tough economic conditions. After the tragic home fire last year, which caused injuries to Zhang and his grandfather, their condition worsened further. It was during this time that the mother walked out on the family.

The family's misfortune has touched a chord in the city. Until yesterday, the foundation had collected more than 75,000 yuan (US$11,042) for the boy through donations.

Because of his facial injuries, Zhang was nicknamed "Little Monster." But last week he finally gained admission to a kindergarten.


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