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March 15, 2012

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Girl goes home after 5-year stay in hospital

AN 11-year-old girl who has lived in a city hospital for nearly five years after she was abandoned by her parents left Shanghai yesterday with officials from her hometown 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 launched an investigation with help from Shanghai Ruijin Hospital and discovered that the child abuse case was a fake. Police didn't reveal any details, including how a farmer couple could have worked out such an elaborate scheme and why the girl was so badly wounded. The purpose of the whole charade, according to police, was to get free medical treatment for the girl, who was suffering from serious congenital disease in the spine.

When a man and a woman who claimed to be her parents brought her to the hospital, she was paralyzed, vomiting blood and leaking urine. After treatment, her health recovered but she was still paralyzed.

Some months later, the hospital contacted her parents, asking them to take her back, but they claimed they were divorced and their new families would not accept the girl.

Ding was thus forced to stay at Ruijin for the past few years while the hospital tried to contact government officials from the her hometown. Poyang County officials agreed last year to take the girl back to her parents and provide her with schooling. The hospital waived her medical fees of about 300,000 yuan (US$47,600).


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