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July 2, 2014

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Little girl left in limbo in hospital since 2012 reunited with mother

HAVING lived in Shanghai Children’s Hospital for two and a half years, a little girl known as Alimu has been reunited with her mother and other relatives, after they traveled from Aksu Prefecture in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Though the results of a maternity test will take 15 working days, it is almost certain that the 19-year-old woman is the girl’s mother, said the hospital.

The family returned to Xinjiang yesterday morning and said they will come back to Shanghai to take the girl home when the test results come out.

The girl’s father is also believed to be in Aksu, Ha Ni, the Xinjiang woman who helped Alimu find her mother, told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

As Shanghai Daily reported last month, Alimu is the survivor of premature twins born in Putuo District. They were transferred to the children’s hospital immediately after birth, but her sister died of a serious infection, while her mother disappeared.

Alimu has been raised by medics in the hospital in a 12-square-meter sterile room.

This is because without a residence permit she cannot receive vaccinations, which should be given to all children under 6.

“All female doctors and nurses there are her mothers and sisters, while the males are fathers and brothers,” said Du Yingmin, a head nurse who has been looking after Alimu since she was sent into the hospital.

Local police could not find Alimu’s mother according to the information she had left in the hospital, though they found the child’s aunt in 2013.

This left Alimu in limbo because as her relatives had been traced she could not be sent to a home or adopted.

Alimu’s situation had led to concerns from people around the city and further afield because she could go nowhere without official identity.

Ha Ni, a Xinjiang woman and wife of a Shanghai man, read Alimu’s story in newspapers and watched a related TV program in early June.

“It touched me that so many people are caring for Alimu. As an Aksu native, I think I should also help her,” she told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

Looks the same

She contacted the hospital and Shanghai police for information and asked relatives and friends in Xinjiang for help.

Friends found Alimu’s maternal grandfather, a hat seller.

When he saw photos of Alimu, he was almost certain that the girl was his granddaughter as she looked almost the same as his daughter when she was a child.

Ha Ni and two friends bought railway and flight tickets for him and other relatives and came along with them.

The grandfather brought a suit of colorful Uygur clothes and hat for the girl.

After that, Alimu’s mother, who married recently, also came to the hospital.

She said she had tried to see her daughters in the hospital in Putuo, where she gave birth, but could not find them.

As she was unable to speak Mandarin and medics there could not speak Uygur, she did not know they had been transferred.

Instead of Alimu, the surname of the girl’s father, her maternal grandfather has given her a new name, which they wish to keep secret for now.

Doctors and nurses in the hospital are happy that Alimu will be reunited with her family, but also sad to see her go.

“We have been with her for two and a half years and we all love her,” said Du, “We hope that she can have a happy life with her family and that her stepfather will like her.”

“But we know she should not be restricted in this 12-square-meter room. Though filled with toys bought by nurses and members of the public who have got to know her story, it restricted her growth physically and psychologically, as well as her development of living skills and knowledge,” she added.

Medics have been busy taking pictures with Alimu, before they must say goodbye to the little girl.

There have been eight seriously sick babies left in the medical institute since 2009. With the exception of Alimu’s sister, all recovered.

According to Youth Daily, Alimu’s mother gave birth to the twins on January 15, 2012 at a time when police were seeking her in connection with a theft. She is said to have run away from the hospital. The girl’s father was a drug addict.


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