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January 31, 2011

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Rare blood type senior recovering after surgery

AN 87-year-old man is recovering after major surgery, following an appeal for donors matching his rare blood type.

Doctors from the city's Zhongshan Hospital said Zhang Jingdi, who has AB Rh negative blood, is in stable condition after a major operation, and received another 400 milliliters of blood transfusions over the weekend.

Zhang, who spent 25 years devoting himself to charity work, is in the intensive care unit and will remain in hospital for at least a week.

Last Wednesday he underwent surgery to remove a large tumor from his abdomen and left kidney, doctors said yesterday.

The hospital received 1.4 liters of AB Rh negative blood from Shanghai Blood Center last Thursday and Friday. It applied for another 400 milliliters on Saturday due to Zhang's anemia, caused by his age, and blood loss in surgery. "The patient is still weak and may suffer certain complications," said Dr Zhu Tongyu, Zhang's chief surgeon.

AB negative blood is found only among 0.03 to 0.04 percent of Chinese but the blood type is more common among Caucasians.

"My father should need more blood due to his anemia," said his son Zhang Chunyu yesterday.

"We contacted the media last week since no family members have the same blood type and there are few stores due to its rarity."

Since Zhang's story was highlighted, people with the same blood type have offered their help.

"Some children who were helped by my father sent flowers to hospital today," Zhang Chunyu said.

Zhang, a retired teacher, is renowned for helping the city's needy, in cooperation with expatriates. He has raised more than 5 million yuan (US$759,128).


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