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September 9, 2010

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Mom absent as boy recovers

WHEN five-year-old Zhang Hao awoke from surgery to repair his fire-damaged face yesterday, his mother was not there to comfort him as she'd promised.

The mother, who left the boy six months after the fire, had told the Shanghai Charity Foundation she intended to be with her son when he had the surgery, but she failed to turn up.

But Zhang's father, his grandparents and more than 20 women moved by the boy's plight, were there to support him.

"I called her, but she wouldn't answer the phone call, and no one in the family knows where she is," said Xia Xiaoying, the boy's grandmother. "And the foundation officials told me when they told her about the boy's condition, she couldn't help crying."

However, foundation officials are still hopeful that the mother would visit the boy in the next few days.

More than 20 women have said they are willing to look after Zhang instead of his mother.

They brought many toys for him yesterday, and were discussing what they could do for him next.

The foundation has also collected more than 75,000 yuan (US$6,521) for the farmer's family from Jinshan District, who had been left in poverty after the fire.

Doctors said Zhang wasn't able to open his mouth fully or close his right eye after the fire, so they had to operate to correct both conditions.

"What we should do first is to solve his eating problem and to prevent his eyesight dropping," Professor Feng Shengzhi, a doctor at the hospital, said before yesterday's surgery.

Zhang is to stay in hospital for about a month but will face two other operations, one in four to six months and the last when he is 16.


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