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November 6, 2009

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Toddler struck by mom dies week later

A THREE-YEAR-OLD girl who was severely injured by her mother passed away early Wednesday morning after a week in coma at a southern China hospital.

The girl had been in critical condition and relied on an artificial respirator since she was sent to the Nanshan Hospital in Guangdong Province's Shenzhen City on October 27, her doctor told the local news Website yesterday.

Her mother was caught by police the next night while trying to visit the girl in hospital. She is being kept under police supervision at home, accused of involuntary manslaughter, police said.

The mother, surnamed Hong, was said to often beat the daughter.

But, being two months' pregnant, Hong is likely to escape criminal punishment, police earlier said.

Hong has been in an unstable condition after learning of her daughter's death, according to the girl's father surnamed Liu. She keeps threatening to commit suicide, he said.

Liu visited the hospital on Wednesday morning to beg the hospital to waive the 15,000 yuan (US$2,200) medical costs for the daughter.

He said the family was financially crippled and his wife was pregnant.

The girl was injured after Hong accidentally pushed her to the ground from a bed during a dispute between the couple, police said yesterday.

But Liu earlier told media he had been absent when the tragedy occurred and the girl was injured after Hong punched her to the ground.

The girl had swelling to her head and bruises across her body when she was sent to the hospital.

The girl had been living with her grandma in central China's Hubei Province until August when she returned to her mother in Shenzhen.


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