De­tails emerge in story of teacher who caught fall­ing child

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHOU HUIYING in Harbin zhouhuiy­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Xiao Qi, 38, an English teacher at No 11 Se­nior High School in Harbin, Hei­long jiang province, didn’t hes­i­tate to open his arms to catch a 6-year-old girl who fell from a third-floor win­dow on Sun­day as she leaned out to call to her grand­fa­ther.

On Wed­nes­day, the girl, Mei Qing­wen, was in the in­ten­sive care unit of No 1 Af­fil­i­ated Hos­pi­tal of Harbin Med­i­cal Univer­sity, with kid­ney and lung dam­age and skull frac­tures, ac­cord­ing to her grandmother, Yu Huilan. But the girl’s con­di­tion seemed to be im­prov­ing.

“For­tu­nately, my grand­daugh­ter is now out of dan­ger and has re­gained con­scious­ness,” Yu said. “The doc­tor said Xiao’s heroic action greatly re­duced the dam­age.” Xiao ex­plained the de­tails: “On Sun­day after­noon, as I was on my way home, I saw a girl lean­ing out the win­dow on a build­ing’s third floor,” he said. “I at­tempted to warn her with a loud shout, but she looked flus­tered and didn’t seem to be lis­ten­ing.”

Mei was born with a hearing dis­abil­ity and only learned to speak af­ter un­der­go­ing cochlear im­plant surgery to pro­vide some sound through a tiny elec­tri­cal de­vice.

But the im­plant was out of power at the time, so she couldn’t hear Xiao.

“I was not think­ing about any­thing,” Xiao con­tin­ued. “I acted on instinct to save her life.”

Xiao sus­tained mi­nor in­juries to his arm as a re­sult of the force­ful im­pact of the catch. He was able to slow her de­scent con­sid­er­ably but couldn’t hold on.

“If I had caught her bet­ter, maybe she would be less se­ri­ously in­jured,” he said with ev­i­dent re­morse.

Xiao di­aled the emer­gency 120 num­ber and left with­out a word af­ter the am­bu­lance ar­rived.

Yu, the grandmother, wanted to find the iden­tity of the hero and asked a lo­cal broad­cast­ing sta­tion for help the next day.

“My neigh­bors told me only that he was a mid­dle-aged, medium height and wore glasses,” Yu said. “Work­ing with many peo­ple to­gether, we fi­nally found him.”

“I can’t ex­press my thanks with sim­ple words,” she said. “I can’t imag­ine what would have hap­pened with­out his help. He is the sav­ior of my whole fam­ily.”

Yu said that when the girl found that she had been left alone by her grand­fa­ther, who was go­ing to the mar­ket, she wanted to sig­nal to him through the win­dow.

Xiao was pass­ing by at the time and acted quickly to catch her when she fell.

His col­leagues at the high school were not sur­prised.

“Of course, he’d rush to help. He’s very kind and will­ing to help oth­ers. He is a provin­cial­level ex­cel­lent teacher, and in June we rec­om­mended him to be named among the city’s Teach­ers of the Year,” said Wang Zu­osheng, the prin­ci­pal.

“In my mind he is al­ways my hero,” said Peng Ana, Xiao’s wife. “This is not the first time he’s saved some­one’s life.”

Peng re­counted an in­ci­dent in the win­ter of 2003. Xiao found a young girl who seemed to be hav­ing thoughts of sui­cide on a busy traf­fic bridge. He spoke pa­tiently with her. Fi­nally the girl changed her mind.

Li Bing, a physics teacher at Harbin No 3 High School was quoted in the Hei­longjiang Morn­ing Post say­ing the girl, who weighed about 20 kilo­grams, would gen­er­ate as much as much as 75 kilo­grams of di­rect force in a fall of three sto­ries.

Ne­ti­zens praised Xiao’s hero­ism. “Such a good deed is a ray of sun­shine that warms and en­cour­ages us,” one per­son posted. “He is re­ally the most beau­ti­ful teacher in the city, and I be­lieve virtue will be re­warded.”

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