Dust explosion victims take part in a ‘rebirthing’ ceremony at hospital
Eight injured victims from the Formosa Water Park explosions in late June were discharged yesterday from the Tri-Service General Hospital ( ), following the hospital’s “rebirthing” ceremony in celebration of their recovery.
Tri-Service admitted 61 injured after the explosions, and a total of 31 were successfully discharged or transferred, according to Chen Hsi-ken ( ), the head of the hospital’s surgery department who also serves as a professor at the National Defense Medical Center.
Among the discharged burn patients was 22-year-old Chen Weiyu ( ), who sustained burns to over 38 percent his body. His girlfriend however remains in the hospital and is still undergoing treatment as she sustained burns to over 40 percent of her body.
Chen described the rehabilitation process as “extremely painful,” a pain that he compared to being 10 times more intense than giving birth. Another friend of Chen’s sustained burns to 54 percent of his body, and is still undergoing medical treatment. For brothers Kuo Chin-wei ( ), 19 years old, and Kuo Hsiu-ming ( ), 23 years old, both maintained a positive outlook regarding their injuries despite the pain. “The doctors and nurses are just like our friends,” the younger Kuo said, recalling the cheerful mood in the hospital ward as they recovered and underwent treatment. The younger Kuo sustained burns to 10 percent of his body while the older Kuo had more serious injuries, to around 40 percent of his body.
The older Kuo emotionally expressed his gratitude to the hospital medical staff and his family, saying “it was really painful,” but said he was lucky, as many more are battling injuries against seemingly insurmountable odds.
Cheng Chih-hsuan ( ), a student studying at Taipei Medical School who sustained burns to around 5 percent of her body, remembered calling her mother who lives in Hualien while she was still conscious, telling her about the explosions. Afterwards, Cheng was admitted into the hospital. During her interview, she had to keep pressure on the wounds on her leg, which were seeping fluids, through pressure garments, as her injuries were itchy.
In the same hospital ward as Cheng was Tsai Chia-hua ( ), who received burns to 30 percent of her body and who compared water rehabilitation therapy to scrubbing coarse sponges on her wounds. “My legs didn’t feel like they were mine at all,” Tsai said, recalling the discomfort and pain.
Chen Wei-yu ( ), second row center, poses with other patients who were injured during the Formosa Water Park explosions yesterday. The Tri-Service General Hospital ( ) held a rebirthing party to celebrate the recovery of Chen and seven other patients.