Burned auto worker remains in critical condition

Updated: 2013-08-13 00:14

By Liu Kun and Wang Qingyun (China Daily)

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A 54-year-old man in Hubei province who suffered major burns to 96 percent of his body in an auto factory incident remains in critical condition after receiving two skin grafts from his two sons.

Liu Shengjun had surgery on Saturday to transplant skin to his back from his younger son Liu Yang. It was Liu Shengjun's third skin graft after an incident at an auto parts factory in Xiangyang, Hubei province, on June 18, left almost his entire body with high-degree burns.

Burned auto worker remains in critical condition

An aunt wipes away tears from Liu Yang's face after he had surgery to transplant his skin to his father on Saturday.Miao Jian / for China Daily

On June 19, he had his first surgery in Wuhan, where doctors took skin from his scalp to replace damaged skin on his limbs. But in July, the wounds on his torso began to fester and on July 21, doctors used the skin from the scalp and back of Liu Shengjun's elder son, Liu Pei, to perform the surgery.

Doctors recommended using the skin from Liu Shengjun's younger son for the third surgery because the elder son was still recovering. Liu Yang reportedly offered to use his skin.

"The (Saturday) surgery went fine. We took off 10 percent of the younger son's skin," said Xie Weiguo, vice-president of the Third Hospital of Wuhan, where Liu is being hospitalized.

Both Liu Yang and Liu Shengjun's wife, Dai Yalan, said the family has spent more than 800,000 yuan ($130,660) on hospital treatment.

"He earned about 2,000 yuan every month, but didn't sign a contract with the factory he works for and he doesn't have insurance of any kind," said Dai. "Now we owe money to at least 30 people and we owe more than 80,000 yuan to the hospital for the treatment."

The auto parts factory has paid 70,000 yuan to the hospital for Liu Shengjun's treatment, but the factory still owes him salary, Liu Yang said, without giving a specific amount.

Liu Yang has sold his apartment for 200,000 yuan to help pay for some of the treatment.

"We plan to turn to the authorities to solve this problem, but right now we need to take care of my father and we don't have much energy for other issues," Liu Yang said.

Xie Weiguo, vice-president of the Third Hospital of Wuhan, said treatment for these cases usually costs about 2 million yuan.

"We will continue the treatment no matter what. My father is only 54 and we will do all that we can. I don't dare think what the future may hold, but I need to face it and help him to get through this," Liu Yang said.

Public sympathy has grown for the family's plight. The family has so far received more than 110,000 yuan in public donations, said He Liang, a reporter with Wuhan Morning Post, which is monitoring the charitable account for Liu.

"Their help gave me great comfort. I'm really moved," Liu Pei said.