Dad: I just want my daughter’s heart to go on beating in this world in another way
GUANGXI – Nine days after his daughter died from brain hemorrhage sustained in an accident at her school, a grief-stricken father in China consented to donate the child’s organs.
It was a decision that Mr Huang Qin made when it was clear nine-year-old Ya Tong (Tong Tong) was losing the battle in the hospital.
In an interview with Chinese daily Xinhua Newspaper Net last week, he recounted: “My cousin asked me one day if I had considered organ donation should Tong Tong not be saved.
“That was when reality hit me hard. I knew my child would die. When I took her to the hospital, doctors had told me the delay aggravated her cerebral hemorrhage.”
Mr Huang said he hid in the corner of the balcony and “I cried for a long time”.
“But I knew what I had to do,” he added.
Organ donation experts at the First People’s Hospital of Nanning later told Mr Huang that all seven of his daughter’s organs, which included her corneas, heart, kidney and liver, were successfully matched.
“In fact, the day that the organs were harvested, there was a transplant operation,” he said.
“When I signed the consent form, my hands were trembling and my heart was bleeding. I’d never thought that I would experience an organ donation.”
On Oct 20 at about 11am, a classmate bumped into Tong Tong as the pupils ran out of the class into the corridor to prepare for their PE lesson. The girl tripped and hit her head against the wall, before passing out on the spot.
Closed-circuit TV footage that Mr Huang viewed later showed a PE teacher having to half carry, half drag his daughter into the teachers’ office.
He said: “Her arms and head were drooping. I was told that when Tong Tong came around, the form teacher gave her a glass of sugar water and asked if she felt unwell, but my daughter shook her head.
“The teacher also called the classmate to the office and asked Tong Tong if she forgave him, to which my daughter said yes. Children like PE lessons, and they probably didn’t realise the seriousness of the situation. Both were seen running out of the office to finish the lesson."
During their lunch break, Tong Tong returned home with her elder sister, but asked to lie down as she felt dizzy. After the lunch break, the sisters returned to school.
At about 2.48pm, Mr Huang, who was at his construction site workplace, received a call from Tong Tong’s form teacher.
“I was told that she seemed to have a tummy ache and had been squatting in the toilet for more than 20 minutes, showing signs of nausea,” he said.
On his way to the school, he received a second call. It was then he was told of the morning’s incident.
“Through the teacher’s phone, I spoke briefly to Tong Tong and all she said was she forgot to have her lunch at noon. Those were her last words to me.”
Upon reaching the school at 3.30pm, Mr Huang saw his daughter lying on the floor in the office. She was unconscious. The school had already called for an ambulance.
“When I touched my child, I felt a swelling on her head that was the size of an egg. I went berserk, I screamed at the teachers and asked why no one realised that earlier,” Mr Huang recalled his shock and fear.
“I couldn’t wait for the ambulance which still had not arrived. I took my child and drove to the nearest women’s and children’s hospital. There, scans showed that my daughter had a brain hemorrhage and the doctors were unable to perform a craniotomy,” he said.
By 5pm, Tong Tong was transferred to Nanning No.1 People's Hospital but her condition worsened. That night, she was taken to First People’s Hospital of Nanning, where she continued to remain in a coma.
Nine days later, the child died.
The school has since apologised to Mr Huang and it has also vowed to strengthen safety management.
Mr Huang said: “I don’t want others to say I am a hero. I don’t know if my daughter would’ve agreed with my decision. Images of how lively and cute she used to be keep popping up in front of me.
“I just want my daughter’s heart to go on beating, and for her to still live in this world in another way.”