The mother of a one-year-old baby girl who died after being taken to a hospital in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan with suspected influenza tells her story to RFA's Cantonese Service, as the family calls for justice and a formal response to the infant's death. Government officials and hospital staff have so far refused to comment. Yang, who comes from a family currently fighting eviction from their homes, said her baby was taken to the hospital this week with flu-like symptoms:
"But then after they put her on a drip at the hospital, she started vomiting white foam and blood. The doctor changed the medicine she was getting and said she was stable and that we could leave."
However, her daughter's condition worsened later that day, and she was brought back to the hospital for further treatment, where she died during emergency treatment.
Yang said she suspected the hospital of tampering with the medical notes so as to cover up an error:
"I took the prescription myself to the pharmacy to get the medicine, and gave it to the medical staff [for infusion via the drip]. I could see the name of the medicine very clearly. But in the report the hospital gave us later, the name of the medicine had been changed."
When confronted by the family, the hospital offered them money, but gave no detailed explanation of the causes of the infant's death, she said.
"I would stake my life on it. There was a problem with those containers of medicine. The hospital hasn't confirmed or denied it. Later, when we were discussing it with them, they said they would 'take pity on us' and pay out 10,000 yuan (U.S. $1,630). I was so angry when they said that. I am the child's mother. I am suffering a great deal, emotionally. Now my baby is gone."
"We wanted to seek them out and demand justice. We unfurled a banner, with the result that 40 or 50 police came and beat us. They were sent by the county governor, for sure. One person was seriously injured, with a broken arm. Two or three others had minor injuries and they didn't go to hospital. We are all in the midst of grief because of what happened to my child."
Reported by Wen Yuqing for RFA's Cantonese service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.