Han Huiying: Angel in Yushu

By Li Zheng
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, July 21, 2011
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Han Huiying [File photo] 

Han Huiying, party chief and director at the People's Hospital of Yushu in Qinghai Province, has died. She was 48.

Friends and coworkers still remember July 3, 2010, the day Han left Yushu for medical treatment, vividly.

On April 14, 2010, a strong earthquake hit Yushu. Han was staying in a hospital in Xining, the capital city of Qinghai, suffering a series of diseases including allergic purpura, hypertension and heart disease.

Shocked to learn the bad news, Han took out her IV and was back in a car headed for Yunshu in less than a half hour. After an 800-kilometer drive, Han appeared before hospital staff at 10 p.m. "When we saw her, we knew we had our backbone back," said one doctor.

Directing rescue efforts, organizing the evacuation of the injured, transporting medical supplies, unloading shipments of aid, visiting and consoling workers, setting up a simple cafeteria, setting up a disaster area quarantine – the earthquake was a massive test for Han and her colleagues.

From the moment Han arrived at Yushu, she was totally bound to the city. It was the first earthquake the area had ever seen. Chaos broke out. Han joined with her colleagues to shoulder the heavy burden.

Under Han's leadership, the hospital successfully evacuated more than 500 people on the first day of the quake without any casualties. Over the three days after the earthquake, the hospital treated 3,400 wounded and transferred more than 400 seriously injured patients to other bigger hospitals.

Thanks to Han's efforts, the hospital work returned to normal, cooperating with the Jinan Military Area Command's medical staff to successively implement hospital reconstruction work.

Han lost her home in the earthquake. During the two more months after the disaster, she lived on an ambulance, which was cold and crowded. If there was anything the patients needed, Han was not far away. But she never lost heart or gave up. Disregarding her own illness, she was always smiling and determined.

Then things took a turn. Overwhelmed by heavy work under the poor situation, Han's condition became worse. At the end of June, her allergic purpura recurred. She went into a coma and had to be transferred to the Fourth People's Hospital of Qinghai. The day after she entered the hospital, her condition became critical. She was transferred to Beijing for further treatment. But the treatments didn't work. On the morning of Aug. 23, Han died in Beijing.

When the news arrived at Yushu, people were stunned. No one could accept it. The memory of Han welled up in their minds. When talking about her deeds, words such as hard-working, warm, kind, dedicated, careful, attentive, responsible and qualified rained down.

"The moment she was put into our hospital, she was suffering from serious hepatitis B and liver failure. Her serious state was due to overstrain and lack of treatment," said Yu Guoying, director of the liver disease department at the Fourth People's Hospital of Qinghai. "When she was transferred to Beijing, she was very unwilling, saying 'It's too far.' I know what she meant. Beijing, indeed, is too far from Yushu. She wanted to do more for Yushu."

"At 17, Han Huiying became a pediatrician at the People's Hospital of Yushu. For 31 years, she treated patients as her family members." said Jiang Xi, vice director of the People's Hospital of Yushu and Han's colleague of 20 years.

"From the day I came to this hospital, she has required us to treat the kids as our own. She taught me how to change diapers and how to powder a baby. She illustrated perfectly what medical ethics stood for," colleague Dr. Cairen Zhuoma said.

"She was warm and always unclouded. She set an example for us. We couldn't tell she was so ill. I was expecting a baby when the earthquake happened, so she urged me to rest more. But she kept working despite her illness," coworker Dr. Danzhou Maola said.

Several years ago, Zhangxi Qiuyang's little daughter caught tuberculosis. It was Han Huiying who helped the family through their financial difficulties with 4,000 yuan. During the daughter's hospitalization, Han showed great concern.

The hospital worked well under Han's leadership. "Do all we can for the good of the patients." served as the motto of the People's Hospital of Yushu, which offered high-quality service and low fees to area residents. Even patients far from Yushu came to the hospital for treatment.

In Han's spare time, she also made advances in medical research. She wrote and published many excellent papers, breaking new ground on the treatment of pediatric diseases on the plateau and providing valuable data on children's health and diseases treatment at a high altitude. In November 2010, Han Huiying was invited to attend the Third Global Conference of Telemedicine and the International East-West Medical Exchange.

"My mother spent all her time on patients," said Suonan Deji, Han's daughter. "She was very optimistic. When she saw a notice saying a patient was in serious condition, she kept her cool. 'It's nothing,' she would say."

In Beijing, she was in a coma most of the time. When she was dying, the last thing she did was to ask my father to donate 1,000 yuan to Zhouqu, a city in Gansu that had been hit by severe landslides.''

But Han never thought she had done enough. When the time came to take stock of rescue workers' performances, Han was never willing to report about herself. The central Party committee designated the party committee of the People's Hospital of Yuhu as collective heroes. On June 30, Han made her last appearance before the staff. But they could never forget her. In face of catastrophe, Han set an example. "As a CPC member, she does all she can. As a model of our party, she gives us power," said Zhou Yulan, head pediatric nurse.

In post-earthquake Yushu, life has returned to normal. But people find it impossible to forget Han who lies at rest in the ground underneath.

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