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107-Year-Old Lady Fitted with Pacemaker
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A 107-year-old lady is recovering in hospital after becoming the oldest person in China to be fitted with a pacemaker last week.


Zhai Xiuying, who suffered breathing difficulties and whose heart rate was only 20 beats per minute, had the operation to fit a pacemaker at the No. 1 Hospital in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, last Saturday.


The operation lasted more than three hours and was a success, said Dr. Song Qinggang who performed the operation.


Dr. Song said Zhai is recuperating and her heart rate has increased to 60 beats per minute. "She was able to sit up for a chat with us yesterday," he said.


Despite her age, Zhai was perfectly healthy apart from her recent heart problems, her daughter told Xinhua. "She was never fussy about food and had a good appetite."


The daughter said a good sense of humor and a healthy amount of exercise also contributed to the old lady's longevity. "She enjoys walking and taking care of the household chores. Red is her favorite color and she likes scarlet shirts and jackets." Many Chinese people believe wearing red can induce happiness and bring luck.


Zhai is a native of central China's Henan Province and is now a permanent resident in downtown Xi'an.


She is by far the oldest person in China to have a pacemaker fitted, said Zhu Hongying, an official with the hospital.


Last year, a 104-year-old was fitted with a pacemaker at the Beijing-based Anzhen Hospital.


(Xinhua News Agency August 24, 2006)

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