Finding her lost voice

By Huang Zhaohua and Wu Tingting
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, November 5, 2010
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Finding her lost voice
Mika's picture of "the nice auntie" who saved her from being run over at the Shanghai Expo. [China Daily]

A 7-year-old Malaysian girl says her first words in three years, after an Expo staff member saves her from being hit by a car. Huang Zhaohua and Wu Tingting report

The 7-year-old girl opened her mouth and, for the first time in three years, words came out.

"Take the zebra crossing," the little Malaysian girl, Mika, said to her mother. She was echoing the words spoken to her on Aug 11 by Guangxi Pavilion staff member Lu Shaoqing, who pulled the girl out of the path of a speeding car at the Expo Garden.

Mika's family had just finished eating at an open-air restaurant during a night visit to the Expo when the girl dashed out in front of an approaching vehicle. Lu was the only one who noticed the girl bolting in front of the car, and grabbed her and hauled her out of the way in the nick of time.

"Take the zebra crossing while crossing the street," said Lu to Mika's parents when returning the girl to them. Her knee was grazed during the incident.

Lu noticed Mika had a chronic asthma card. She suggested the girl's parents take her to the Expo clinic for further examination in case she suffered an asthma attack.

Mika's mother Phasa Bt Maran said in the thank-you note Lu received on Sunday, "I was so frightened at that moment and didn't know what to do. I didn't appreciate your help, but scolded you. But you gave me a gentle smile and said nothing back."

That smile helped the panicky mother calm down. But before she could apologize for her rude reaction, Lu was gone.

It was a few days later that Mika, who hadn't spoken since receiving severe brain trauma in an accident three years ago, broke her silence.

The mother and daughter were crossing the street when Mika reminded her mom, "Take the zebra crossing."

She didn't speak again until she showed her mother a picture she had drawn during a rehabilitation session of a smiling woman in a blue dress with an identity badge standing in front of the China Pavilion.

"A nice Expo auntie," she said, smiling. "Xiexie (Thank you)."

Finding her lost voice
Lu Shaoqing, who worked as a Guangxi Pavilion staff member during the Expo, receives a thank-you note with a crayon picture Mika had drawn of her.

Those are the only two sentences Mika has spoken since the accident.

Whenever she sees the iconic, red building on television, Mika reiterates her thanks to the "nice auntie".

Mika's family began searching for their child's savior, whose name they didn't know.

While they believe Lu is "the most beautiful woman at the Expo", finding her among the crowds proved impossible, they said.

They went to the site three times in September and October, wandering around the Guangxi and China pavilions, and seeking help from a multitude of staff members and volunteers. On one occasion Mika stood at the Guangxi Pavilion's gate for more than 10 hours.

After striking out at the Expo, the family traveled to Nanning, capital of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on Oct 15, to visit the government department responsible for the Guangxi Pavilion. Unfortunately, the trip was to no avail.

Eventually, the family had to return to Malaysia without having found - and thanked - the mystery miracle worker.

Then, another remarkable thing happened: Mika, who has a special gift for remembering numbers, scribbled "312511" on her picture of "the nice auntie". The family figured out the numbers had come from Lu's Expo ID.

This enabled them to track Lu down, and they sent her a thank-you note attached to the crayon picture Mika had drawn of her.

Lu says she remembers Mika as a pretty girl with beautiful eyes and thick hair.

"I hope Mika gets better," Lu says, smiling.

Shao Wei contributed to the story


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