An 8-year-old girl kept in a pigsty by her mentally-ill mother is recovering from malnutrition and lung infections in a hospital in southwest China’s Sichuan Province.
The girl, nicknamed Xiaozhong, was saved after Peng Liying, the newly appointed deputy director of Daocheng County, visited their home last month.
“Her legs were crossed. Only a ragged blanket covered her body and she was wearing a red hat. She seemed unable to move, as if she was stuck in crevices in a rock,” Peng told the People’s Daily website.
Peng raised 27,000 yuan (US$4,400) from a local women’s federation, the Red Cross and the civil affairs authority and took Xiaozhong to Chengdu, the provincial capital.
She was suffering from severe malnutrition and was only 78 centimeters tall and 7 kilograms in weight. A healthy 8-year-old would be around 115 to 130 centimeters and 30 kilograms.
She was also diagnosed with severe lung infections and congenital heart disease, China News Service reported.
After almost three weeks in hospital, Xiaozhong has gained 500 grams. Doctors say her malnutrition has eased and the lung infections are under control.
However, she can’t speak and is unable to swallow and nurses have to feed her using syringes. She’s also too weak to undergo heart surgery, said Tan Jiao, a doctor at the Sichuan Bayi Rehabilitation Center.