Fri, Jan 20, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Miracle dancer back on her feet at last

STAFF WRITER

Hsiao Wei dances to celebrate her recovery from heart and kidney transplants at a ceremony yesterday. Hospital staff threw the professional dancer a party to mark her return home from the National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei.

PHOTO: CNA

Late last year, doctors at National Taiwan University Hospital took turns to manually give a woman cardiopulminary resuscitation (CPR) for 280 minutes -- more than four-and-a-half hours -- and succeeded in saving her life.

According to a report in a local Chinese-language newspaper, the hospital organized a ceremony yesterday morning to mark the return home of the patient, a young woman identified only as Hsiao Wei (小薇).Wearing a face mask, Hsiao Wei surprised onlookers by putting on a dance performance as a symbol of her recovery.

In late November, 27-year-old Hsiao Wei, a dancer for superstar singers Jay Chou (周杰倫) and Jasmine Leong (梁靜茹), went to a doctor after developing a fever. She was diagnosed with a cold, but her situation deteriorated and she had difficulty breathing.

She was first admitted to hospital and placed under observation, but was transferred to National Taiwan University Hospital's emergency ward. Yu Hsi-yu (虞希庾) a surgeon at the hospital, said that three or four staff gave her a heart massage for 280 minutes.

If vital signs have not returned after 10 minutes of CPR, there is very little chance of a patient recovering. If more than one hour passes, brain damage is probable even if the patient survives.

Yu was quoted as saying that despite her pulse and blood pressure being extremely weak, Hsiao Wei was still able to blink, move her hands and seemed to be full of the will to live. The doctors persisted until her condition finally improved.

After being placed on life support, Hsiao Wei's heart and kidneys stopped functioning. It was later determined that Hsiao Wei suffered from fulminant myocarditis. After 10 days, a heart and kidneys were located and the transplants saved her life.

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