Ill man comes home via ‘small links’

By Jason Pan  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 - Page 3

An elderly Taiwanese who suffered a paralyzing stroke while on a business trip in China earlier this year was transported home yesterday with the assistance of the Chinese and Taiwanese authorities via the “small three links,” from Xiamen to Kinmen.

The 65-year old Taitung County resident, surnamed Huang (黃), was assisted by Red Cross Society Kinmen branch director Chen Chung-fei (陳忠飛), because none of Huang’s family members in Taiwan wanted to help him.

Chen said Huang traveled to Pingding in China’s Henan Province in February to conduct business in chemical fertilizers used in agriculture. He became paralyzed on Sept. 9, losing some bodily functions and the ability to speak.

Friends brought Huang to a hospital in Pingding and doctors there diagnosed him as having suffered a cerebral infarction — a stroke resulting from the interruption of blood flow to the brain.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) branch in Pingding contacted the Straits Exchange Foundation, which communicated with the Red Cross office in Kinmen to arrange for Huang’s transportation.

Officials notified Huang’s family in Taitung, but nobody was willing to bring him home.

At Xiamen’s Wutong Harbor, Huang was handed over to Chen and his team of volunteers, who then boarded a “small three links” ferry to Kinmen yesterday.

According to reports, after receiving treatment in Pingding, Huang was stable, but the right side of his body remains paralyzed, he is still unable to speak and has lost control over his bowels.

Chen added that Huang’s medical bills amounted to more than 60,000 yuan (US$9,600), which the TAO bureau in Pingding covered.

Huang will be transported on a military aircraft from Kinmen to Pingtung Airport, where officials from the Bureau of Health of Taitung City will arrange for him to receive care at a local welfare organization.