A Chinese newborn survived being buried alive for two hours. The newborn girl's parents buried her alive after she was born premature because they thought she was stillborn.
The baby, who has not been named, was born to Chinese couple Lu Xiayun and her husband He Yong in a rural farming area of Dongdong in northeast China's Liaoning Province.
Lu was working on the farm when she felt a sudden sharp pain in her belly and went into labor unexpectedly. She gave birth in a pool of blood to what she thought was a stillborn infant at four months of pregnancy. She called her husband, He, who rushed home from work and found his wife with a preterm baby he also thought was stillborn.
He called an ambulance. When the ambulance came, the staff asked for the baby, but He said his wife had suffered a miscarriage at four months of pregnancy and the baby had died.
The ambulance rushed Lu to the hospital while Lu's mother buried the newborn girl under a tree in the family's yard, believing she had died.
But doctors at the hospital insisted that they would have to see the newborn to confirm she had actually died because they thought there was a chance she had survived despite being born premature.
The father of the child, He, rushed back home and was shocked to learn that his mother-in-law had buried her. But he went to the yard and dug up the baby. And once again, he was shocked to find that the newborn was still breathing, and she had survived being buried alive for two hours.
He rushed the baby back to the hospital where doctors confirmed that contrary to Lu's belief that she was four months pregnant when she went into labor and had a miscarriage, the baby was born premature at six months.
Doctors took care of the newborn at the hospital and she survived. However, after three days of care at the hospital, He ran out of money to pay hospital bills and the baby was discharged.
"My mother-in-law has chronic diseases and I also have a 7-year-old daughter. My wife doesn't have a job. I am the only one who works."But fortunately, the Chinese media picked up the story and soon people began donating to the family. The family has since been able to return the child to the hospital for further treatment.
Doctors who were caring for the child in an incubator said her condition was improving, according to the Daily Mail.
An unpleasant aspect of the reaction to the story was the suspicion that the family deliberately hastened to bury the child because it was a girl. However, Chinese media reports give no evidence to support this suspicion. But it is widely acknowledged that female infanticide has been practiced in China for centuries as a result of social, cultural and economic factors which confer an inferior status on the female child compared with the male child. The practice reportedly peaked during the years of the one-child policy of the Communist government.
But with the Chinese government having recently eased the policy, it is hoped that the practice would abate.
Lu and He also have a 7-year-old daughter. Lu's mother, who buried the newborn, lives with the couple.
[Images: HAP/Quirky China News/REX via Daily Mail]