updated 14 Jan 2012, 14:58
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Thu, Dec 29, 2011
China Daily/Asia News Network
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'Beautiful mother' and saved child healing fast

SHANGHAI - Falling down 10 floors seemingly did not leave much negative impact on Zhang Fangyu, nicknamed Niuniu, a 2-year-old girl who was miraculously saved by a woman when the toddler fell out the window of her home in July.

"She is in good spirits, the same as she was before the accident," said Zhang Zhonghua, the girl's father.

The Hangzhou girl continues to receive recovery treatment in Zhejiang People's Hospital for about three to four hours from Monday to Friday. The therapy includes massage, training in grasping things and walking, with the aim to improve muscle strength.

"She is recovering well except that the fingers on her left hand are not flexible enough and the left foot tip is not rising normally," said the father. "Doctors told us she needed to receive regular therapy until she was 16."

The girl has put on weight during the half-year treatment.

"Now she is over 16 kg (the average weight of a child her age), and I can hardly carry her on one arm," said the father, with a smile.

Back home from the hospital, the girl spent most of her time watching cartoon and playing with kids from neighboring houses, Zhang said. "She also likes going to the supermarket very much and is interested in almost everything on the shelves."

The accident brought along a very significant person to Niuniu's life. Wu Juping, 31 and the mother of a 7-month-old boy, who caught hold of the girl even as she was on the way to hitting the ground at full force, broke her left arm in the process. She is now a close friend of the Zhang family.

As both Niuniu and Wu are progressing on the road of recovery, the two families have bonded well. Wu often visits Niuniu and the two families watched a fireworks show together in October.

Wu has been given various awards and was crowned "the most beautiful mother" by Chinese netizens ever since her story received extensive coverage by media. Her selfless act of generosity was a welcome departure from the slew of stories about people hesitating to help strangers in the hour of need, published in recent years.

A sculpture titled "mother's love", inspired by Wu's brave and selfless act, was erected near the residences of Wu and Niuniu. Wu has been invited to various workplaces to tell her story and inspire others.

Being able to hold her son again recently was one of the happiest developments in Wu's life, although her left arm has not fully recovered and she is unable to hold heavy things. She likes taking her son out to enjoy the winter sunshine in the residential complex where she lives. Sometimes, she would be recognized by passers-by and chatted up.

Wu said she has gradually adjusted to a life that attracted people's attention, but did not think of herself as a heroine.

"All I did was simply out of a mother's instinct. If I have played a role that benefitted others, then what I did was worthwhile," she said.

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