Mother’s Ultimate Sacrifice

26 05 2008

For a few days now I wanted to write about the human drama that was unfolding in Myanmar and the Sichuan province of China Two places recently ravaged by catastrophic natural disasters.

Then yesterday I received this email from my sister and though the words are not my own I thought I would use it as my first posting about the earthquake in China. If anyone ever has doubt about a Mother’s Love, then these two stories will definitely dispel them. The first story was traslated by someone who said ” This story should not only stay within the Chinese community”. I am reproducing it here in the original Chinese and the English translation.

Violet
抢救人员发现她的时候,她已经死了,是被垮塌下来的房子压死的,透过那一堆废墟的的间隙可以看到她死亡的姿势,
When rescuers found her, she was already dead, crushed by the collapsed house. Through gaps in the rubbles, they could see her posture.
双膝跪着,整个上身向前匍匐着,双手扶着地支撑着身体,有些象古人行跪拜礼,只是身体被压的变形了,看上去有些诡异。
Kneeling on both knees, her entire upper body bent forward, held up by her two hands pressed against the ground, as if performing the ceremonial bow in an ancient ritual. Except, her body had been compressed out of shape and looked somewhat eerie.
救援人员从废墟的空隙伸手进去确认了她已经死亡,又在冲着废墟喊了几声,用撬棍在在砖头上敲了几下,里面没有任何回应。
A rescuer extended his hand through a gap and confirmed her death. He called out to her, and tapped on the bricks with his shaft, but received no response.
当人群走到下一个建筑物的时候,救援队长忽然往回跑,边跑变喊过来。他又来到她的尸体前,费力的把手伸进女人的身子底下摸索,
As the team walked toward next building, the squad leader suddenly turned back, yelling as he ran, “Come quick!” He came to her remain, labored to maneuver his hand under her body, searching.
他摸了几下高声的喊有人,有个孩子 还活着
He called out following some rummaging, “There’s someone, a child, still alive.”


经过一番努力,人们小心的把挡着她的废墟清理开,在她的身体下面躺着她的孩子,包在一个红色带黄花的小被子里,大概有34个月大,
With some effort, rescuers carefully removed the debris burying her, found her child lying beneath her, bundled in a little red blanket decorated with yellow flower prints. He was about 3-4 months old.
因为母亲身体庇护着,他毫发未伤,抱出来的时候,他还安静的睡着,他熟睡的脸让所有在场的人感到很温暖。
Shielded by his mother’s body , he was totally unharmed, sleeping peacefully as he was brought out. His soundly asleep face warmed the hearts of all rescuers on the scene.

随行的医生过来解开被子准备做些检查,发现有一部手机塞在被子里,医生下意识的看了下手机屏幕,发现屏幕上是一条已经写好的短信
As the rescue team’s doctor unbundled the blanket to examine the baby, he discovered a mobile phone tucked into the blanket. He subconsciously looked at the display, found there was a SMS message.

亲爱的宝贝,如果你能活着,一定要记住我爱你,看惯了生离死别的医生却在这一刻落泪了,手机传递着,每个看到短信的人都落泪了。
“My Dear Baby, If you were to stay alive, you must remember that I love you.” No stranger to the pain and sorrow brought by death, the doctor nonetheless wept at this moment. The cell phone was passed around, every person who read the message wept.

Attached is a photo of the baby.

I am not able to authenticate the story nor the picture but a brief search of the internet took me to this site.

The second story was published in a local paper (truth of which I cannot vouch for) called the Nanfang Dushi Paper and written by Yan Yan. I found it while trolling the internet for stories on the earthquake. Again I am reproducing the story as published on the net.

Young mother breastfed baby as she lay dying in the rubble

Gong Jin is a young obstetrician doctor working for Donghua Hospital, an affiliate of Zhongshan University. When the devastating earthquake struck Sichuan, he happened to be in Chengdu, the capital, on a family visit. Gong Jin became a volunteer rescuer in Dujiangyan city. For the past three days he was able to help over 200 people injured in the earthquake. When a reporter interviewed him, he was in shock from one particular experience.

In the afternoon of May 13th, he and a dozen rescuers were digging hard for survivors in a collapsed residential building. What he saw next was something he would never forget: A young mother was laying on her side in the rubble, with an infant girl about 3-4 months old in her arms. The mother had already died, with her head lowered and her shirt rolled up. The baby was still suckling at her breast. The baby’s healthy face was such a shocking contrast to her mother’s dust-covered lifeless face.

“When we carefully lifted the baby away, she cried, protesting loudly, the moment her lips left the mother’s nipple.” Gong Jin said. All the rescuers broke into tears upon watching this scene.

“I cannot imagine that a mother who had died was still nursing her baby. You can tell from her curved body that she was trying to protect her baby. Maybe she put her nipple into the baby’s mouth right before she passed away.” Gong Jin said, crying. One young doctor in his 30s, he has seen countless young mothers suckling their baby. Yet at this moment, a common scene that radiated happiness and love has reduced him to uncontrollable sorrow.

On May 16th, Gong Jin took part in the second rescue medical team sent to Mian Yang, using his skills as a doctor to save more lives and voicing out his encouragements to the victims.

Footnote:

In the coming days I will try to write about the disaster and human element unfolding in Myanmar and China. Although Typhoon Nargis struck Myanmar a full week before the earthquake that devastated Sichuan province in China, the stories and pictures coming out of Myanmar are totally lacking. This is due to the fact that Junta ruling that country has viciously prevented the outside world from providing direct aid to their people. And thus almost no records of the actual situation on the ground are available. The stories and pictures of the struggle for survival is hidden from world view. News reports from all over the world suggest that the reclusive Junta are suspicious of outside intervention in Myanmar for fear of their own survival as rulers of the country. To me, that in itself is proof that they do not deserve to be in power. For a bunch of army generals to put self interest before the suffering of millions of their own people is crime against humanity.

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