‘Thank you, little angel’: kidney donation from deceased newborn in Shanghai gives two families hope for their sick babies

An infant who died from sudden illness will provide hope for the babies of two families she saved with her kidney donations.

Nicknamed “Yiyi”, the baby girl was born in Shanghai on February 10 but suddenly became very ill on March 4, only 22 days after her birth. She was not eating and experiencing body temperature fluctuations.

According to her case report, Yiyi developed a high fever, drowsiness and seizures a day later and was transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University, where she was diagnosed with multiple rare diseases.

Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team.

Doctors tried to use a mechanical ventilator to keep the baby alive after admittance, which ultimately proved futile.

Organ donations are not common in China. Photo: Sohu.com

Given the severity of the child’s condition and the lack of hope for successful resuscitation, her family agreed to end treatment on March 10, when the girl had just turned a month old.

As the parents said goodbye to their daughter, they decided to donate the baby’s kidneys after the hospital’s organ donation coordinator asked if they wanted to extend the child’s life in another way.

“Are you talking about organ donation?” The father asked. “We agree.”

The mother, who was standing nearby, nodded in assent.

Before Yiyi had her kidneys removed in the early morning of March 11, the medical staff gathered around the operating table to bow and salute her.

The hospital’s communications office told the South China Morning Post that her two kidneys were soon transplanted into the bodies of two other seriously ill children, providing hope to their families.

Many people, who were inspired by the family’s life-saving generosity, expressed their gratitude online. Some thanking her and calling her “little angel”.

“I pray the little angel has a healthy body in her next life and does not return to the world with damaged wings,” one person commented on Weibo.

In 2013, China launched a full-scale voluntary organ donation programme to encourage people to become deceased organ donors. Organ donation remains uncommon in the country, even though the absolute number of organs donated ranks second in the world, just behind the United States.

According to 2019 figures, China’s deceased organ donation rate was around four donations per million people, making it one of the lowest in the world.

More from South China Morning Post:

For the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2022.

Article type: free
User access status:
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

SCMP , Infant , Death , Hope , Kidney


Next In Aseanplus News

Laos inflation reaches 22-year high at 23.6 per cent
New guidelines by Brunei Ministry of Health hope to tackle high cholesterol issues in country
Unofficial US-China dialogue: seeing the worst in each other undermines nations’ already dismal relations
Vietnam Airlines relaunches services to Indonesia after months of closure due to Covid-19
Emerging markets: Indonesia stocks slump more than 3% as Asia FX subdued on recession fears
Oil prices reverse losses and gain on tight supply concerns
Japan protests Chinese navy sailing near disputed islands
Dry conditions developing across southern Asean region - Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore set to be worst hit, says weather centre
Shares wobble as Wall St futures slip, dollar stays firm
Broad strokes for the future: Inquirer

Others Also Read