A seven-year-old girl from a village in Yunfu (云浮市), a city west of Guangzhou, is currently hospitalized after her father abused her by pouring boiling water on the girl’s body. Reports state that the girl, named Lin Qiurong (林秋蓉), was dropped off at her grandparents’ door with her clothes stuck to her flesh on Saturday afternoon. Doctors at a local Red Cross Hospital stated that 85 percent of Qiurong’s body was covered with second and third-degree burns.
The girl’s 37-year-old father, Lin Shuiquan (林水全), had taken custody of Qiurong on July 17th from the girl’s grandparents, and reportedly forced his daughter to work as a pickpocket. In addition to burning his daughter, Lin senior reportedly also starved and beat Qiurong to punish her for failing in her attempts at thievery. A village chief said that Lin had previously served a nine-month prison sentence for stealing a motorcycle. Currently in custody, Lin was apprehended after Qiurong’s grandfather reported him to the authorities.
Doctors are now closely monitoring Qiurong’s condition, which is currently stable, and are working to prevent the girl’s wounds from getting infected. Li Xiaojian (李孝建), the head doctor at the Intensive Care Unit for burn victims at the Red Cross Hospital in Yunfu, says that the girl’s burns most likely occurred after being scalded repeatedly by boiling water:
“Such a case often happens to those who fall into a thermal basin. According to my estimation, the girl’s father has splashed hot water onto her body for periods of over 30 seconds each time. An accidental burn would not be so serious,” Li added.
Li stated that the girl needs several rounds of skin grafting surgery, and that the total fee is expected to exceed 500,000 yuan ($78,161).
When asked why she didn’t run away after her father poured boiling water on her, Qiurong replied, ‘Daddy locked the house door before he poured water on me, I couldn’t run away.’
It will be a tall order for the girl’s relatives or fellow villagers to raise the money for her surgery. The family’s income from farming amounts to 4,000RMB a year, and villagers have only managed to raise 3,000RMB so far.
And where is Qiurong’s mother in all this? Xu Lianmei (徐连妹), currently working in Foshan (approximately a 140km [87 miles] drive from Yunfu), has stated that she has no plans to visit her daughter.
This new case of extreme parental failure lies somewhere between parents behaving sadistically and parents outright murdering their children. We would say that hopefully things like this would occur less often, if the frequency of incidents of this kind didn’t make us feel so naive for saying so.