A Taiwanese living in Shanghai posted a first-hand account on Reddit of a harrowing taxi accident that left them diagnosed with a fractured and slipped spinal disk and missing two teeth.
This should be enough to convince everyone to always buckle up! Most of us do so in our native countries as a habit, and there is no reason to not do so here.
If there is no seat belt visible in the backseats, then either sit in the front seat, ask the driver to help you untuck it from behind the seat cover, or find another cab. What’s more important, 5 minutes or your life?
On Saturday, October 15th, I went to work like a typical over worked Taiwanese employee. I didn’t want to do it at all, but the boss made us work extra hours on Saturdays without pay and I am too big of a wuss to say no.
I got up at 8 am which I was already late, and I had to go all the way from my boyfriend’s place in Puxi to Pudong. By the time I got to the office, it was already 9:30 am. People were giving me dirty looks, and I didn’t give a shit. So, I spent the rest of the morning watching Tim Minchin and laughing my butt of. Around noon, I decided to leave the office an hour early, because, heck, I am not getting paid and I’d like to make it to the outdoor jazz festival.
I caught a taxi outside of the office, and set in the back seat like I always do. It usually only takes about 3 minutes on a taxi to my place. The taxi stopped at the last red light to my destination, and I could see the gate to my community. I was looking through my purse to find the exact amount of cash when the taxi started to move to cross the intersection when the light turned green. The next thing I knew was, BANG!, and I was flying out of the taxi and rolling on the ground. When I finally stopped rolling and realized what had happened, the taxi was coming right towards me. I looked up, and I saw the lady on the side walk pointing at me and screaming. Right there and then, I thought, “this is it. This is the moment. I am going to die.” Something happened, I don’t know what it was, the tires missed me then stopped, and I was stuck underneath the taxi. I managed to crawl out and asked for help. The entire time I could only hear people yelling “CALL THE AMBULANCE! SHE IS LOSING TOO MUCH BLOOD!”, “YOU FUCKING IDIOT! CAN’T YOU SEE THE RED LIGHT! NOW MY PASSENGER IS HURT!”, “ARE YOU CONSCIOUS? CAN YOU CALL YOUR FAMILY?”, “OH, THIS IS NOT GOOD! SHE’S FROM TAIWAN!”. I was in too much shock my body was shaking uncontrollably. Blood was dripping down from my head, my chin, and my mouth. Two of my front teeth were gone. My coworkers got to the scene of the accident and got on the ambulance with me.
The whole time I could only think of one thing: what am I going to tell my parents? How am I going to gather the courage to call them? How are they going to react to this?
About 20 minutes later, I got to Shuguang hospital. Went through a series of exams and scans. Ended up getting five stitches on my chin and eye brow. When the CT and X ray scan came back, I was diagnosed with a fractured and slipped spinal disk and the doctors put my on bed rest.
I’m not going to go into too many details of the Chinese hospital management and treatments, but you can imagine how horrifying it was to me. One of the doctors tried to make me sing the agreement to do a spinal surgery. The room was dirty and gross. The sheets and pillows smell moldy. The food was disgusting. The nurses, oh, don’t get my started on the nurses…. Basically, everything was a nightmare and I stayed for TEN WHOLE DAYS! I couldn’t sit up, couldn’t turn over, couldn’t eat solid food. It was torturing.
My parents arranged International S.O.S service to transfer me back to Taiwan. On October 25th, after ten days in hell, I was back in Taiwan and settled into my father’s hospital. I made some outstanding progress in the past few weeks. From bed bound to being able to walk around. I will never take all the simple acts for granted anymore. The first time I was able to use the bathroom on my own after the accident, I was in tears.
Today, I am discharged from the hospital, but it is not over for me yet. I still have three months of therapy to do, and then another X-ray taken to determine if I need to have surgery to put in a steel rod to strengthen my back. In the mean time, I have to wear a corset every time I want to get out of the bed. I can’t work since my back doesn’t allow me to sit or stand for a long period of time without hurting.
During my stay in the hospital, people really showed how much they care about me. My coworkers took terms taking care of me, and the caregiver I hired was extremely patience and sweet. My friend came visit me every single day, and he even brought me an MP3 player loaded with classic rock. My boyfriend didn’t go screaming running out of the room after seeing my swollen face, and he even brought my favorite raspberry chocolate tart to cheer me up.
My life was forever changed the moment I flew out of the taxi. But, I am not bitter. I’m lucky to survive a deadly crash like that without leaving me handicapped for life. I am lucky to be able to see my family again and tell them how much I love them. I am lucky to be able to hangout with my friends again. I am lucky to be alive.
I just wanna share this experience with my fellow Shanghai Redditors. There is one advice I’d like to give to all of you, according to what I’ve learned after this accident: Always buckled up! Even is you are sitting in the back seat. I know most taxis don’t have seat belts in the back, so take the front seat if possible.