A high school student who lost both her legs in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake may get to live out her dreams of soaring through the air after she received an offer earlier this week for a flying course from a Canadian aviation academy in Vancouver.
Huang Meihua was an 11-year-old fifth grader at Beichuan primary school when the magnitude-8.0 earthquake ripped through her county on May 12, 2008. She was initially buried underneath her collapsed school building before just managing to struggle her way to safety. She was discovered by rescuers, but due to the severity of her injuries both her legs were later amputated.
After learning about Huang’s tragic story, an international school, which are of a much higher standard than rural Chinese schools, called to give her an opportunity to study
At first Huang struggled to learn English, but through hard work she eventually made her way to the top of her class.
To repay the kindness she has been shown by all the warmhearted neighbors and strangers that have helped her since she lost her legs, Huang is keen to help her community out and volunteers as a teacher for a local primary school.
“The environment and the students there hold a strong attachment for me. I hope I can be a positive influence for the kids,” she told reporters.
Huang also said that she’d traveled to various places across China to give talks about her experience, including Beijing, Dalian and Zhengzhou.
While Huang loves her volunteer work, her dream ever since being rushed to the hospital via helicopter following the earthquake has been to learn how to fly herself.
Recruiters from the Canadian aviation academy met with Huang personally and decided to give her that chance.
The three-week flying course in Vancouver will begin in February. She will be enrolled in a flight training class to learn the basics of aviation and a coach will take her to fly for around 10 hours. After completion of the course she will go through a comprehensive evaluation which will determine if she is ready to fly solo.
“Ever since the school chose me, I believe I can make it” Huang said. “Many people have their own dreams, and there are many things worth fighting for in life.”
Let’s all keep our fingers crossed for Huang Meihua and her skyward ambitions.
By Lucy Liu
[Images via Tencent]