With roaring flood waters crashing down into his village, one man named Gao Fengtai was left with the impossible choice of saving his wife or his mother. Seems like he might have made the wrong decision.
Gao lives in Daxian village outside of Xingtai city. He received a message on Tuesday as he left work from the local meteorological observatory, issuing a red alert for heavy rainstorms. Fearing a possible flood, Gao rushed back to his village to check on his mother, who lives alone.
He parked his truck outside of his mother’s house and waited there for a full three hours for the flood waters to wash over the village, but nothing happened. Exhausted from his long day, Gao returned to his own home and fell into a deep sleep.
After midnight, Gao’s wife heard a terrifying announcement from the village — “The flood is coming!” She woke up her husband, who immediately rushed to his mother’s home, located two minutes away.
Once he had made sure his mom was safe, Gao rushed back home, only to find that his wife had blocked their door to prevent water from rushing in. He shouted to her to get their children and his father up to the rooftop, and then left once again to tend to his mother.
All by herself, Gao’s wife pulled their two children and his disabled father onto the roof. Eventually, the flood was gone, but so was his wife. She left him, taking with her their two-year-old son, four-year-old daughter and 2,000 yuan in cash.
“She’s a good wife with a strong personality and always takes good care of my parents,” Gao said. A reporter then asked Gao whether it would have been possible for him to pull his wife and their children to the rooftop first, and then go to rescue his mother. “It was impossible, I wasn’t sure who I should save first,” he replied in regret.
“I can’t imagine what went through her mind when I went straight for my mother,” he continued. “Abandoning my mother would be reprehensible, but leaving my wife behind would be unacceptable as well. I know she must be so disappointed in me.”
He said that he would beg for her forgiveness by visiting his wife’s parents’ home soon, though he confessed that he wasn’t sure if he could win her back.
Netizens on Weibo have hotly debated the hypothetical question of whether to save your wife or your mother. Most think that Gao just screwed the whole thing up in general.
“We should put ourselves in his wife’s shoes. She saved not only their children, but also HIS FATHER as well, while he only had his mother’s best interests in mind! If I were her, I would definitely leave him as well,” one web user wrote.
“A weak woman was left behind to pull her children and her husband’s disabled father to the rooftop. It’s no wonder she left him. Who would want a husband who you can’t rely on in dangerous circumstances?” another agreed.
“I think the man was really foolish. Why did he stay in his truck for three hours? He could have just moved his mom to a safe place and then gone back to take care of his wife and children in those three hours!” one netizen wondered.
Also, no word on why he couldn’t have just taken his mom to his own house in the first place. Still, at least they managed to avoid serious harm. Many others weren’t so lucky. At least 130 people died in Hubei from severe flooding last week. At least 17 died in Gao’s village alone.
By Katie Ngai
[Images via CCTV News]