Home>News Center>Life

SARS survivors struggling for life in bone damage shadow
By Echo Shan (chinadaily.com.cn/CYD)
Updated: 2005-12-14 14:59

Courtesy of China Youth Daily

Pale-faced Dong Wei (alias), dressed in her baggy yet angelic nurse uniform, passes by her busy colleagues with extraordinary care. She has been working for only three hours per day since surviving the SARS nightmare two years ago. Unfortunately the epidemic left her with bone damage as a side effect of the high dosage of steroids she was treated with in toll-ticked 2003.

Dong was affected while tending to patients at a suburban hospital designated for SARS treatment in Beijing, one of the major SARS-stricken cities in China. She showed minor symptoms then during the medication.

However, her health took a turn for the worse after she left the specialty hospital when unbearable pain struck the inside part of her right leg; doctors soon diagnosed the pain as being caused by the bone damage.

"It was a bolt of lightning for me," recollects Dong Wei. "A tiny ray of hope for life was relentlessly smashed up as I knew clearly what the bone damage meant - a lifelong disability."

Dong's boyfriend of seven years, added salt to the wounds by dumping her -- bowing to the pressure from his parents. "I burst into tears in no time and I hate him for his cowardice." said Dong, with exhaustion all over her face.

Afflicted by the lingering side effects of using steroid she even feels worn out when doing nothing.

Once an energetic and vivacious young woman, Dong says she seldom thinks of the future nowadays as all her hobbies and dreams such as traveling and studying have faded away.

Dong Wei is not alone. Several of her former colleagues were also stricken by the bone damage, and are now all struggling along in a hard life.

According to an October 17, 2003 report in the "South Metropolis Daily," nearly a third to half of all the Beijing medical staff infected with the deadly virus during the SARS epidemic is now suffering from bone damage due to the steroid therapy.

At least 80 per cent of those bone damage sufferers, without due and timely treatment, would finally develop joint ailments associated with ambulatory difficulty, said medical experts.

About 6,000 people on the Chinese mainland were afflicted with SARS in 2003 with a toll of some 400.

The number of those who suffer bone damage after surviving the shocking pandemic is not available to date.

Integrated circuit on the forehead
Zhang Ziyi nominated for Golden Globe best actress
Sexy Zhou Xun on Maxim magazine
  Today's Top News     Top Life News

Wen: East Asia should embrace others



Bush: Iraq invasion my responsibility



AP: China leader still displeased with Japan



Kazakhstan set to open pipeline to China



China confirms major natural gas find



China moves to fourth in global GDP rankings


  Big broods an uphill fad among nouveaux riches
  Sex, lies and surveys: Point is, is there a point?
  AIDS move backfires as patients' families shunned
  Disney to produce film in and for China
  SARS survivors struggling for life in bone damage shadow
  Essay plagiarizers to be kicked out of school
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  Could China's richest be the tax cheaters?  
Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.