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Doctor working on the front line finds husband's posting is at same hospital

China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-02-18 08:53
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Editor's note: This series tells the stories of selfless individuals, from medical workers to volunteers, who are bravely fighting the virus outbreak with extraordinary dedication.

On Feb 7, Xu Shanling, a doctor sent to the Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University from Chengdu-based Sichuan Cancer Hospital, received a text message on her cellphone from her husband at around 6 pm. She had just finished eight hours of work at the intensive care unit.

"We'll depart in the afternoon. See you in Wuhan," said the message from her husband, Bai Lang.

It brought tears to Xu's eyes.

Bai, a doctor at the West China Hospital of Sichuan University, was a member of the fifth group of medical workers sent from Southwest China's Sichuan province to Wuhan, Hubei province, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak.

The couple are now working at Renmin Hospital, Wuhan.

A total of 131 medical professionals from the West China Hospital are manning the ICU in the east section of Renmin Hospital. Xu is working in the west section.

Both Xu and Bai applied to work in Wuhan, but Bai hadn't told Xu about his plans.

"I didn't want you to worry about me. I wanted to let you know after arriving in Wuhan," Bai told Xu.

"I had a hunch he would come (to Wuhan). He will surely come," Xu said. But deep in her heart, she said she didn't want him to be in Wuhan.

"It is risky and exhausting to work in the city," Xu said."As I was working in an ICU back in Chengdu, I thought I could play a role here. That's why I applied."

The couple learned from news reports there were many severe cases of the NCP in Wuhan. They told their 15-year-old daughter jokingly they might go to Wuhan.

"Do you have to go?" the girl asked.

Xu told her it was their duty to help the patients in Wuhan.

When Xu arrived in Wuhan on Feb 2, she received a phone call from her daughter asking her to take care of herself.

"At that time, I realized my girl is not a child any longer," Xu said.

The day Bai left for Wuhan, the girl told him not to worry about her.

"I believe we will be role models for her," Bai said.

Xu said the ICU where she is working received 36 patients from Feb 2 to 7. Her work begins at 7 am and ends at 6 pm on many days.

A 36-year-old man, who was in critical condition, was brought to the hospital on Feb 4. Xu and her colleagues immediately put him on life-support system. "It is very risky because any misstep could expose us to infection,"Xu said.

Their efforts paid off. On Feb 7, Xu, during her ward rounds, told the patient his condition was improving. He gave her a thumbs-up.

Bai and his colleagues were given training shortly after they arrived in Wuhan on Feb 7.

"Though we are working at the same hospital, I can hardly meet her,"Bai said.

By either talking on the phone or texting, the two have been telling each other to stay strong.

This story is translated by Cai Hong.

This is a translation of an article published on, a website affiliated with Sichuan Daily.

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