A newborn girl who fell into a toilet pit when her mother gave birth in a public bathroom is in good condition and will be discharged from the hospital in a few days, the baby's aunt said.
"My sister-in-law and niece are both OK now. As soon as doctor permits it, we'll bring the baby home," said Zhang Zhenghua, who came from their hometown in Guangshan county in Xinyang, Henan province on Saturday night.
Cai Qulin, 36, went into labor early on Saturday afternoon, nine days ahead of her due date, and said she urgently needed to use the bathroom before going to the hospital. Unexpectedly, the child was born as she squatted at the public toilet, and the infant girl fell into the pit.
Zhang Tao, Cai's husband, called the police and emergency medical help.
"The rescuers could see the baby and hear her crying sometimes in the pit," said an e-mail reply from the Chaoyang district fire brigade to China Daily.
"They broke the nearby pits by hand so they could reach the girl without endangering her."
When they removed the cover from the pit, Li Gang, a rescuer, jumped in and lifted the baby girl out 30 minutes after the accident. "She seemed a little pale and stiff," he said. Then she was taken to the First Hospital of Tsinghua University.
The mother was discharged from the hospital and returned home on Saturday afternoon, and the baby was admitted for observation.
"My niece is all right now, but she will stay in the hospital so they can make certain that she is healthy. My brother is taking care of the girl, and I'm taking care of the mother," said Zhang Zhenghua at her brother's home, not far from downtown Beijing.
Cai also has a son who is now 17 years old.
She and her husband left their son in their hometown and went to Beijing more than 10 years ago.
"Cai is ill, and cannot work or take care of herself. She depends on her husband to care for her. So he can only work occasionally at the nearby construction site or do other temporary jobs," said Yu Guo'e, a neighbor. "Sometimes what he earns is not enough to feed them."
Neighbors helped the couple when they had no money. "The money for the girl's hospital treatment in hospital is all from us," Yu said.
The couple have no phone and they live far from the hospital, making it difficult for them to get updates about the baby girl.
Cai lay in bed in the dark and remained silent while her relatives and neighbors talked about the family's financial difficulties.
"Luckily, my niece has survived this tragedy. What will she face in the future in such a poor family?" Zhang said with a big sigh.
"It's not often that a mother will give birth to a baby in an unexpected place like the toilet, but older mothers who have already given birth before may have a bigger chance of doing so," said Wang Linhong, head of National Center for Women and Children's Health, under Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.Wang recommended that such pregnant women have regular examinations and go to the hospital early in case of accidental delivery.