China worker shocked to find thumb replaced by toe

PHOTO: China worker shocked to find thumb replaced by toe

Chinese migrant worker Li Zicheng woke up one day to find that his doctor had cut off one of his toes and transplanted it onto his hand.

Li told that he had been in an accident involving a electric saw and had lost his thumb.

He was sent immediately to Huiyang Bone-setting Hospital, where doctors gave him two options: stitch the damaged thumb back on, or remove one of his toes and transplant it in place of his thumb.

Li, a factory worker in Huiyang District of Huizhou, said the doctor had repeatedly tried to persuade him to opt for the transplant surgery involving his toe.

According to local reports, he then chose to have his old thumb sewn back on. However, when he woke up from the surgery, he got a rude shock: the doctors had done the toe-thumb surgery instead.

Now it has almost been a year and a half, but his thumb has not fully recovered. Li told reporters that the foot from which the toe was removed aches badly.

Huiyang Bone-setting Hospital insists, however, that the thumb has completely healed and the case is closed.

Li said that following the lack of concern shown by the hospital, he has gone to seek the advice and opinion of several other hospitals and medical experts. He said that they told him that there will be grave consequences for his thumb.

"I believe the hospital's actions and behaviour towards patients like me is irresponsible," Li told Chinasmack.

Li's misery over his predicament has been visible to all near him, with a fellow townsman commenting that he has not seen Li happy since.

"For us migrant workers, we don't know much about legal and other relevant procedures. But we are humans, humans with blood and muscle," the townsman lamented, expressing bewilderment at why the hospital will not admit what is clearly a medical malpractice or mistake.

Li has reportedly even gone to the Health Bureau over a hundred times. However, his appeals to the relevant governmental authorities have yielded no results.

The only option left for Li appears to be to accept Huiyang Bone-setting Hospital's offer of 20,000 RMB (S$3,982).

However, reports say that for him to receive even that, he has to file a case in court, after which the court will order the hospital to pay the amount to Li.