Dramatic hospital reunion of frail Second World War veterans moves China

27 Apr

Peering towards each other after being reunited by chance in the same intensive care unit, two frail and aged Chinese veterans agreed one last mission – to make it out of the hospital together.

The story of the two fragile men who fought side-by-side in the Second World War has touched the heart of China, generating millions more comments on social media than the launch of the country’s first home-made aircraft carrier, an event which was heavily pushed by state media.

Decades after losing contact, Zhuang Shuifa, aged 88 and his former comrade Lin Shuishou, and 90, were reunited when they received treatment for the same illness – a chest infection – at the same intensive care unit in southern China.

The pair had fought together against the Imperial Japanese Army, serving in the same platoon in the East River Column in 1944-45.

The guerilla force operated in the southern Guangdong province and Hong Kong, which was at that time a British colony occupied by Japan.

Mr Zhuang, who was admitted to a hospital in Shenzhen on April 15, told doctors of his military past last Thursday, setting in motion the dramatic reunion.

“Through casual chatting with the nurses, Zhuang realised that the patient next to him was none other than his former comrade-in-arms,” a report by The People’s Daily said.

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