Fire hero shares his story on International Volunteer Day

Wang Yongdi Yang Yang
Wang Haibin, whose bravery saved his neighbors but left him permanently disabled, delivers life education courses to more than 200 youths at Zhudi School in the district.
Wang Yongdi Yang Yang
Fire hero shares his story on International Volunteer Day
Ti Gong

Sun Jie (right) plays ping pong with a student at Zhudi School after the lecture on life.

Wang Haibin, a national good Samaritan model of Minhang, delivered life education courses to more than 200 youths at Zhudi School in the district's Huacao Town to mark the International Volunteer Day on December 5.

Pre-exam stress, learning-phobia and depression are among the rapid increase in youth mental problems in recent years compared to their effects one decade ago.

"Don't be afraid of mental bruises," a youth life education course co-designed by the Huacao Township government and the Haibin Workshop, is targeting vulnerable youth mental conditions.

A fire in a residential building where Wang lived, caused by illegal battery charging for a motorbike, left him with 88 percent burns, 67 percent of them third-degree, and severe inhalation injuries.

Wang could have escaped with his parents, but instead knocked on his neighbors' doors to wake them up. He battled thick smoke and flames to open a security door in the corridor for others to escape.

Doctors said at the time he had only a 2 percent survival rate. Yet after 87 days in an intensive care unit and a dozen operations, Wang survived. Doctors then predicted he would forever rely on a wheelchair.

"During that time I was frustrated, uneasy and baffled. I was nervous about my appearance and even encountered cyberbullying. But finally I regained my peace and for those who cared about me, I had to stand up," Wang said.

Through a long period of rehabilitation, Wang learned to walk again.

He set up his Haibin Workshop, a life education promotion center, in the hope of encouraging more people.

Sun Jie, a friend of Wang's and a paraplegic patient at the Shanghai Sunshine Rehabilitation Center, shared his life story on the same day.

Sun loved sports but a sudden attack of myelitis caused permanent damage to his third and fourth thoracic vertebrae. He was in despair.

Then, encouraged from a fellow patient and the institute, Sun learned how to control a wheelchair and exercise his arm muscles.

He played ping pong and reaped a championship award in the 4th Yangpu District Disabled Persons Ping Pong Race.

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