A Chinese mother of seven has been hospitalized after suffering major complications from an earlier forced sterilization surgery.
Zhong Xuexiang was treated in Guangzhou, China, for internal bleeding, months after doctors cut into her large intestine during a forced sterilization. Though she sought treatment earlier, she was only granted surgery after she began throwing up blood and became unable to walk, according to All Girls Allowed.
"The doctor who performed the surgery told Zhong Xuexiang that she is really struck with luck that she was alive," said a U.S.-based case worker (name withheld for security reasons) for All Girls Allowed who follows up with forced abortion and sterilization cases that take place in China.
According to the case worker, more than 10 officials entered Zhong's home early this year and dragged her to a sterilization office at around 5 a.m.
The Family Planning Committee tried to sterilize the 39-year-old mother, whose seventh child was born in 2007, but doctors reported that the procedure would be too risky for her.
"Yet under the threat from the leaders of the committee, the doctor had to give in and ended up cutting her major intestine," the case worker detailed.
Since then, she has been ill and her condition began to deteriorate in June.
China enforces a one-child policy for couples in urban areas. Couples living in rural areas are allowed two children if the first child is a girl.
Zhong and her family live in a rural area where many families want a lot of children. Unfortunately, sterilization is "very common" in that town, the case worker said.
Zhong had been threatened by Family Planning officials after her seventh child was born.
Still in the hospital, the mother is now able to walk "but only a few steps." She has also been medically diagnosed with depression and anxiety.
She and her husband have been asked to sign an agreement with the government to receive compensation. In some cases, according to the case worker, by signing and receiving payment, the couple is bound to stay silent about their case. Zhong and her husband have decided to wait on the compensation.
The couple is afraid that once they leave the hospital that Zhong's health would worsen and that she again would not be able to get immediate treatment until her life is in danger.
They also have been denied access to their medical records and are not able to file any suits without such documents.
All Girls Allowed says forced sterilization in China is very common. But there are no concrete numbers as both forced sterilizations and abortions often go unreported.