Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Water park fire victim to return to U.S. after weeks in hospital

Water park fire victim to return to U.S. after weeks in hospital

Taipei, Sept. 2 (CNA) A 27-year-old American man who suffered burns to 90 percent of his body in a flash fire at a New Taipei water park in June said Wednesday that he was about to return to the United States after almost two months of treatment in a Taiwan hospital. Wearing a compression garment and moving slowly, Alex Haas said at a press conference that he had been receiving treatment at Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei since June 27, when the incident occurred. Chang Shih-hsin (???), the attending surgeon and head of the hospital's Department of Plastic and Reconstruction Surgery, said Hass was the first victim of the fire to receive a cadaver skin graft. Hass was one of the approximately 500 people who sustained varying degrees of burns when a colored powder exploded during a party at Formosa Fun Water Park in New Taipei on June 27. Since then, 12 of the burn victims have died of their injuries. Chang said that Hass, who suffered severe burns to 90 percent of his body, required several surgeries and at one point, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) was being considered for him. The patient was discharged from hospital Aug. 21 and has been in rehabilitation to help him adapt to normal daily life before his return to the U.S., Chang said. Hass' father, who was also at the press conference, said his son is facing at least two years of physical and emotional rehabilitation. The family has launched a fund-raising drive on Facebook to help pay the medical bills for Haas' rehabilitation when he returns home, his father said. Haas' parents had rushed to Taiwan immediately after they learned, via Facebook, that he had been injured in the fire. Meanwhile, another victim of the fire died Wednesday of multiple organ failure. Doctors said Wu Yen-chieh (???) had sustained burns to 72 percent of her body. The Ministry of Health and Welfare said that 188 victims of the water park fire remained hospitalized as of Wednesday, 57 in intensive care units and 33 listed as in critical condition. (By Lung Pei-ning and Evelyn Kao)


Updated : 2021-09-27 20:42 GMT+08:00