TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A seven year old boy, who was a victim of the devastating Puyuma train crash that occurred on Oct. 21, 2018, awoke from a four month long coma earlier this week.
When the Puyuma Express Train No. 6432 derailed in Yilan County last year, the horrific crash resulted in 18 people dead and shocked the country. The young boy, surnamed Hsieh (謝), suffered serious brain trauma in the accident, and was left in a coma.
Although his condition stabilized, his family has been worrying for the past four months, staying by the boy’s bed side and hoping he would regain consciousness.
The moment of joy and relief finally arrived this week.
The news was broken to the public Thursday morning by a former Defense Ministry Spokesperson, David Lo (羅紹和), who has been in contact with the family. According to a letter from the boy’s mother, Hseih’s condition has improved rapidly since waking.
When he first awoke, he was only muttering short sentences and had trouble focusing his vision. However, he is now able to hold his focus and has been chatting happily with family members and hospital staff, reports LTN. The mother reports being elated to hear the boy call her “mom” again.
A photo of the boy shared to social media shows him getting ready to enjoy a meal from KFC.
Comments from the public have also expressed happiness at the news, wishing the boy a swift and complete recovery.
Hseih was traveling with his grandparents on the train returning to Taitung after attending a wedding in Taipei. His grandfather was one of the 18 victims lost in the tragic incident, reports Apple Daily.
The Puyuma Express crash last October occurred when the train approached a bend in the tracks near Suao Train station in Yilan County. Traveling well above the advised speed, the train jumped the tracks sending the train cars slamming into one another before crashing to the ground. Eighteen people died in the accident, and 215 were seriously injured.
The head of the Taiwan Railways Administration resigned following the incident. A report on the accident determined that it was caused by a combination of factors including mismanagement, overworked staff and mechanical problems with the Automatic Train Protector system, which was faulty and had been disabled.
Photo of the Yilan train derailment (CNA Photo)