A woman in Mudanjiang City, Heilongjiang Province passed away after suffering 11 years of complications from a stroke she had while in detention for her faith in Falun Gong.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body discipline with five meditative exercises and an emphasis on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance. The practice has been persecuted since July 1999 due to its immense popularity in China.
Ms. Zheng Xuanshu suffered a stroke two decades ago. Half of her body was paralyzed and she walked with a limp. She was often dizzy and couldn't take trains or planes due to motion sickness. After learning Falun Gong, Ms. Zheng experienced a full recovery. Her husband became very supportive of her taking up the practice.
Because she refused to renounce her faith after the persecution began, Ms. Zheng was arrested in 2008. She suffered another stroke while in detention and was in critical condition. Although she survived after a craniotomy, she remained paralyzed and bedridden for the next 11 years. She died on January 16, 2019, at the age of 69.
Second Stroke Triggered by Detention
Ms. Zheng was arrested on July 20, 2008 while reading Falun Gong books at home with another practitioner surnamed Zhao. The police extorted 5,000 yuan from Ms. Zhao's daughter and released her that evening. Ms. Zheng, then 58, remained incarcerated.
Her family went to the Qianjin Police Station every day to demand her release. Police officers Liu Jun and Liu Zhigang demanded 10,000 yuan in exchange for Ms. Zheng's release, but her husband said their family only had 7,000 yuan. He later paid each officer 3,000 yuan, yet they still refused to release her, despite his repeated requests and his concern about her health in the detention centre.
Ms. Zheng suffered another stroke on August 24, 2008 and remained in a coma. The police informed her husband after sending her to the hospital.
A doctor surnamed Wang told Ms. Zheng's husband that her chance of survival was very slim. The doctor asked him whether he still wanted to resuscitate her, telling him that even if she survived brain surgery, she might remain vegetative for the rest of her life.
Her husband insisted on the surgery. He signed the liability waiver and paid the total 78,000 yuan medical cost for the rescue. During the surgery, the police closely monitored him.
Ms. Zheng remained in a coma after the surgery. Her husband was so angry that he almost started a fight with the two officers who took money from him but refused to release his wife.
The officers claimed that they were just following orders from above in arresting Ms. Zheng. Given her physical condition, they dropped the plan to send her to a forced labour camp and agreed to release her.
Ms. Zheng later regained consciousness and was discharged from the hospital on October 6, 2008. She was unable to move, eat or talk. Her husband took extremely good care of her.
As he aged, his own health began to decline. He later had two heart surgeries and finally became unable to care for his wife. Ms. Zheng was sent to a nursing home and eventually passed away there.
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