Published June 19, 2017

6-Year-Old Hospitalised and Comatose After Step-Mother’s Abuse

By Dan Entwistle


A 6-year-old boy in Weinan, Shaanxi has been in a coma for nearly three months after sustaining serious injuries inflicted by his step-mother.


According to Red Star News, 6-year-old Pengpeng was admitted to hospital back in March this year with a deformed skull, neurological damage and cuts and bruises all over his body. Doctors in the ICU worked tirelessly to rescue Pengpeng, and while they were able to stabilise him he has been in a coma ever since.


Pengpeng’s mother, Chai Xiaoyuan, told Red Star news that on March 29th Pengpeng’s father called her to say that Pengpeng was in hospital. She reportedly ran down to the hospital but was unable to see her son until he’d been stabilised and moved out of the intensive care unit.



Pengpeng with his deformed skull (left) and in happier times (right)


Chai told reporters that the first time she saw Pengpeng, she was stunned. He had scars on his head, knees, ankles, fingers and wrists. “The doctors told me the scars were a sign of abuse,” said Chai. “I’ve found out since that Pengpeng was frequently forced to stand and kneel in place as a punishment. His hands would also be bound and sometimes he wouldn’t be fed.”



Pengpeng's wrist, cut from being bound together


Local police confirmed Chai’s statement and told gathered reporters that Pengpeng’s stepmother and father have since been arrested, although the father has been temporarily released from custody.



Pengpeng with his mother, Chai Xiaoyuan


Chai married Pengpeng’s father back in 2008 but divorced in 2015 when Pengpeng was 4 years old, citing “several reasons.” While Pengpeng initially went to live with his mother after the divorce, the father reportedly took him away during one of his visitations and refused to let Chai see her son. Chai took the father to court and he was eventually forced to let her see Pengpeng.


The last time Chai saw Pengpeng, in January of this year, he was apparently quite happy. However, once she asked him how things were at home, he told Chai that his new stepmother and his dad regularly beat him. When Chai later confronted the father about this he told her “you’ll never see your son again.”



Pengpeng at home


Since then, Pengpeng’s neighbours and teachers have confirmed that they noticed bruises on Pengpeng shortly after his father married his new wife in October of last year. One of the family’s neighbours reportedly told journalists: “at night he’d be forced to kneel or jump. From the moment his step-mum woke he’d start having a bad day. Through the wall of the house I could clearly here what was happening, it’s not something a normal person would do.” Despite this, however the neighbour apparently didn’t report what was happening to the relevant authorities.


Pengpeng has so far undergone one surgery to remove the build-up of blood in his head. He’s preparing to have a second surgery soon to try and further fix his damaged skull. While he’s been in a coma for 82 days now, doctors were reportedly encouraged by hearing him sob during his first surgery, suggesting that he may yet pull through.