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Beloved son lost, another is born

Updated: 2016-08-05 08:01
By China Daily (China Daily)

When Cai Jiayuan left his hometown in Hunan province for Tianjin to be a firefighter in 2014, his mother, Liu Yun'ai, expected him to return home in a few years so that she could enjoy a new role as a grandmother.

But Cai died in massive explosions on Aug 12 at a warehouse that was storing hazardous chemicals in Tianjin Binhai New Area. His death was confirmed five days after the incident. He was 19.

The blasts claimed 165 lives, including 99 firefighters. Eight remain missing.

Liu lost her only child, and she was devastated. She once considered suicide. But instead of indulging her grief or ending her life, she decided to create a new life - to have a baby through in vitro fertilization.

On Aug 1, nearly a year after the blasts, Liu, 44, gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

"My dear son, you have a younger brother now," Liu was quoted as saying by Beijing Times.

People who were not aware of the family's misfortune asked why she wanted another baby in middle-age, but she usually preferred to keep the truth to herself. Many people called or visited after the blasts, which troubled her.

"I would be willing to give my own life to save him, but it is impossible," she said. "No one can really understand the pain."

Cai called his parents on the morning of the tragic day to congratulate his father, Cai Laiyuan, on his 45th birthday.

"I believe he wanted us to stay healthy and happy," the senior Cai said.

Many mothers of those killed in the blasts are trying to get pregnant, according to Zheng Mengfan, whose brigade lost eight firefighters. As a telephone operator, he was the only one who escaped. He has been visiting the families to see how they are coping.

"I hope the families see me as their son," Zhang said. "I want to try my best to help them."

(China Daily 08/05/2016 page5)

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