What is strikingly unique and astonishing about Peng Shuilin is that he always endeavours to be joyous and happy, blissful and cheerful, despite the dark and grim tragedy that overtook him in 1995, when a freight truck cut his body into two parts. He seems to declare with an unshakeable resolve and unbending determination all the time that he is “neither an optimist nor pessimist, but a possibilist. Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
We present below the inspiring saga of courage and supreme conquest of fear by a Chinese citizen Peng Shuilin whose body was sliced into two halves when he was run over by a freight truck in 1995. It was little short of a medical miracle that he lived. His lower body and legs, however, were beyond repair.
It took a team of more than 20 doctors to save his life. Skin was grafted from his head to seal his torso – but the legless Mr Peng was left only 78cm (2ft 6in) tall.
Peng Shuilin, now 38, spent nearly two years in hospital in Shenzhen, southern China, undergoing a series of operations to re-route nearly every major organ or system inside his body. Peng kept exercising his arms, building up strength, washing his face and brushing his teeth.
Considering Peng’s plight, doctors at the China Rehabilitation Research Centre in Beijing devised an ingenious way to allow him to walk on his own, creating a sophisticated egg cup-like casing to hold his body, with two bionic legs attached.
There is a cable attached to both legs so when one goes forward, the other goes backwards.
“Oh, so satisfying to ‘walk’ again after ten years with half a body!” Peng Shuilin exclaimed.
Hospital vice-president Lin Liu says: “We’ve just given him a checkup; he is fitter than most men of his age.”
Moreover, Peng Shuilin has opened his own bargain supermarket, the “Half Man – Half Price Store”. The inspirational 38-year-old has become a businessman!
At just 2ft 7ins tall, he moves around in a wheelchair giving lectures on recovery from disability.