'I ate some corn. It rained and I drank some rain, but not much': Chinese woman found alive after 16 days in well


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The Independent Online

A woman stranded for 16 days in an abandoned well in central China said today that she shouted for help every day and began to lose hope, but that she managed to survive on raw corn and rainwater.

Su Qixiu, 48, was gathering herbs when she fell into the four-metre (13ft) well in a village in Henan province on 1 September. Her husband and children searched for her unsuccessfully, but she was finally found on Monday by a passer-by, state media reported.

“I shouted every day in those 16 days. And spoke a lot of nonsense. I was scared and felt hopeless,” said Ms Su, who was speaking slowly and weakly in a telephone interview from her hospital bed.

Ms Su said she had lost more than a quarter of her body weight during her ordeal and now weighed less than 45kg (seven stone).

She said she was walking past a cornfield but could not see the road clearly and fell into the well.

“I ate some corn. It rained and I drank some rain, but not much,” she said.

Ms Su said she did not remember being discovered, only a firefighter pulling her up from the bottom of the well. Her two daughters and one son raced home from Shanghai, where they work, when they heard their mother had gone missing, and were still with her, she said.

Her doctor, Ran Xiansuo, said at first she was unable to speak and had organ failure, but that her condition had stabilised. She should be able to go home in a few days, he said.