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Paratrooper recovering well after 400-meter fall

2018/08/16 13:04:02

Taipei, Aug. 16 (CNA) A Taiwanese paratrooper is recovering well three months after he was critically injured during a drill in May, military authorities said Thursday.

Paratrooper Chin Liang-feng (秦良丰) from the Army Aviation and Special Forces Command was injured May 17 when his parachute failed to fully open when he jumped from a C-130 plane that was flying at 396 meters during a rehearsal for the annual Han Kuang military exercises.

A hospital spokesman later said Chin was seriously injured and in a coma, adding that the severity of his coma was at level seven to eight on the three to 15-point Glasgow Coma Scale, with three being the worst condition and 15 being normal.

Three months on, the 26-year-old soldier is recovering well and was transferred to a regular ward from an intensive care unit Aug. 13, according to Taipei's Tri-Service General Hospital, where Chin has been hospitalized since June 25.

Although Chin was unable to attend a press event Thursday, he recorded a short clip to express gratitude toward the military and those who sent him encouraging messages via the Internet.

"Doing rehab is hard but I can endure the pain. My goal is to stand up again before the end of this year," Chin said in the two-minute video clip that aired during the press event.

Giving an update on Chin's condition, Chen Yuan-hao (陳元皓), head of the hospital's Department of Neurological Surgery, said Chin has been doing well with rehab and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

"He no longer has head trauma and he now does not require a ventilator to breathe. He remains conscious and can engage in conversations with people," Chen said.

His muscle strength has also shown significant improvement, according to Chen.

The lumbar spine and right ankle fractures he suffered due to the fall have all healed, Tsai added. He can now eat semi-liquid and a soft diet, the doctor said.

Chen would not speculate if Chin could return to the Army Aviation and Special Forces Command but stressed that the soldier's youth and persistence in doing rehab will definitely help his recovery.

(By Joseph Yeh)
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