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Buddhist groups donate generators to help sick children

Two Buddhist organizations yesterday donated 100 electric generators for the care of children with rare diseases to help minimize safety concerns during power outages.

According to statistics, there were at least 3,241 patients last year who relied on mechanical insufflation-exsufflation devices, suction machines, medical ventilators and oxygen concentrators, and whenever there is a power outage due to typhoons or construction work, there is always a subsequent concern for the safety of these patients.

With the help of Kuomintang lawmaker Yang Yu-hsin (楊玉欣) and others, the Buddhist Huairen Foundation (佛教懷仁基金會) and the Sanxia Pu Hsien Temple (三峽普賢寺) donated 100 electric generators to those in need. Attended by Health Minister Chiu Wen-ta (邱文達), Vice Health Minister Tseng Chung-ming (曾中明) and other officials, a ceremony was held to mark the occasion.

Chiu said that whenever there was a power outage during his time as a neurosurgeon, he would rush to the intensive care unit to make sure that everything was alright.

The minister added that there is a higher degree of risk for patients at home during these occasions.

“Finally, (we) no longer need to be afraid of typhoon seasons,” said Li Shih-jou (李詩柔), whose daughter suffers from Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome, a respiratory disease that can be fatal if untreated. Li's daughter relies on medical ventilators, oxygen concentrators, mechanical insufflators-exsufflators and other devices that require electricity.

Typhoon seasons are generally very stressful times of the year for the Li family. In July, the family's apartment went without electricity for 36 hours, and neither Li nor her husband dared to rest for fear of their daughter's safety. Li's husband had no choice but to start up an old generator, while the family weathered the power outage surrounded by fumes.

The electric generators donated by the two groups will be distributed to the Taiwan Foundation of Rare Disorders, the Taiwan Motor Neuron Disease Association, the Spinal Cord Injury Foundation and other nonprofit organizations.

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