A file photo shows Chen Yandong (left) talking with a patient.
Last Saturday, a 40-year-old Harbin doctor died in his sleep, leaving behind his wife, who also is a doctor, and a one-year-old child.
Chen Yandong was a cardiologist with the First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University. His wife found something wrong with him half an hour after he went to bed.
"I found his skin had taken on cyanoderma, indicating a lack of oxygen," she told local media. "Although I gave him cardiopulmonary resuscitation immediately, I failed to save his life."
Zhao Jiyi, one of Chen's colleagues, said that based on his symptoms, he probably died of sudden cardiac death with overwork and heavy mental stress being major contributors.
According to Zhao, since he began to work in the hospital in 2005, Chen had spent more than 14 hours on the job every day.
"He arrived at the hospital at 7 in the morning because he had to finish doing the rounds in about 30 wards before 8," Zhao said. "Then he would do a dozen heart stent surgeries, each of which took about one hour."
A file photo shows Chen Yandong (center).
He seldom had time to rest or even have a hot lunch.
The heavy work and irregular lifestyle led to Chen suffering from stomach discomfort and he had gradually slimmed down in recent months.
"We all advised him to get some check-ups," Zhao said. "Although every day he was in the hospital, he had no time to do something for his own health problem."
"As a doctor, every day I face death and life in the hospital," said Chen's wife. "However, I never thought one day I would have to face the death of the dearest person to me."
"He was an expert in cardiovascular disease, saving thousands of people in past years, but he couldn't save himself," she said with deep sorrow.