Wang Haibin saved others in a fire two years ago but was severely burnt doing so — now he has started a voluntary service for burnt patients.
He told Shanghai Daily about his project yesterday after returning from Beijing where he received one of the "National Morality Models" awards this year.
Wang, who lives in Minhang District, ran up and down a six-story residential building to alert his sleeping neighbors after a fire broke out on the ground floor at midnight on June 16, 2015. He suffered 88 percent burns.
With the help of the government and donations from people who were touched by his heroic deed, the 28-year-old has undergone treatment and rehabilitation at several hospitals.
His health has improved considerably and he can now stand up and walk, but both his hands are significantly deformed.
Another operation and he will be able to use his hands like he used to and he won't have to rely on others to help him with daily life, Wang said.
Wang said he started a "studio" to provide a voluntary service for burns victims last summer, but so far it has been largely a solo effort. He said he has had talks with fellow burns patients in Ruijin Hospital and Shanghai Sunshine Rehabilitation Center to comfort them and share with them his own rehabilitation experience, and has also opened a "free classroom" for patients at the rehabilitation center.
"Things go quite slowly because I have been having operations in the meantime, but I expect to seriously expand the effort in spring next year." Wang said the studio is supported by the government of Huacao Town where he resides, and he has also engaged volunteers from his alma mater Shanghai Ocean University.
"A voluntary group has been established at Ruijin Hospital, and I hope another one at the rehabilitation center will soon be set up," he said.
Wang added that he is undertaking the voluntary work to reward the city that helped him so much when he was at his "most painful, helpless and desperate" after being injured in the fire.