Mark Ralston / AFP via Photos of Getty
On the death of Dr. Li Wenliang of COVID-19 a few weeks after China’s whistleblower tried to warn the world about coronavirus, his family hopes to grow in the coming months.
Now his widow, Fu Xuejie, welcomed their second child, a boy, into the world without her.
“Wife, are you watching from heaven? The last gift you sent me was born,” Fu said in a note posted on China’s social media platform WeChat. “I’ll definitely take care of him.”
Friday’s bittersweet announcement comes more than four months after the death of the ophthalmologist, warning friends and former classmates about the coronavirus novel he saw sweeping the city of Wuhan around the new year. For his efforts, Li received a rebuke from local authorities in January for “publishing lies.”
Shortly afterwards, Li contracted the virus and died from complications connected to COVID-19 in early February.
His death increased with the family he had left behind. Fu told the local Litchi News that he was very sad and had to be hospitalized for a spell as well.
It also provoked mourning and resentment for viewers elsewhere in China and beyond its borders. The anger was so widespread that in March, Chinese authorities took the rare step of apologizing to his family and formally declining their investigation after completing an official response investigation.
Thousands of WeChat users offered their greetings to Fu on Friday, handing out words of comfort and celebration in the comments on his announcement.
“We hope that this child will bring in Dr. Li’s spirit,” said one commenter, “and be a good person.”
Emily Feng contributed to NPR in this report.