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Busan nursery infant abuse victim dies, gives hope to 4 organ donor recipients

June 30, 2023 - 14:57 By Lim Jae-seong
Jeong Ah-young, who suffered abuse at a newborn nursery in Busan five days after her birth (KODA)

Jeong Ah-young, an infant who had been comatose as a result of abuse, died Wednesday at the age of 3. Her organs were donated to four other infants.

She died from a sudden cardiac arrest after having been on a respirator for over three years. Jeong had been in a coma after sustaining a head trauma in October 2019 at a newborn nursery in Dongrae-gu, eastern Busan.

Jeong was a victim of serial infant abuse by a nurse in her 30s, who is alleged to have abused 14 babies for 15 days since Oct. 5, 2019.

The police found that the nurse violently handled babies, picking them up by one leg. The nurse dropped Jeong five days after she was born, causing her to sustain serious head injuries.

The nurse was convicted with six years in prison at Supreme Court in May.

The cardiac arrest last Friday caused Ah-young to be declared braindead. Her family decided to donate her heart, lungs, liver and kidneys to four other children of similar ages.

In interviews on Thursday to local media, the family said they hoped Ah-young to live on through others, and also hoped to make another reason she was born.

The farewell letter to Ah-young from her parents. (KODA)

The Korea Organ Donation Agency, which arranges organ donators and receivers, shared a letter to Ah-young written by her parents.

“Please be born once again as our daughter. We will make many memories together until we all become old. We will hug and say 'I love you' often, and sometimes argue at that time,” the letter reads.

The donations were carried out on Thursday at Pusan National University Hospital in Yangsan, South Gyeongsang Province. Her funeral has been underway there since Thursday.