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Zhang was a teacher at Middle School #19 in Jiamusi City, Helongjiang province when she was crossing the street with two of her students and noticed an out-of-control bus speeding towards them. She pushed her students out of the way, but fell under the bus herself. Doctors had to amputate both her legs to save her.|
Zhang has since been featured frequently in the Chinese media, as an everyday hero to emulate. She has been declared “the most beautiful teacher” (最美女教师) and, along with several others, has been chosen as an exemplar for the kind of civil morality the Party hopes to promote.
She told the reporter she first applied to the Party at the age of 16, before she really understood what that meant. Party membership has been her dream for a long time. Now, she said, joining the Party “feels like falling back into my mother’s arms.”
She also said, “Having gone through such a catastrophe, I have a new understanding of the Communist Party. I think the Party is really like family. At my most difficult, most dangerous moments, they took care of me and supported me in every possible way. They were with me, and helped me get past the most difficult times of my crisis so I can have a new life.”
Zhang is still in intensive care, and doctors say she is recovering well. She will be released once the wounds fully heal, and will then begin rehabilitation and prosthetic treatment.