Home World Cancer-surviving grandmother attacked at traffic lights – but had the last laugh

Cancer-surviving grandmother attacked at traffic lights – but had the last laugh


75-year-old Xiao Zhen Zie was standing at traffic lights in San Francisco, North California when she was assaulted. The incident occurred on Wednesday morning and a suspect is being investigated by the police to establish whether the attack was racially motivated. 

Zie who is also a cancer survivor explained her reflex was to fight back and used a stick to ward off the man which left him needing hospital treatment.

Zie’s daughter Dong-Mei Lei told CBS San Francisco that her mother “found the stick around the area and fought back”.

Sports director Dennis O’Donnell, who witnessed the attack, said: “There was a guy on a stretcher and a frustrated angry woman with a stick in her hand.

“From what I could see, she wanted more of the guy on the stretcher and the police were holding her back.”

Following the incident, Zie’s family set up a GoFundMe account to cover the cost of her treatment. 

The initial target was to raise around £36,000 ($50,000) but it has now raised more than £420,000 ($585,000).

In a statement Zie’s grandson John Chen wrote: “I am amazed by her bravery.”

Chen also explained the extent of Zie’s injuries sustained during the attack. 

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He said: “She is now suffering two serious black eyes and one that is bleeding unstoppably.

“Her wrist has also swelled up. She has been severely affected mentally, physically, and emotionally. She also stated that she is afraid to step out of her home from now on. This traumatic event has left her with PTSD.”

In his latest update, Chen revealed Zie’s condition had improved but said her overall mental health was still “unstable”. 

He added: “Whenever the issue is brought up to her, she gets extremely emotional and starts crying. 

“We have to constantly calm her down and comfort her from her PTSD. She is still really dizzy and can only eat porridge.

“We are extremely touched by how supportive the community has been towards our family.

“There are no words that can express how grateful my family is towards the community. Once again Thank you all!”

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