Sunday, October 11, 2015

The strange circumstances of Lingzi Lu's death

Dr. John Cowin (source: Healthy Living)

The "official" Boston Bombing story has it that Lingzi Lu lost her life within a few minutes after the bomb blast, on the sidewalk in front of the Forum. The official story goes on to claim that her body was covered with table cloths and stayed at the crime scene for a couple of hours. At the Tsarnaev trial, the prosecution tried to carve this story into stone by the testimony of Boston Police officer Lauren Woods. Unfortunately, the transcript of her intriguing statement will not be published before December 24, 2015. However, there are enough snippets saved in Twitter messages and reports to get a fairly coherent picture of the circumstances of the expiring of Lingzi Lu. I added an appendix with the most important tweets.

To make it short: Woods testified that, after Lingzi Lu was provisionally treated on the sidewalk, she was put onto a backboard and moved to an ambulance. But the personnel of the ambulance refused to load her onto the vehicle in order to "save space for those they could save." Lingzi was then moved to the sidewalk at Crate&Barrell and covered by a white sheet - obviously she had died in the meantime.

Another key witness for the expiring of Lingzi Lu has not been called by the prosecution: Dr. John Cowin, a surgeon from Florida, who happened to be at the second bomb site and provided several victims with first aid. Dr. Cowin has spoken about this experience at a few occasions in the aftermath of the bombings.

The earliest quote is from April 15, 2013, maybe three hours after the bombings. He gave a short statement to Al Jazeera:
"The worst thing was a little boy, his mother was holding hand but he was obviously expired. We had another woman who arrested while we were there."
 Orlando Sentinel, April 17:
John Cowin said he ran to try to help Lingzi after tending to a man who lost a foot and his 3-year-old son, who suffered a small cut to his head. People were administering CPR when he stepped in to try to clear Lingzi's airway until she could be loaded onto an ambulance. "But I knew she wasn't going to make it," he said.
He said her friend, another student from China, was propped up against a fence with a shrapnel wound to her stomach. People from a nearby restaurant were using tablecloths to bandage her wound. John Cowin, who served as a military physician more than three decades ago and was stationed in the Philippines, helped load the students and other patients into ambulances.
Boston Globe, April 18:
Next, Cowin encountered two Boston University graduate students, one propped against a fence after being hit in the chest with shrapnel. Her friend lay unconscious a few feet away with a severe neck wound.
Cowin tended to the first, as paramedics began unsuccessful attempts to resuscitate her friend, later identified as Lingzi Lu. “I’ve been calling the consulate ever since,” Cowin said Wednesday. “If it will help them at all, I just want her family to know that she didn’t suffer.”
A compilation of Dr. Cowin's facebook notices after the attacks - the exact date is unclear:
The next two most seriously injured were two Chinese girls.  The first was propped up against a fence and was obviously going into shock.  There was someone trying to help her.  People from the restaurant where the bomb exploded were bringing out tablecloths to use as bandages.  She had one covering her abdomen.  When I lifted it, she had a shrapnel wound to her belly.  We got some tablecloths under her head so we could lay her down.  At the same time they were giving CPR to the other Chinese woman.  She had vomited so they were trying to clear her airway. At that point the medics arrived with an airway.  The airway was inserted and I bagged her until they were able to put her in an ambulance.
Healthy Living, June 1:
He also attempted to help Lingzi Lu, a 23-year-old Chinese woman who was attending graduate school at Boston University. She had vomited, so Dr. Cowin attempted to clear her airway while paramedics used an Ambu bag — a squeezable bag with a face mask — to help her breathe.
“Unfortunately, she suffered devastating injuries, and I knew she was not going to make it,” he says in a somber voice. “However, her friend suffered from shrapnel into the abdomen, and people were using tablecloths from the restaurant where they were eating to help bandage her wound. I also laid her down, so she would not go into shock. She ended up living.”

When Dr. Cowin was separated from Lingzi, he obviously regarded her as alive, if most precarious ("she wasn't going to make it"). He believed that she was being loaded onto an ambulance and moved to a hospital. He must have missed the dramatic scene when the EMT personnel refused to accept Lingzi. In the first interview he said that she "arrested", which probably means cardiac arrest - but that doesn't mean she was dead. That's why they performed CPR. He uses the term "expire" only for Martin Richard, not Lingzi Lu.

The behavior of the ambulance team is not only strange, it is outrageous and a denial of assistance resulting in death. The alleged reasoning ("to save space for those they could save") insinuates masses of life-endangered victims, but this was not the case at the second bomb site. The crime scene was quite overseeable now, several minutes after the blast. Many people were maimed, but the few individuals whose live was in danger were already moved to a hospital minutes ago.

How is it possible that Lingzi Lu was denied access to the ambulance???

Please read also Did Officer Lauren Woods mix up Lingzi Lu and Zhou Danling?

Appendix - Tweets on the Lauren Woods testimony