BEIJING: In a grisly incident, a 19-year-old boy in China chopped off his left hand with a cleaver in order to cure his Internet addiction.
Xiao Wang (pseudonym), a high school senior, in Nantong, Jiangsu Province is recovering after doctors were able to successfully reattach his hand.
He performed the amputation on a stone bench next to a bus stop on Sunday with a cleaver taken from his kitchen.
He then hailed a cab and headed for the Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, where doctors conducted 10 hours of emergency surgery to reattach Xiao's severed hand, the Global Times reported.
Doctors have said it would take a week to know whether the hand would be saved.
The severity of Xiao's heavy-handed deed became known when the taxi driver called police, who then informed his parents and teachers.
"He chopped off his hand to show his determination to end his Internet addiction," one of his teachers was quoted as saying.
Pressed by his parents, Xiao finally told police the location of his left hand.
Reportedly China has an estimated 24 million "web junkies" who are addicted to going online. Several military-style boot camps have been set up in a bid to combat what is believed to be a growing problem.
"We cannot accept what has happened. It was completely out of the blue. He was a smart boy," his mother, who declined to be identified, told reporters.
The woman said she had gone to her son's bedroom only to find that he had disappeared. She found a handwritten note on the bed in which he should have been sleeping.
"Mum, I have gone to hospital for a while. Don't worry. I will definitely come back this evening," it read.
He had smuggled a kitchen knife from their home and snuck out. Safely out of sight, the teenager severed his left hand at the wrist, Jiangsu TV channel reported.