A 15-year-old Chinese girl who quit school to work and help pay her father’s medical bills has died after being forced by her boss to do 100 squats because she came in late.
The teenager, nicknamed Xiao Fei, died of respiratory failure on August 7, 10 days after the unusual punishment.
According to her father, Jiang, she was punished for being late to work with 100 deep squats in the morning.
“My daughter was not feeling well after and bought some medicine. But she cannot move her legs,” Jiang said, according to The Sun.
Days later, Xiao Fei could no longer lift her hands and vomited. She was quickly brought to the intensive care unit of Central South University, Xiangya No. 2 Hospital in Hunan, southern China.
In defense, her employers at Qfang, a real estate company in Zhongshan, argued that the squats were only an exercise and “not a punishment.”
Attending physicians diagnosed Xiao Fei with Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare disorder where the immune system attacks nerves. According to the Mayo Clinic, first symptoms include weakness and tingling sensations in the extremities, but the disorder quickly progresses to paralyze the whole body.
Xiao Fei’s untimely death is heartbreaking for the family. According to Sina News, she decided to stop schooling so that she could help pay her father’s medical bills. As she was underage, she reportedly borrowed a friend’s ID to obtain a work permit.