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Pacific Stars and Stripes, Aug. 16, 1952

Little Seoul Girl Covered With Maggots Found Dead

By Charles Vogel

(Editor's Note: Air Force 1st Lt. Charles Vogel, Philadelphia, told in a United Press dispatch last week how he found a seriously sick little girl in the streets of Seoul and attempted to get her hospitalized. The child was treated instead at a first aid station, taken to an orphanage and then put back on the streets because there was no room for her).

SEOUL (UP)- The little girl I found covered with maggots and nearly starved on a street in Seoul this summer is there again.

She is in the same cramped position, lying on her side in the street. This time she is dead.

THE POLICE DIDN'T take her to a hospital when she needed care. They took her to a first aid station. The maggots and flies had been attracted by that red protrusion from her abdomen.

When they turned her out from the orphanage I guess she started walking around the streets again, looking for someone who might remember her.

WHEN SHE WAS found this time people were still walking by her, stepping over her and paying no attention. A boy on his bicycle went out of his way, however, to avoid hitting her body.

A major told me the story. He had stopped in his staff car to see if anything could be done. Of course, there wasn't.

I suppose the orphanage was overcrowded when they told her to leave.

THERE ARE MANY children-thousands of them-like that little girl.

I don't know how long she'll stay on the street until someone moves her body.

When she was still alive a policeman not 25 feet away calmly directed traffic, oblivious to her suffering as was everyone else.

OF COURSE, SHE wasn't dead then. She could brush off some of the flies with one hand. She could do nothing about the maggots. And she was sucking at an ear of raw corn as if it were a peppermint stick.

Her chances weren't good, but it seems to me she could have been saved if somebody had wanted to save her.



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