Liu Jiayi, a young nurse in China, came under the global spotlight when President Xi Jinping praised her on an international platform.
Xi shared her story during a speech at a meeting of the United Nations (UN) in 2020, expressing his admiration for medical workers, including nurses.
Liu was among the 40,000-plus health workers from across the country who rushed to the central province of Hubei in 2020 when it was fighting a fierce battle against the COVID-19 epidemic.
"The moment I put on the protective suit, I am not a kid anymore." -- Xi cited Liu's words from a TV interview when she was told by a journalist that she is still very young, and needs to be taken care of.
"Those words moved the whole nation," Xi said while sharing Liu's story at the meeting marking the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women.
Coming from the city of Huizhou, Guangdong Province, about 1,000 km south of Hubei's capital Wuhan, Liu was the youngest member of the medical-assistance team dispatched by the province to assist with Wuhan's fight against the novel coronavirus.
She volunteered to join the team during the Lantern Festival in February 2020. It was the furthest distance she had ever traveled from home, and the month she spent there was the longest time she had ever been away from her parents.
At the UN meeting, Xi spoke highly of Liu and medical workers like her, saying "their courage and hard work have shown the very best of the medical profession" and "their devotion and sacrifice have kept the nation intact through difficult times."
At a time when multiple Chinese cities are battling a resurgence of COVID-19 infections, a large number of nurses again threw themselves into the battle without hesitation.
"They proved worthy of the great trust placed in them," as Xi rightly said in his greetings to nurses in 2020 ahead of International Nurses Day, which falls on May 12.
The number of registered nurses in China had reached 5.02 million at the end of 2021, and there were about 3.56 nurses for every 1,000 people, according to official statistics.
Xi hailed them for exemplifying the noble spirit of respecting and protecting life, healing the wounded and rescuing the dying, and being dedicated to the cause, and asked governments at all levels to care about nurses, focus more efforts on strengthening the nursing workforce, and improve the incentive mechanisms.
Nursing is an important part of health care, Xi noted, calling on all members of society to show their appreciation and support for nurses.