Yu Xiangju, female, was born on May 20, 1951 and was from Ankang City in Shaanxi Province. She came to believe in the Lord Jesus in 1989 and in 2002 joined The Church of Almighty God; she was arrested in June 2018 by the CCP police because of her faith. The police were well aware that she suffered from serious medical conditions such as dangerously high blood pressure, heart condition, cerebral infarctions, and critically low potassium levels, but they still held her in custody and confiscated her blood pressure medication as soon as she was put into a detention center. While detained she asked the police for her blood pressure medication and her potassium supplements and requested that her family be notified to send her medication, but the police paid her no mind. This resulted in the worsening of her condition which had previously been stable. Her blood potassium levels sank to 1.6 mmol/L; on the brink of death, she suffered another cerebral infarction, her conditions worsened, and she passed away on March 29, 2019.
According to Yu Xiangju prior to her death, she suffered from dangerously high blood pressure, cerebral hemorrhages and infarctions, as well as serious, ongoing low blood potassium levels. In 2017 and prior years she had been hospitalized a total of three times and had been recovering well since her last discharge. She was able to complete normal housework as well as go out for things such as grocery shopping and church gatherings. However, she needed to take her blood pressure medication daily and occasionally take potassium supplements to remain in stable condition. If she missed a single day of her medication her blood pressure would become elevated, leaving her feeling dizzy, panicked, and weak in her lower body.
Around 3 p.m. on June 27, 2018, five police officers with the Public Security Sub-bureau in Hanbing District, Ankang City, Shaanxi Province burst into Yu Xiangju’s home and questioned her on whether she was a believer in Almighty God. They also barked at her, “You’re Chinese—Chinese people can only believe in the Communist Party!” They then demanded that she divulge information on the church leaders and the church’s finances, but she refused. Without showing any kind of search warrant they ransacked her home in a wanton search, finding 28 religious books and one laptop computer. They then took Yu Xiangju and the items they had found to the local Public Security Sub-bureau.
At 4 a.m. the following day after Yu Xiangju had been taken to the hospital for a physical exam, although the doctor told the police that her conditions were very serious, they turned a deaf ear, keeping her detained for 15 days and then transferring her to a detention center.
As soon as she arrived at the detention center her blood pressure medication was taken away by the police; they would only allow her to take a pill per day to barely keep things under control. Yu Xiangju told the police that she suffered from serious hypertension, low blood potassium, and cerebral infarctions and that she required daily doses of blood pressure medication as well as potassium supplements, while the medication that they provided her with had no effect. And she had symptoms of dizziness and lower limb pain, but the police paid no mind to her at all. On the fourth day after taking a dark-colored, unmarked pill given to her by the police, she felt dizzy and became extremely sleepy, and her blood pressure spiked. On top of that, she had been deprived of potassium supplements since her detainment, causing her potassium deficiency to become more and more severe. She felt weakness in her legs and was generally lacking in energy. When she asked for medication, she was harshly rejected by the police. When her condition became worse and worse, she asked the police to inform her family members that she needed medication, but still they ignored her request.
From then on her condition deteriorated by the day. Her legs gradually became so weak that she had trouble walking, and could barely take steps by pulling herself along a wall very slowly and with great difficulty. She often struggled to stand up from a sitting position and wasn’t able to get herself to meals; she had trouble going to the toilet and was unable to squat.
Late at night on July 10 Yu Xiangju discovered that she was unable to move the entire left side of her body, she had lost bladder control, and her brow was covered in sweat. She lied in bed in terrible pain and remained unable to get out of bed the following morning. Afraid that she would die in the detention center and they would be held responsible, the police had no choice but to take her to the hospital for a checkup. The police refused to allow her to see her test results, but concealed her condition from her, saying, “There’s nothing serious with you. Go back and get some rest.” In order to shirk their own responsibility, the police called Yu Xiangju’s husband and had him pick her up, releasing her two days early.
On July 12, Yu Xiangju was taken to the emergency room at Ankang Central Hospital by her family. Her test results showed her blood potassium levels had dropped to 1.6 mmol/L (a normal range is 3.5 – 5.5 mmol/L) which had resulted in the worsening of her heart condition and high blood pressure, as well as a recurrence of her cerebral infarction. Her life was in imminent danger. However, the police still refused to leave her alone—they went into the hospital to intimidate her family, saying that she was a political criminal and would face sentencing. The next day they also found Yu Xiangju in the emergency room where they forced her to sign a document and ordered her to give up her faith. For a portion of the time she was in the hospital, Yu Xiangju remained in critical condition and her doctor had to give her a pacemaker to keep her alive.
Yu Xiangju remained in the hospital for treatment for 20 days at a cost of over RMB 20,000, but her condition hadn’t improved. She still couldn’t get out of bed or stand up. After discharge she adhered to medication and not until a period of time later could she barely walk on her own, but unsteadily and with great difficulty. This was in stark contrast to her condition prior to her arrest. In March 2019 she took a turn for the worse, and in the evening of the 29th of that month, she left this world at the age of 68.