Asian grandmother who fought off attacker with stick receives $850,000 in GoFundMe donations

<p>The grandmother (right) hit back against her unnamed assailant</p>

The grandmother (right) hit back against her unnamed assailant

CBS/Screen grab

More than $850,000 has been raised for an elderly Asian woman who fought back against a man who attacked her while she was standing at traffic lights.

Xiao Zhen Zie, 75, used a stick to ward off the assailant when he assaulted her in the San Francisco Bay Area, leaving him needing hospital treatment.

Zie, who believes the attack on Wednesday morning was racially motivated and said it was entirely unprovoked, explained that her reflex was to fight back, but added that she had been left feeling traumatised by the experience.

The incident came after the recent mass shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, which left eight people dead – including six women of Asian heritage – sending shockwaves through the Asian American community.

Following the incident, Zie’s family set up a GoFundMe account to cover her medical expenses, therapy treatment, and bills.

The initial target was to raise $50,000. It has now raised more than $852,000.

Her grandson John Chen, who set up the fundraiser, said he was “amazed” by the bravery of his grandmother, who is also a cancer survivor and who has suffered from diabetes for more than a decade.

He wrote in a statement on the site: “She is now suffering two serious black eyes and one that is bleeding unstoppably.

“Her wrist has also swelled up. She has been severely affected mentally, physically, and emotionally. She also stated that she is afraid to step out of her home from now on. This traumatic event has left her with PTSD.”

He continued: “My heart is with all the other elderly Asians that have also been seriously injured or killed in this wave of attacks towards the Asian community.”

In his latest update, Chen revealed that after her first full day of rest, Zie’s condition had improved but said her mental health was still “unstable”.

“Whenever the issue is brought up to her, she gets extremely emotional and starts crying,” he explained.

“We have to constantly calm her down and comfort her from her PTSD. She is still really dizzy and can only eat porridge.”

Photos posted by Chen show Zie’s terrible injuries

He added: “When we were talking to her, she stated that ‘she hopes the younger generation of Asian Americans can all stand up for one another, and hope they can stick up for the elderly’.

“We are extremely touched by how supportive the community has been towards our family,” he continued. “There are no words that can express how grateful my family is towards the community. Once again Thank you all!”

Speaking to CBS San Francisco in the immediate aftermath of the attack, Zie’s daughter Dong-Mei Lei explained that her mother “found the stick around the area and fought back”.

Whilst both parties were hospitalised following the incident, it was the attacker who required a stretcher.

The broadcaster’s Sports Director Dennis O’Donnell, who witnessed the attack, said: “There was a guy on a stretcher and a frustrated angry woman with a stick in her hand.

“From what I could see, she wanted more of the guy on the stretcher and the police were holding her back.”

Local police have reported another attack on another elderly Asian person.

A suspect is being investigated for both incidents and police say they are trying to establish whether the attacks are racially-motivated.

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