Sunday, 26 April 2015

Nepal, a doctor and a hospital

I was planning to write something else this morning but the physical world gave me a jolt - another earthquake in Nepal.
Nepal is a beautiful country trying hard to remain independent. Please help them.
I know a doctor who spends some time there every year. He is one of the few foreigners the government there actually welcomes back into the country time and time again. You see, he saved some lives and he didn't ask to be paid for it.
The first time he did it was accidental. He had gone to Nepal out of curiosity. 
Being T he had not gone to Nepal on holiday but as part of a medical team. A member of the Nepalese community met him, discovered a connection, and asked him whether he could do something similar in another part of the country.
Being T he "wandered in" to see what he could do. And, being T, he did things.
The local community built a tiny hospital for him. It is not a fancy sort of western hospital but it is much better than anything they had before - and now there is a room for T to sleep in when he goes. He goes for a month each year. He operates under the most difficult of conditions. He doesn't always save lives but he does save some. He has trained local medical staff in some western techniques but he  respects their traditions as well - indeed he has high praise for much of what they do. 
No, wait a moment - they had those things. Their hospital has been damaged. They sent T a message, relaying it across the valleys. Please can he come? They need him desperately. They are trying to repair the hospital so he can use it.
So late last night T contacted me to tell me that his colleagues are covering for him. They have put together the things he thinks he will need. He is being flown up there by the authorities as I type this and they will take him as far as they can. After that, it will be a journey largely on foot as there has been so much damage. He should be there tomorrow and he will stay for at least a week. 
Communication with the outside world is limited so we e-mailed one another multiple times over the hours before he left. Yes, he's got his communication system working the way he thinks he wants it to work. He speaks some Nepalese now but sometimes medical words elude him.
And this time he will again sleep in the house of the grandson of a man who guided his grandfather out of India during World War II.
He says he owes it to them to help.

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