Nepal earthquake victims still at risk, says Norfolk surgeon
PUBLISHED: 17:12 09 May 2015 | UPDATED: 17:12 09 May 2015
Archant Norfolk © 2015
A Norfolk surgeon who returned to his native Nepal to help earthquake victims said many survivors still risk death if they cannot get treatment.
Kamal Aryal, a general surgeon at the James Paget University Hospital, in Gorleston, is leading a medical team who flew out to Kathmandu last week. The team of four – including anaesthetist Andreas Brodbeck and surgeons Emeka Nnene and Mike Flores – has spent the past seven days treating broken limbs, including injuries suffered by two boys aged nine and 12, who risked death or disability without treatment.
Mr Aryal, who trained in the Nepali capital and whose elderly parents survived the disaster, said the last patient on the team’s first day’s theatre was a woman whose plight illustrated the scale of the injuries and devastation that people are struggling to cope with.
He said: “The last patient, a 53-year-old woman, had a fracture of the left arm. We set the patient’s arm, but she must sleep with her head up which is easy to achieve in hospital by raising the end of the bed and, at home, with pillows. But this woman is an earthquake victim and has lost her house completely. We explained to her she needs a pillow to support her during sleep. Our anaesthetist, Andreas Brodbeck, gave her around £20 in rupees to buy some pillows. The patient accepted the £20 and looks happier.”
Local charity Nepal in Need has paid for the surgical team’s trip, which costs an estimated £4,000.
Donations can be made online at www.nepalinneed.org or by dropping off a donation made payable to Nepal In Need to: Ann Gisborne, PA to Christine Allen, James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gorleston, NR31 6LA.