Army surgical team's nurses 'honored' to help

Updated: 2015-05-12 07:42

By Xinhua in Kathmandu(China Daily)

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As sunshine filtered through camouflage mesh that served as a makeshift roof over the lawn connecting ward tents, Xu Zhaoxia checked her first-aid kit after visiting patients in her area of responsibility.

She was eager to join a task force to serve earthquake victims in parts of Kathmandu who are not able to come to the rough field hospital - a combination of tents, vehicles and shabby bungalows just meters away from the official seat of the Nepalese government, Singha Durbar, or Lion Palace.

It was a typical working scene lately for Xu, 42, the head nurse of the emergency department of China's Chengdu Military Region Medical Team, which landed in Kathmandu on April 27, two days after the magnitude-7.9 quake that ravaged communities in the Himalayan nation and claimed more than 8,000 lives.

For Xu, the decision to help the Nepalese people was not an easy one. Her husband, who is also a military medical professional, returned to China from Liberia on April 23, after completing his two-month mission fighting Ebola in the African country.

"Temporary separations due to work are quite common for us, and I definitely miss him when we are not together. But we're both military people; therefore we should just follow orders. That is our responsibility," Xu said.

For Xu, a brief chat with her husband and 15-year-old son by telephone, or via the instant-messaging app WeChat, has become a daily routine since she came to Nepal - her first foreign trip - so her family can make sure she is safe and sound.

Since her arrival, the medical team, the only foreign-aid team capable of full-spectrum bone-related surgical procedures, has treated more than 200 patients and performed more than 100 surgeries, including 34 major ones.

An Hong, 49, head nurse of the anesthesia department, was deployed to Nepal after a sudden change of command, replacing a younger colleague who was not able to make the trip for family reasons.

"I feel very honored to be here to help the Nepalese people. This trip is very inspiring," said An, who may retire next year.