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Dr. C in Nepal: Doing what you can, and getting things done

06/29/2015 04:33 EDT | Updated 06/28/2016 05:59 EDT
I can still see his arm.

He is an eight-year-old boy. The villagers brought him to me when they found out I was a doctor.

I knew he had a complex fracture by the reduced movement and general tenderness of  his arm. The skin around it was filled with pus.

My stomach sank when I saw it. I'm not an orthopedic surgeon. His injury was far beyond my ability to fix.

We were in a small village in the region of Sindhu Palchuk. It's only accessible by helicopter and it is near the epicentre of the April earthquake.

Thousands of people died here, and you can feel it in the air. The people who survived are hungry and barely getting by.

And I can't help this child.

Getting things done

The boy needs an orthopedic surgeon or he is never going to be able to use his arm. It might even be too late at this point.

I asked the pilot to take the boy back with us. He said we had no space and couldn't take the extra weight even if we did. I felt sick. I vomited twice on the way home.

Back at the hotel in Kathmandu, we took to social media and my co-producer Patrick tells everyone in earshot about the situation.

Patrick is an American businessman, with a huge heart and a sense of compassion. He also knows how to make things happen.

We showed the pictures to our friends in Nepal and described what happened — and they stepped up. They connected us with Edeta Nichols, a director for The World Food Programme.

Edeta rallied help, including the the International Organization for Migration and Islamic Relief.

Together, they brought food, water, tents and a medical evacuation for the boy and another person who became suddenly ill and also needed hospitalization.

We hear from the boy's father that the child will be flown out for surgery in Kathmandu or Bhaktipur within the next few days. I sigh. I don't have to be haunted by the boy's face and arm. I can erase it from my mind.

How can you help?

I came to Nepal to find out how my friends and others are doing after the terrible earthquake, and to see if Team Broken Earth could start a long term medical project.

I have a bunch of ideas about how our medical group can help, but there are lots of ways you can help too.

The most important one is to just come here for a vacation. Getting the tourism industry back up to speed is so crucial to the future of Nepal.

This is an amazing place to visit, with a rich history, gentle people, where you can live a life as big as your imagination.

I get a sound night's sleep in my hotel room. I have tried my best to help, and now I've got nothing left.

But I feel that my own life is so much richer and deeper because of the time I have spent in Nepal.

Reconnecting with my friend

Oh, and remember my friend Nabeen? I found him. He and his family survived the earthquake, and they are doing well.

Nabeen is out of the taxi business. He's now running a butcher shop in Kathmandu.

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