Bloem doctor searches for her grandmother in Nepal

2015-05-01 13:40
Dr Samita Pandey (Jeff Wicks, News24)

Dr Samita Pandey (Jeff Wicks, News24)

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Kathmandu - A Bloemfontein doctor made the trip to earthquake-struck Nepal to check in on her grandmother, who had been unreachable in the days following the disaster last week.

After searching for several days, she was relieved to find her beloved grandmother safe and sound.

The death toll from the quake is thought to be over 6 000 and international aid missions have flooded into the country.

Nepal-born Dr Samita Pandey, an ENT (ear, nose and throat) registrar from Bloemfontein, travelled to Nepal in search of her elderly grandmother.

Pandey is one of a medical team of 37, dispatched to Nepal as part of a Gift of the Givers humanitarian mission.


Speaking to News24, Pandey said that the realisation that her grandmother, who is in her 70s, was in one of the areas worst affected by the quake had left her shaken.

“I don’t quite have the words to describe how I felt when I heard about the earthquake because the first thought that popped into my mind was about my gran. She lives here and I was in a state of surreal shock,” she said.

“We desperately tried to get in touch with her and we couldn't for several days; it was horrible feeling that helpless, especially when I saw the images on the news about how bad it was. She is old and for a time I thought I wouldn't see her again,” the doctor added.

“We eventually reached her and luckily she was away from her house in Kathmandu and was near the south of the city. From what we hear from her she is fine and just a little bit shaken after all that has happened.”

Pandey had moved to South Africa with her parents when she was 6-years-old and as a qualified doctor had decided to try and give back to the country of her birth.

“It’s part of what motivated me to volunteer for this mission. I want to give back to my country and just check in on my gran to make sure that she is okay. When I am with my family here this place feels like home,” she said.

As the projected death toll continues to rise, the team consisting of specialist surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses will on Friday begin procedures at the Kirtipur Hospital on the outskirts of Kathmandu.

- News24 is travelling with the Gift of the Givers team.

Read more on:    gift of the givers  |  nepal  |  nepal earthquake

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