A phone rang on a Saturday like all the others. A voice on the other end of the line asked for a medical evacuation. No names, no details other than “he is weak and has not been off the bed during the last 48 hours”. The other end of the line is somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, some 150 nautical miles offshore Angola, on board of a drilling rig under towing from South Africa, but above all at the other end of a line there is a frightened human being getting every day weaker that has been mulling over the pain in his right side for the last weeks. He felt that pain since few days before the departure from his home, but he decided to ignore it because his family depends from his job, the University for his daughter, the mortgage for the house, the new business for the older son.
The other end of the line is a man looking at a friend that cannot stand up from the bed, that has not been eating in the last few days and that is loosing weight at increasing pace. He feels the accountability for his friend and he is on the line calling for evacuation. He does not know who is on this side of the line, but his friend needs help and he will not give up until he receives the ok for the medevac.
On this side of the line someone picked the request as it was from his best friend, not from an unknown voice on a satellite line and ten persons worked together to have an helicopter flying on the sea to a distant point known only by its coordinates on a map, on the screen of the GPS.
The helicopter landed in the night and the ambulance was waiting on the tarmac of the airport. He was weak but he was smiling to the nurse that was tucking in the blanket on the stretcher.
His older son arrived three days later and the doctor in the hospital told him that the conditions was desperate. He wanted his father to be repatriated at the soonest and the special flight has been arranged overnight. On Thursday he was flying to his Country, hanging on a thin hope.
This is what I found in my mailbox this afternoon:
“We just received the news that Mr. XXXX, after being repatriated Thursday night, had passed away this morning.Unfortunately the neoplasia and the complications following it made impossible any further intervention in Cairo. At least he died surrounded by his family”
We did all that was in our power to make sure that a wife could see again her husband and that a father could see his daughter and son again. We did well, but all the persons involved in the operations feel sad now because of the sense of powerlessness…
We did our best to give him at least a chance to have beloved persons surrounding him to prevent him disappears like teardrops in the rain, as Roy said at the end of Blade Runner.
…As simple as that…
Questa è una storia reale e le persone coinvolte sono vere, così come la tristezza…