paramedic's charity work helps injured Afghan boy to walk
Burnham-On-Sea paramedic has descibed how a charity he works for
has helped a 12-year-old Afghan boy get life-changing treatment
after he lost his leg in an explosion.
paramedic Nich Woolf, right, is one of the team who runs
Festival Medical Services (FMS), and collects funds to help people
in need overseas.
FMS provides teams of volunteer doctors, nurses and health professionals
to deliver medical services to festival fans at Glastonbury, Reading
and other pop festivals every year.
metal pins and screws costing just £30 and paid for
by FMS made all the difference between young Zabi spending
the rest of his life in a wheelchair or not.
Zabi lives in Northern Afghanistan and his accident with a mine
happened when he followed his familys goats into an unmarked
minefield and stepped on an old Russian explosive.
His father and fellow villagers picked their way through the minefield
to reach him and, after using a towel to drag him out, they then
travelled with him for eight hours to the nearest hospital.
There, they were unable to treat such a severe injury. After an
emergency blood transfusion from father to son, a taxi took them
on to the larger regional hospital in Mazar i sharif which took
a further 12 hours.
Fortunately, that was the hospital where FMS has previously donated
equipment and supplied volunteer staff to teach the local staff
resuscitation and surgery techniques.
Orthopaedic surgeon Rahimullah found Zabis severely injured
right lower leg could not be repaired. In addition, his upper
leg bone was broken in two places. He put a pin and screws into
the upper leg and amputated the rest just above the knee.
will soon have healed sufficiently for a prosthetic leg to be
made for Zabi, pictured right, so he can learn to walk
again and re-join his friends and school in his village.
FMS Trustee and professional paramedic Nich Woolf, pictured
right, from Burnham, said: "I have had the privilege
of working as a volunteer medical teacher at Mazar Hospital for
several weeks at a time over the past three years."
makes us all at FMS immensely proud that the skills we have helped
to pass on, and the relatively inexpensive equipment we have helped
to purchase, can be used to make such a dramatic difference to
the lives of innocent Afghan people caught up in the conflict
in their country. In Zabis case, the vital metal pieces
needed to save his life cost only about £30."
Medical Services will be at Glastonbury and Reading festivals
again this summer and we hope to raise more donations from our
grateful patients, so we can continue to deliver life-changing
successes like this."
2014/15 FMS donated £100,000, divided between several charities,
including some closer to home, such as the Jessie May Trust, in
Bristol, which cares for children with life-limiting conditions.
The money which reaches Afghanistan is donated through the Sandy
Gall Afghanistan Appeal, founded by the former ITN newscaster.