Nepal PM lends helicopter to woman badly hurt in earthquake

CHARIKOT (TIP) : A Nepali woman seriously injured by falling debris in Tuesday’s earthquake was airlifted to a Kathmandu hospital on Thursday in the Prime Minister’s helicopter, after two British paramedics pleaded with officials to help save her life.

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala was on a visit to Charikot town in Dolakha district, around 70km east of Kathmandu and one of the areas worst affected by the latest tremor to hit the Himalayan nation still reeling from a massive quake last month.

As Koirala sat in an army tent where he was being briefed on the rescue effort, a few metres away two advanced paramedics were hand-pumping oxygen into an elderly woman at a makeshift medical camp, keeping her alive.

The woman had been taken to Charikot from her village on Thursday morning after being hit on the head by falling debris during this week’s quake. Her family said her condition had deteriorated.

The paramedics told Reuters they had spent an hour pleading with army officials to tell Koirala that his helicopter was needed to transport the woman to a hospital in the capital.

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“I said ‘If I stop doing this, this lady will die. Do you understand?’,” paramedic Phil Llewellyn, who arrived on May 5 to help the Nepal Red Cross Society, recalled telling a Nepalese army official.

The paramedics eventually spoke to the helicopter’s pilot, who informed the Prime Minister.

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