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東日本大震災翻訳プロジェクト〔第11話〕

  • English
  • 日本語

In the hospital that should be safe

SHIOZAKI Katsuya, 46, Third president of Torayatakobei, octopus-dumplings store, Uchigomidaisakaimachi, Iwaki city
Translated by GOTO Yume

 I believed that the hospital is the safest place and doctors and nurses save patients no matter what happens.

 In the end of 2010, I fell down with subarachnoid hemorrhage in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture. I had an operation for seven hours. Fortunately I didn’t have any aftereffects. Doctors encouraged me that steady rehabilitation training would make me to return to work. In the middle of February 2011, I moved to a hospital in Iwaki city.

 On March 11, 2011, I was undergoing rehabilitation training as usual. We took refuge on a parking lot with doctors and nurses. Since I was in the hospital, I felt easy. Even when the hospital lost functions due to tsunami, suspension of water supply, nuclear disaster, and aftershocks, my family and I believed the hospital is safer than my house. If necessary, the Self-Defense Forces would rescue us by helicopter…

photo

 Food and water distribution had decreased day by day. Patients left the hospital one after another, and only those who couldn’t move by themselves were left behind. “If you have any place to stay, I’d like you to leave this hospital,” when a doctor told me so, I was shocked. I was convinced that I was in the safest place.

 After leaving the hospital, I moved to Tokyo in which my son lives. Because of the protracted evacuation, I was going to use up my medicine. When I called the hospital for the medicine, they told me to go a nearby hospital in Tokyo, saying “Tell them that you are an evacuee from Iwaki. They will give you the medicine.” However, it was not easy. I had to visit a few hospitals before I got the medicine. I felt a gap between the disaster hit areas and Tokyo.

 Now I really think that I had very precious experiences. Disasters may occur again. It is necessary that the government, medical experts, and local administration act together in order to protect vulnerable patients at the time of disaster.

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