日本在住歴約40年のRon McFarlandと外資系勤務が長い齋藤信幸が、それぞれの海外体験を語ります。

「ハイジャックそしてクラッシュ!Ronさん、九死に一生 」は一休み。

2020-12-20 21:36:02 | Ron's Life Story












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ハイジャックそしてクラッシュ!Ronさん、九死に一生(5)- 治療をする国の選択

2020-12-11 22:28:42 | 旅の安全



Transport Operations:

A French medical team from Reunion Island was the first on the scene. They said they had a converted military plane, which could carry sick to one of the best hospitals in the Indian Ocean, comparable with hospitals in South Africa. The problem was that it would take four and a half hours to travel in that old plane. To South Africa, if it could be arranged, would be only three hours.

The Japanese JICA (JAPAN INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ASSOCIATION), wanted to take me to Nairobi, as did the Ethiopian and the American Embassy. I did not want to go to Nairobi, as I had food poisoning there once and would rather go to a more modern hospital. As the French medical team seemed the most efficient, best equipped and ready to go, I selected to go to Reunion with them. Well, I guess I made the right choice, as this hospital was excellent, and the staff, although French speaking only, were wonderful to me.

The French Medical Team:

The team of French medics was excellent. Even when there were no problems, they made rounds about every 2-3 minutes. Also, their medical equipment was much more modern than that which was used in the Comoros. I knew by their professionalism and efficiency that I had made the right decision to go to Reunion.

On a sad note, I learned there were five Americans on the plane and two had died. One of two Japanese died.

Once our converted medical plane took off, the English girls started talking again. I now knew her name, Katie, but did not know her friend’s name, so I asked and gave them my name, “Ron”. The other English lady’s name was Lizzy. Lizzy and I met in the first hospital, and she had a bad leg injury.

When I gave my name, Rani heard it. She was in one of the upper cotes, out of my view. I could not see her but she heard my name and shouted out, “Ron, are you here too?” So, once again, we were rejoined.

The plane ride was not comfortable, as it was a military cargo plane and not for injured passengers. At the end of the flight, my leg hurt more than ever. But, the medical team headed by Dr. Bernard Gavwere was excellent!

At Reunion, the American Ambassador of Mauritius, a nearby island nation, met me at the airport. He also said I would get the best of care in that hospital, and if there was anything he could do, he would. That was about 7-8 PM in the evening, and he said he would visit me in the hospital the next day.

I was sent to a hospital called Felix Guyon in St. Denis, on the island of Reunion. Reunion is like France’s Hawaii. I never saw the island though. I was in the hospital the whole time.

When I first enter the hospital, I know I would be in good care, as all the equipment was like any industrialized country. Rani, Lizzy, Katie, the American Frank (Poncho) Huddle and his wife, were all in the same hospital.

I must admit, the four and a half hours on a noisy and shaky plane made my leg hurt all the more, and I had not been given anything to eat for 48 hours.

The first doctor saw my original X-rays, and he said the leg had to be re-set within five minutes, as it will cause great problems later on. I did everything in my power to convince him the leg was set, and he soon confirmed that. So, he simply cut off the cast on my ankle, drilled a hole in the bone below my knee on my left leg, so the hip would be put in traction so it would heal properly.

Then, I ate a full meal and went to sleep, a very good, deep sleep, as the ordeal was slowly coming to an end.





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ハイジャックそしてクラッシュ!Ronさん、九死に一生(4)- 生々しすぎるケガの状況

2020-12-05 23:56:00 | 旅の安全



Around that time, I saw one of Rani’s ankles. It was completely broken and was only attached by skin. Finally we reached the boat, and the crew helped Rani on the speedboat first, as she was the more injured. Then, they lifted me aboard.

The boat traveled at a very high speed, and it was very painful for both Rani and me, but we could not communicate in French to slow down which was the language of the people speaking.

When we got to the beach, many people from the island (Grand Comore) carried us and others off the boat and to a 9-seat multi-purpose bus, which took us to a small hospital or doctor’s office. At that point, I lost contact with Rani. It took about 15 minutes to get to the clinic and was a very painful ride. I could not move my left leg, and it had to be kept in a bent position leaning toward my right leg or the pain would be too great. A young boy from the island helped keep my leg in place, as it kept falling outward and that created a great deal of pain for me. I was so grateful to the boy, that I gave my watch to him. He seemed to be so grateful for such a simple gift that it made me feel very good in giving it to him, and I was more assured that he would take better care of me until I arrived at the hospital. He could not believe that I was giving him the watch, and he tried to give it back to me, but I insisted that he kept it. (子供の方からすると盗んだと思われるのが嫌だったのだと思います)

In that little clinic I noticed a lot of medical people in swimming suits. It turned out 20 doctors from France were on vacation and saw our plane crash from the beach. They went directly from sun bathing to work on us.

From the vehicle, we were taken to a slightly larger hospital in a pick-up truck, as far as I could tell.

The clinic was filled with activity, and I was told that I was one of the least injured and to please wait until more critical patients were tended to first. So, I started waiting.

Around me were two English ladies who did not want to stop talking and a greatly injured Indian lady on my right. One of the English ladies left the room, and the other lady had no one to talk to, so I started talking to make her feel better, as she did not seem in that great of pain.

The Indian lady was in a great deal of pain and was not conscious most of the time. When she asked for the doctor no one could understand her as her voice was very low, and she could only speak English. I tried to help her by calling out for a doctor on her behalf. Finally a team of doctors came and examined her. They examined her right in front of me, and I could see her from head to toe completely naked, as we laid in beds side-by-side and very close. All I could think of was her pain, as I could see her suffering terribly. It turned out she had over 17 bones broken and would have to be in a full body cast for over six months.

From a faraway room, I heard a voice calling my name. “Ron is that you?” She heard my voice calling for the doctor for the Indian lady next to me. It was Rani. I had found her again, and we were once again in contact with each other. I thought I would lose contact with her forever this time, so I had my business card sent to her. Then, she could contact me when we all recovered. She also gave me a note of her address.

Finally, it was my turn to have my leg x-rayed. It was learned that I had definitely had a separated hip and may have broken bones in the hip as well. The x-ray was extremely painful, as I had to roll over on the injured spot.

It had to be operated on immediately, as the bone would set in the wrong place, and there would be damage later. I was given general anesthesia. During the operation, I thought I was in a fairy tale with a lot of gray and white kaleidoscopic designs. The leg was set back into the socket of my hip.

The next thing I knew, I was looking up at a lot of doctors and people. They were all looking at me as if I was a newly born baby. The doctor said I was all right now, and I noticed my leg was straight again.

When I got back to my bed, I noticed that I had a cast on my left ankle even though I knew my ankle was not injured. I learned later that it was there to keep my leg straight.

The British lady across from me seemed to want to talk some more. She said her and her friend were on a world tour when this tragedy occurred. She said she worked for MTV for many years. We also shared experiences of the flight, as she was in Economy Class in the back with the smokers, and I was in business class in the front. She had a punctured lung, and I did not want to tire her too much. So, I kept my words short, simple and cute. She and that friend with her later on wrote a book about the flight.

Photograph of the crash





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