In December 2018, the medical workers of the Kangwon Provincial People’s Hospital unexpectedly received a patient with serious burns.
Ri Han Gyong, head of a department, recollected those days as follows: The patient was badly burnt to be hardly recognizable as a human. He was Ma Chung Hyok, a young soldier in his early twenties serving the Navy of the Korean People’s Army. He got second- and third-degree burns on 65 percent of his body. We supposed he could live about 20 hours at the longest.
They held an urgent consultation, which was unprecedented in the history of hospital as it was attended by officials from the province and a relevant unit and officers of his navy unit.
Upon hearing the story about the soldier from an officer, they felt a feeling of obligation and oppression that they should bring him back to life at any cost.
They launched an intensive campaign for delivering him from the jaws of death.
The veins which were hardly found on his two insteps, the only undamaged parts of his body, got damaged and bruised once they were stuck with a needle. They finally located the subclavian vein to make a breakthrough in treatment, and tens of kinds of medicines were injected into his body.
The patient came to his senses three days later, during which 15 rounds of consultations were held at his bedside.
But, his vital signs showed curved lines between rise and fall. Whenever he felt into a coma, the medical workers conducted intensive treatment and made concerted efforts to find out more superior and rational therapies.
They spent the first day of 2019 giving him emergency treatment.
Thanks to their sincerity and devoted efforts, the patient’s vital signs became stable and two rounds of skin grafting operations were performed successfully. Finally, the medical workers vouched for the safety of his life. It was the 112th day after they started treatment.
Wi Kyong Sim, doctor in charge of the patient, said as follows: We thought we had performed our duty by bringing him back to life as it was said to be impossible for him to live even a day in a coma. But how could he live under the care of others all his life? So, we set a new target and started plastic surgeries.
The orthopedists buckled down to solving difficult problems arising in the treatment one after another, separating from each other the five fingers which were burnt to a mass and restoring the neck in which the jaw was contracted to the chest.
They have performed several plastic operations, holding consultations with medical workers of a central hospital through the telemedicine system and introducing rational therapies.
The patient’s father, a farmer in Kim Chaek City, North Hamgyong Province, hurried to the hospital, though belatedly, with his wife upon hearing the news about his son. He said:
Our son might not have survived but for the devotion of medical workers and our benevolent socialist healthcare system. He is the son of the Party and the medical workers, to say nothing of ours. We will make our best to do farm work well so as to live up to the benevolent care of our Party and our socialist system.
Ma Chung Hyok said when leaving the hospital in September last year:
Through my hospitalization for over 560 days, I keenly realized that the country I am defending is the benevolent system where there are medical workers who dedicate their blood and flesh without hesitation to save a dying person, and our socialist home in which all its members form a large family.
This year, he received another treatment for functional recovery.
The soldier is now firmly guarding his post of national defence.