At 11:00 on Sunday night of June 16 last, an emergency call rang at the reception of the Pyongyang Municipal Emergency Hospital. It came from a section doctor in charge of Neighbourhood Unit No. 7, Soryong-dong No. 2, Taedonggang District, asking for a sick call for a serious intestinal obstruction case.

With the end of the call, an emergency bell rang through the hospital; doctors and nurses came in haste and some of them hurried to get the patient. After a while, the ambulance returned with the patient who pressed the stomach with her hands—she seemed as if she was breathing her last. The doctors immediately diagnosed the disease as serious intestinal obstruction. If the intestines ruptured, they would infect the abdomen and the abdominal cavity, so if the operation was not given in time, the case would go from bad to worse.

According to the patient’s family members she had often suffered from chronic intestinal obstruction, but she would neglect it as the pain would stop after a while. They said they thought that it would be okay this time too before the undesirable thing occurred at last.

A treatment team headed by Kim Jong Gil, head of the abdominal surgery department, was organized, and the relevant measures were taken to prepare the operation. Different kinds of transfusion including nutritive one, antibiotics and analgesics were administered to the patient before the operation.

As expected, small intestines ruptured, thus the infected area of the abdomen grew large. The operation went on in a difficult condition—it took an hour and a half. It was successful, and the life index of the case was restored to the normal. At the time Kim Nam Chol, 55, who is the husband of the patient, said, “I was worried when my wife was sent to the hospital because it was late Sunday night. However, when I arrived at the hospital, I could see many medical workers engrossed in the intensive treatment for my wife, and thus they brought her back to life at last—it made me think a lot. I often see such scenes through books and on TV, but now I keenly felt that our social system and our doctors are the best. Really, I can hardly find words to express my thanks.”

That night the doctors of the hospital brought two other emergency cases back to life. Ri Kwang Hyok, vice director in charge of technical affairs of the hospital, says, “Protecting the people’s life is a due duty of us medical workers. So we are always busy. Whenever we see the patients recover, we take pride in our job.”