FUKUSHIMA Lives on the Line

77chap.IIFukushima Medical University Record of Activities [Notes and Messages]FUKUSHIMA: Lives on the Linemedical infrastructure of Fukushima Prefecture, I felt that I also wanted to offer whatever I could. Last, let me express my prayers for the earliest possible recovery of the afflicted area, for the health of the residents there, and for the speedy return of smiles to their faces.After the earthquake, myself and other first year interns were given the responsibility of helping with the examination of incoming emergency care patients and with the transportation and transfer of patients from within the evacuation zone. There were shortages of gasoline and other supplies, and there was no running water at my home. The situation was one where I would have easily given up if left alone, but I was able to persevere as well as finish my daily work duties thanks to the support of my classmates. Although the assistance that we interns have to offer may be insignificant, we are doing our best and thinking positively because of the immense importance of the tasks at hand. The beneficiary is the health care system of Fukushima, which we must preserve. We continue today to soldier on because of our love for this land and the strength of unity. I hope for the swift recovery of the afflicted areas.From January to March 2011, I was studying in the Emergency Medicine Department. During the final month, I had no idea whatsoever that such an unbelievable earthquake would strike.I saw news reports saying that more than 10,000 people lost their lives in this earthquake. Each of them had families and those family members must surely be suffering for the loss. I pray that this suffering does not increase anymore beyond this incredible point. I hope that Japan will be able to experience a very rapid recovery. The home where I grew up is also in the disaster area and was damaged by the tsunami, though my family and friends were unharmed. With so many others whose loved ones are missing or have passed away, I feel very fortunate to not have lost anyone.At present, I am working shifts as an intern in the Emergency Medicine Department of FMU Hospital. I am responsible for attending to patients brought to us for emergency care. Since the day the earthquake struck, we have been receiving assistance from the members of DMAT and other medical staff who have come to FMU from across Japan. Because of the experiences I have had through this disaster, I have come to value wonderful things such as the friends, family, seniors, and juniors that I have as well as the place I have to live in and the lifestyle that I am able to lead without any hindrance. Now, I am in the process of learning numerous things from the medical staff, the disaster response team members, police officers, Self-Defense Force members, and others. I am impressed by their professionalism, which makes me all the more intent on trying to help the disaster victims.In the midst of the extensive damage caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake, my second year intern classmates and I were able to work in the Emergency Medicine Department. As a university hospital, we cared for patients from nearby locations as well as those brought in everyday from more distant areas such as the Minami Soma disaster area.During this disaster, a large amount of incorrect information made its way through the tangled web of reports that emerged. In particular, there was much anxiety over radiation exposure because this was the first time such a nuclear power plant accident had befallen us. It is my sincere hope that everyone will attain accurate information and not be led astray by the incorrect reports, such as chain letters, that are out there.I would like to extend words of concern to all those who suffered in the Great East Japan Earthquake. As one of the victims, I would also like to express my gratitude for the many encouraging and sympathetic messages, phone calls, and other forms of support received from across the country. Every item of disaster aid that arrived was heartwarming Kei NakayamaFirst year intern; native of Tokyo (Hachioji Higashi High School)Ayako OhoriFirst year intern; native of Fukushima Prefecture (Soma High School)Toshihiko SuzukiFirst year intern; native of Fukushima Prefecture (Fukushima Prefectual High School)Ryo IgarashiFirst year intern; native of Fukushima Prefecture (Aizu High School)