RI man thanks doctor for Nepal help

(Photo supplied by Dr. Richard Gillerman)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Om Davkota is grateful to a Rhode Island Hospital doctor, who helped people more than seven thousand miles away in Nepal, after the major deadly earthquakes two months ago.

Davkota’s parents live near Kathmandu, and their home was destroyed. “They’re living in a tent right now,” he said Tuesday. “They’re in the process of building a new house, but it will take time.”

They were not hurt, luckily. Nearly 9,000 people were killed in the earthquakes, and more than 18,000 injured.

It spurs people to help, like Dr. Richard Gillerman. The Rhode Island Hospital anesthesiologist took nine days in May and June volunteering in helping to manage and coordinate a hospital in Nepal that was overwhelmed with patients. “I was asked to go over and help, do some health systems planning, patient projection,” he said.

In the month after the first quake, the hospital Gillerman visited performed more than two hundred major surgeries, including limb-saving operations.

“Getting patients operated on — with a return to productivity — It was very rewarding,” he said.

Davkota says volunteers’ help is still desperately needed.

“As a human being, trying to help the people who are not fortunate enough — like we are here — that speaks about how great people are,” he said.

Davkota is the president of the Nepalese Association of Rhode Island. His group is helping too; the organization has two people buying tents and making shelters — so kids can go to school — and collecting donations. So far, they’ve raised $20,000; half of it has already gone to buy tarps and solar chargers.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.