Friday, November 6, 2015 - 10:06
Dutch doctor’s heartbreaking tale of refugees washed ashore in Greece
Lette de Moor, a Dutch doctor working with Foundation Bootvlucteling in Greece, has posted an account of her day on Wednesday on Facebook. The heartbreaking tale is about a busy but calm day ending with two dead refugee children, drowned while trying to reach safety. De Moor writes how they were preparing for a small party at the Molivos 2 hotel that evening. The foundation's headquarters was located there for the past six months. The hotel is closing for the winter and the foundation wanted to express their thanks for the hospitality. They were still handing out thanks when De Moor got a call. "The doctor of the Waha team asks for our backup. Something had happened, 20 possible drownings. But no idea where and when they will arrive." De Moor and two teams heads to the port. After a while they are told that two children are on their way and it is serious. They call the rest of the team and set up a crash site using local restaurateurs and volunteers. "When the Coast Guard boat arrives they call that they want two doctors on board." De Moor writes on Facebook. "The Syrian doctor and I climb aboard and find two wet, cold, gasping children. I immediately start CPR. We talk: we have to get off the boat and to the crash site. At my request, strong arms carry the child off board. The other small child is pronounced dead by another doctor." Once ashore De Moor and her team stars CPR again. The ambulance arrived 45 minutes later and De Moor and a nurse goes along to the hospital. They continue giving the 5 year old girl CPR because she is hardly breathing. "In the Kalloni clinic we stop. The doctors stand helplessly at the ready. An oxygen mask is placed and CPR is taken over but then stopped. When they see the child gasping they quickly resume CPR. Protocol and experience seems to be lacking. The ECG shows a dying heart. After 1 hour in the water, 6 shocks and 1.5 hours of CPR, we stop. Pupils are stiff, the body still freezing. The little girl is dead." A man suffering from hypothermia who held on to the two children when they ended up in the water, came along in the ambulance. "The man breaks. Cries. He calls their father with his phone, he apparently has been brought to the harbor. The father broke his leg, and lost his four children and his wife during the accident. The other three children and his wife have not yet been found." "20 people would have gone over board. We saw five of them this evening, two children who died and three adults we were able to stabilize. The other missing will probably wash up on the beach in the next few days."