Sky News: “Inside a Beirut hospital when the blast hit”

Bambi remains speechless since last Tuesday…

It is incredible how we can be so far and yet so close. Indeed, there are no words to describe the surrealistic Beirut tragedy of last Tuesday.

This being said, as you can see further below, “Sky News has obtained exclusive CCTV footage from inside St George Hospital in Beirut, from when the deadly blast hit“.

When you watch this fascinating video, you realize that it is a miracle that MOST of the staff, patients, visitors are still alive (thankfully, this includes Bambi’s Dear cousins who work there). This being said, like everyone, she is heart-broken for the 17 persons who lost their lives (including 4 nurses as well as patients and family members). Some of the injured people are in critical conditions, one must not forget. May they all heal.

Yet, despite this tragedy, all the (300) hospital patients were evacuated safely in the darkness (loss of power) and in the middle of the incredible damage. How did they do all this in just 8 minutes?! What an incredible story of courage and efficacy!

There are many inspiring stories of resilience coming out of Beirut. One of them involves her own sister Rania whose spouse and daughter got injured. Sadly, MANY other citizens were not fortunate to survive…

It is indeed deeply sad to watch pictures of the victims or read their stories. Roula, (sister) and Gladson (brother-in-law) are at funeral services literally every day since that awful last Tuesday. To come back to Rania, she has been incredibly courageous. Indeed, her spouse, our Dear Rabih, got badly injured (he is alive, thank goodness, and his eye is saved). Same for their own 18-year-old daughter, Stéphanie. Also, another piece of good news. Despite her injury in the back, she is/will be fine. Incredible that they happened to be both in the worst neighbourhoods of Beirut to be in at the moment of the blast (even closer to the port).

The chaos Rania described to Bambi about the hospitals she visited to try to search for her spouse is beyond imagination. It is like in those horror movies. One hospital she visited (Hôtel Dieu, if Bambi recalls the name) received over 1000 patients at once! Rania searched all their faces looking for her husband. How did she manage to drive in the chaos? At one point, she had to leave her car somewhere and just walk as fast as she could to reach another hospital. She was surrounded by bloody and dazed people who were “walking like zombies“, to use her own words.

One must say that Rabih’s first thought was to walk, also bloody injured, to the Saint George Hospital. Of course, at that time, he had no clue that it was being evacuated. Someone saw him (a kind friend) and put him in his car. He drove him to the hospital mentioned above. Then to a third one. Same for Bambi’s friend, Maya (her hero who is healing, day by day!). She also had to go to four different hospitals and she lives just by the Saint George hospital too, facing the sea port. Both of them bled a lot.

At the exact same time and in a close area, Rabih and Rania’s own daughter (Bambi’s niece) was being taken care of by another good Samaritan (the father of a school friend, it turned out). Thanks to him, she got the needed stitches on her back. Bambi thanks God for having protected her whilst being sad beyond words for all the other unlucky victims (close to 200) and the 6000+ injured citizens, without mentioning the 300, 000 homeless families and the massive destruction.

Among the victims, Bambi just watched a CNN news documentary about Ahmed, a man who escaped the horror of the Syrian war. Tragically, he lost his spouse, two daughters, and the third one is between life and death at the American University of Beirut‘s healthcare centre. Needless to add that he is homeless too. Bambi’s heart goes to you Ahmed!

This being said, to come back to the destroyed Saint George hospital, Bambi was particularly moved to recognize in this video, Dr. Georges Juvelikian. The latter is the pulmonary specialist/Professor who discovered her dad’s lung cancer a few years ago. He is not just known for his medical expertise but also for his humanity. During one of her visits to Beirut, Bambi recalls how she was once walking with her dad by this hospital (corner of her parents’ place). They bumped into a man who seemed so happy to see her dad. He even gave him a hug. Bambi was curious. She asked her dad about this kind man. Her dad told her whom he is. He said: “this is the clever doctor who discovered my cancer”! He even added that this highly competent physician is one of the most humble people he has ever met. From time to time, he drops by the church (Saint George) of Bambi’s parents (near the hospital). He even kindly and discretely serve during the service.

As Dr. Juvelikian said, the Saint George hospital has never closed, even during wars. May the doors of this outstanding teaching-hospital re-open sooner than we think (as realistically possible). May this historic trauma be digested, slowly but surely, by all those affected. May a new Lebanon finally see the light, after having hit its DEEPEST low in its history…. Yes, from one crisis to the other, from one tragedy to the other, Beirut explosion is the paroxysm of this country’s horrors.

To conclude this post, Lebanon has much talent. It is where the East meets the West. It is culturally rich. It is meant to live and just enjoy love. It is a shame to let its ruling mafia-like thugs destroy it.

Yes, sadly the Phoenix has been badly injured but it MUST rise from its ashes, today more than ever!

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