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Shaolin monk doctors assist earthquake victims

By AN BAIJIE (China Daily)

08:38, April 27, 2013

Shi Yanyun, a rescue team member from Shaolin Temple, treats a volunteer who hurt his back during earthquake rescue operations in Lushan, Sichuan province, on Thursday. AN BAIJIE / CHINA DAILY

She was in such a hurry that her left foot was injured. She also hurt her back on the handrail of the staircase.

"Seeing the bottles on the shelf of my apartment fall down, I knew that it was an earthquake, and I rushed out from the third floor immediately with my grandson," she said.

Rao said that after she felt pain on Wednesday in her foot and back, she sought help from the rescue team sent to the county from Shaolin Temple, China's most famous Buddhist monastery in Henan province.

Shi Weiyin, a monk from the medical rescue team, applied massage therapy on Rao's foot for about a minute and then put a plaster on her foot. The plaster was made by the Shaolin Temple monks using their traditional formula.

The Shaolin medical team, comprising 13 monk doctors, arrived in Lushan county on Tuesday morning, after 32 hours' travel by bus from Dengfeng in Central China's Henan province.

Most of the monks graduated from medical universities, and some have been doctors for decades, Shi said, adding that he graduated from Beijing University of Chinese Medicine in 2000.

The monks brought plasters and liquid medicines researched and developed by the Shaolin Temple, worth about 300,000 yuan ($48,640). They also brought some antibiotics donated by the local branch of the Red Cross Society, Shi said.

On Thursday morning, three monks provided medical services in the downtown area of Lushan county, while others from the medical team went to the townships and villages where medical services were more urgently needed.

Most have bruises or wrenches. Many patients already had chronic diseases such as arthritis and rheumatism. The wet weather after the quake made their conditions even worse, Shi said.

Shi Hengming, another monk from the medical team, said that the chronic diseases are not likely to be cured by short-time treatment, but their medical service could ease the patients' symptoms.

Ran Guolin, 48, a resident of Lushan county who sought help from the Shaolin rescue team, said that his right leg has been numb for about six months, and it became worse after the quake.

"I felt as if many needles were stabbing my leg," he said.

Shi Hengming massaged his leg carefully and pasted a plaster onto the leg. He gave the patient another two plasters and told him to replace the plaster every two days.

The monks' medical team received a warm welcome from the volunteers, and the local residents — many people brought them food, water and quilts.

Shaolin Temple sent a medical team following the Wenchuan earthquake in May 2008, and it plans to establish an emergency medical squad to cope with natural disasters, said Shi Yanlin, executive director of Shaolin Temple.

Touching moments:

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First night after deadly earthquake

Rescuers work hard at quake-hit area in Sichuan

>>>Quake-hit China grows in pain

The principle of sparing no efforts to save lives cannot be more stressed. No minute or even second should be delayed during the "golden rescue period" in the first 72 hours after the quake.

>>>Pilot cancels wedding to participate in quake relief

When the 7.0-magnitude quake happened, Zhang Shangnian, a pilot from an aviation brigade of Chengdu Military Region, was about to hold his wedding.

>>>Nurse returns to work after losing mother

Just likes other medical staff, she was busy with rescuing people injured in the earthquake in SW China, but no one knew her mother just died in the quake.

>>>Wedding ceremony without bridegroom held on schedule

Zhuo Jia, the bridegroom, is a solider of the Chengdu Military Region; he had to leave his beautiful bride behind to participate in earthquake relief.

>>>An injured girl's smile moves many

"Your smile makes the entire world beautiful,” a photo of a smiling girl with bandage on her head has moved so many Chinese netizens.

>>>Teenager saves mom with his bare hands

The mother moves away a precast slab weighing over 50 kilograms alone to save her son in the earthquake. She said she did not know where her strength came from.

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