Vietnamese doctors giving their all to save British expat pilot

Published:  15 May at 6 PM
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With the pandemic almost conquered in Vietnam, the country is pulling out all the stops to save one expat’s life.

Identified simply as Patient 91, the male victim is a British pilot working for the country’s national carrier Vietnam Airlines. Should all efforts fail, the expat will be the first in the country to die from covid19. According to state news articles, the patient caught the virus during a mid-March trip to Ho Chih Minh City where he’d visited a bar, with medics now doing all they can to prevent his demise.

Once he’d been identified as having covid-19, over 4,000 contacts were tested, with 18 more found to have been infected. Fortunately, the majority have now been cleared on recovery, but the pilot is now on life support and his condition is still deteriorating. During a meeting of top doctors held last Tuesday, it was decided the only way to save his life was to perform a lung transplant. The fight to save him has attracted a great deal of sympathy and interest, with 10 people already volunteering as donors in spite of the fact that current laws prevent transplants taken from living donors.

To date, the cost of the attempts to save him has reached $200,000 and has included importing specialist drugs from overseas. According to a government spokesperson, the patient’s underlying health issues had worsened his condition, but emphasised that medical and surgical specialists are still working to save him if at all possible. Earlier in March, reports emerged from China that a successful double lung transportation had been carried out, with the procedure hailed as a significant treatment for those in the last stages of infection.
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