Highlight on Saran Lepcha
Saran is one of ECTA's ambulance drivers. His dedication to the well-being of his neighbors is unwavering. Read on to see what an average day in Saran's life is like.
Pochok is a village near Gitdabling, a town 3 hours drive from the nearest hospital. It is a beautiful hillside village with terraces, small Lepcha cottages and beautiful flowers growing in everyone's gardens. Residents in this are mainly farmers, cardamom and ginger being the cash crops of this area.
Meet Luicha Lepcha, a 44-year-old from Pochok. She has been suffering from a form of liver jaundice for the last 3 years. Luicha Lepcha has been treated before in various hospitals but has never made a full recovery. During a recent episode of illness, her family called Saran Lepcha, an ECTA ambulance driver. Luicha's stomach was very swollen, a complication of this illness, and she had refused to eat for several days.
Saran has built a good reputation as an ambulance driver in the villages of Gitdubling. He has won the hearts of people with his service and dedication. Many families have Saran's phone number on their phones for all such emergencies.
It was an early morning ride to the nearest health center and then on towards Kalimpong district hospital, 44 miles away from Gitdubling. Luicha was referred to a diagnostic center in Siliguri, 3 additional hours away, for CT scan, blood tests, and ultrasound
Unfortunately, many medical services are not available in the hills and families are forced to travel the additional miles to Siliguri.
Saran began his ambulance journey at 6 a.m. towards the Gitdubling health center and then Kalimpong hospital and then to Siliguri and back! He reached Kalimpong hospital at 9 pm. All in a day's work for Saran! Luicha was admitted at the Kalimpong district hospital. Luicha was found to have a large amount of fluids built up in her abdomen that needed to be drained. She was admitted to the hospital for 12 days.
Luicha and her family are grateful to Saran for his timely services and fortitude. Saran not only drove this family all day but also helped them navigate the confusing medical system, acting as a medical liaison. This is a huge need for many families in the area, as many have lower levels of education and now knowledge of the medical system.
Saran and his ambulance connect his neighbors to hospitals for timely treatment, despite the remoteness of this region. We are so blessed to have Saran as one of our drivers.