Forwarded as received....( A nice narrative by someone who was involved but...)
Written by Leh Hosp Med Specialist
A humbling lifetime experience today...Got opportunity today to go to Siachen (for 1st time) from Leh with 2 pilots in helicopter to evacuate the lone survivor of Siachen avalanche L/Nk Hanumantappa from the site of avalanche to Nubra airport where patient moved to air ambulance and handed over to my counterpart in Nubra and AF doctors for onward journey to AHRR. Since my detailment (yesterday late night) for task with 2 pilots for initial evacuation from site of incident lot of mixed feelings have been there..but noteworthy things-
Hats off to the:
1) RMO for keeping the survivor alive overnight at the site
2) Rescue teams to work at an altitude of 19600 ft for so many days and recover him
3) Pilots for daring to fly in the middle of snow blizzard through narrow mountain features inching forwards despite all the turbulence of aircraft with extremely poor visibility (at top barely 60-70m initially) and finally making a successful landing at the makeshift helipad which was just a little bigger than the helicopter with white out all around (top, ground and all 4 directions)
4) The men of his unit who must have dug and gone deeper and deeper in ice with hope to find every comrade of theirs as survivor but getting disappointed every time and yet gathering courage to look for next one till they found him.
5) And last but not d least the man in question Hanumantappa who survived for 6 days buried deep under ice in place with temperature less than -50°C and strong chilly blizzards and couldn't be recognised initially as human but for the hope, reassurance and bright spark in his eyes when I saw him for first time after being put in helicopter there..as we took off for Nubra airport (where air ambulance was waiting wth other med team for onward journey to my alma mater AHRR) crossing highest inhabitable snow-clad and obscured peaks with extremely low temperatures the eyes of the man (Hanumantappa) in front of me, whom we all were meant to rescue, personified the triumph (hopefully long lasting because he is still critical) of indomitable spirit of human resilience against all odds (including the mighty nature) and desire of man (An Indian Army Man) to never give up come what may and realisation of hope that at least his own fellow men in uniform would not leave and forget him--- no doubt the fighting spirit for survival in him and the rescue teams was far far far taller than those snow-clad tallest scary and dominating mountain peaks in glacier..
Salute to you and God bless my colleague in uniform - May you come out a survivor in your next battle for life as well with the bright spark of hope, faith, immense courage n reassurance intact in your eyes besides the pride of being "An Indian Soldier".