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Gangnam MizMedi Hospital
Hope Given to Infertile Patients of the Frozen City, Yakutsk
Yoon-Jin Nam, Public Relations Office of Gangnam Mizu Medi Hospital
What a strange name Yakutsk is. It is the coldest among cities, where people live together. Two-thirds of the year is frozen. As I heard that the snow had fallen before the departure, I took out my winter clothes and packed my bags, putting the warm Spring of Seoul behind me. On Wednesday, April 19th, I got on a plane early on a business trip to a strange city, and I was so excited to meet new people there including an obstetrician, a Russian coordinator and a public relations officer. The combination of three is quite interesting. These three working mothers have one or two children, at similar age and they are with full of passion in their fields. Naturally, a pleasant conversation about work, life and children endlessly continued. Before I could realize, we reached the stopover, Vladivostok. We had our meals briefly and moved again to meet a Russian urologist. The coordinator scheduled this business meeting again in this tight itinerary. We separated our ways again according to our roles. He had a quite high reputation as an urologist at the local clinic and was interested in Korea's infertility treatment techniques. We discussed and agreed on the extent we can make medical exchanges. After a short meeting, we rushed our way to fly to Yakutsk, the final destination. Despite the exhausting schedule, three women stayed up to continue the talk inside of the dark plane. When it was almost past 11 o'clock at night when we arrived at Yakutsk. As there is no time difference with Korea, it took a whole day to step our first foot on the ground. I did not even have the energy to enjoy the first impression of this new city in darkness, but I moved my eyes around so that I would not miss a thing on the way to our accommodation. The morning was bright. We had one common goal to meet as many patients as possible because we have come so far. With this one motivation, the three women felt heavy responsibility and managed our time to talk more with patients.
The first patient opened the door of our free counseling room. We heard that this patient had been waiting for us to come. It was shocking that so many patients in a small city of 200,000 people suffer from infertility. Their stories were also surprising and sad. In Russia, there are many government policies on the infertile married couples. However, the border areas such as Yakutsk are somewhat easy to be excluded from those benefits. The level of medical care is also different. Therefore, it is often the case that the patients miss the most important timing for the treatment. Na-Young Kim, MD of Gangnam Miz Medi Hospital’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic, who had provided free medical consultations, states that “There were many cases of damaged fallopian tube or ovarian function due to surgery or various reasons. In some cases, husbands were one of the causes. Early detection is important, even one year makes difference. It is often unfortunate to see many patients who have a very low chance of becoming pregnant because of poor ovarian function.” “If you think you have a very low ovarian function, it is urgent and important that you take appropriate treatment from the hospital as soon as possible. Also, if surgery is necessary, you should find a way to minimize the damage to the ovaries. Personal effort is also important. Being in good physical condition by getting constant care, enough sleep and regular sleeping patterns, healthy eating habits, exercise, stress relief, taking vitamins and sulfating agent is necessary,” she also suggested.
There were very few patients in Yakutsk who did not know Dr. Na-Young Kim and Miz Medi Hospital. Since the first treatment of a Russian patient in 2011, a large number of patients have been coming from all over Russia, and as a result, many babies were able delivered with a high success rate through Dr. Kim’s hands. The patients of Dr. Na-Young Kim, who is also called as the ‘God's hands’ by the patients, had time to bring their children and meet with Dr. Kim. From a new born baby to just a half-year-old baby with their twinkling eyes, the faces of all babies were filled with lovely expressions as if they were repaying for their parents' hopes and efforts. They handed over their heart-warming gifts, letters, and albums full of photos of their babies smiling. Dr. Kim’s eyes soon burst into tears, touched by the sincere and innocent heart of the Yakutsk people. "They thanked me, but it was me that felt more grateful. I shall do my best to be a better doctor when I go back to Korea, with so much strength they have given me," says Dr. Kim. She stated that she now understands why people come a long way to meet these patients. Dr. Na-Young Kim added, “I wish I had met with these patients little sooner. I could have helped more because they were lost and tired of trying the same treatment. I will do my best to improve Miz Medi Hospital in the future and increase the success rate of pregnancy." I met with about 100 patients in three days. And I felt grateful that the patients were lucky to have such humane and passionate doctors and coordinators with them, who cry and laugh at their patients’ stories. Yakutsk is well-known for diamonds. But, their passion, tears and efforts shone brighter than the diamonds.