WUHAN－Neurosurgeon Lu Junti was relieved when his emergency helicopter landed in Shiyan city, Hubei province, on Monday afternoon, marking the end of a 50,000-kilometer journey.
Lu was assigned to bring an injured Chinese worker in Bolivia back home.
The worker, Xiong Fuxing, was injured about two months ago. Due to poor local medical care, Xiong"s relatives sought help from the Shiyan Taihe Hospital, the best hospital near the village where they live.
The hospital dispatched Lu, who speaks good English, to bring the patient home. He left Shiyan on Jan 13, passing through the Netherlands, Ecuador and Peru before finally arriving in Bolivia. The 25,000 km one-way journey took more than 80 hours.
"I found him in a coma when I arrived," Lu said.
He and two of Xiong"s co-workers brought the patient home five days later. During the trip, Lu had to carefully monitor Xiong"s condition and be prepared for emergency treatment at any time.
"I gave him liquids every two hours and injected antibiotics every eight hours," Lu recalled.
They also encountered storms and uncooperative airport officials.
"But thanks to many kindhearted people, especially overseas Chinese, the lifesaving journey ended in success," Lu said.
Their flight arrived in Wuhan, Hubei, where Lu and Xiong boarded an emergency helicopter for the final stage of their journey.
Xiong is undergoing treatment and Lu has been hailed as a hero by netizens after his story went viral online.
"The doctor traveled to a foreign country and brought a critical patient home by himself. I was moved by his selflessness," said a web user with a screen name He Yanping.
Another web user, Xiaoyaoyou, commented: "I hope the injured worker recovers soon, making the lifesaving journey a real success."