The 335th Night of Memory - 4

Health Defenders

Sepdeh Kholoosian
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


The 335th program of the Night of Memory was held in the Sooreh Hall of the Art Center on Thursday 5th of Khordad 1401 (May 26, 2022) attended by the physicians and the staff of the health defenders and hosted by Davood Slaehi. The families of the martyrs of health defenders, the medical health staff and a number of volunteers in the area of health were present in the ceremony, talking about the memoirs of the breakout and ascension of the corona pandemic.


The fourth narrator of the Night of Memory was Mr. Dr. Behzad Ainollahi. After expressing his condolences on the martyrdom anniversary of the head of the Shiite School, he explained about the commonalities of sacrifice during the corona pandemic and the sacred defense and said, “The sacrifice, selflessness and purity that the medical staff managed to achieve in this period in order to alleviate the pain and suffering of the people, reminds of the memories of the sacred defense. We are a generation that has touched both periods; but we actually witnessed a generation that, although it did not understand the sacred defense time, acted just like that period. I was in charge of the Medical Scientific Committee of Baqiyatallah Hospital. A discussion that was very interesting to me in this regard was that I saw people like the martyr mentioned above, whose specialized major had nothing to do with Corona, and they could have easily not been involved themselves at all; but like during the war, they voluntarily came forward and found this place for themselves”.

The narrator continued, “I don't forget that two of the female cardiologists one of whom was an echocardiographist, were persistently trying to do something for the patients from the very beginning to the end; while in fact the responsibility had nothing to do with their major and we could only use them as consultants. Or when we were at the peak of the delta pandemic and the hospital was once again full of patients, a female doctor who specialized in gastroenterology called me and said while crying, “Give me a shift to work like an intern”. And this is how we gave her a shift. I remembered the disaster in Mena when we were three or four doctors. As I am a nephrologist and my field was heatstroke and those discussions, I had a responsibility on my shoulder. But since most people were involved there, even a gynecologist had come, telling me that I do whatever you say, even if it is serum injection. This volunteerism among the health staff was very impressive and we had many of such examples.

Dr. Ainollahi continued by saying, “You saw Dr. Mohammad Nikpour as a prominent person on TV who did not go home for three months and was in the hospital day and night; or Dr. Ali Bahramifar or other guys who really visited the patients every morning and night and on holidays. We were one of the professor-oriented centers and the professor had to come and visit the wards. In the twenty or so months that we had, the professors also came and we didn't have a day off at all. Dr. Nikpour also fell ill. As I am his professor, I ordered him and he went on leave for a few days under my compulsion. But he came back after a few days. Mr. Youssef Salami (journalist) also recorded the moment when Dr. Nikpour was visiting his patient with serum in his hand. The disease was serious and he said: My master should not be alone. There I remembered the Badr or Khaibar operation. We had seen a patient whose hand had been amputated. We stopped his bleeding in every possible way so that he would be transferred to the back of the front. But he did not go and was worried about his commander. He resisted so much that we tricked him and said: the ambulance is going forward; but actually the ambulance was going back. Anyway, we forced him to get into the car and sent him back. Of course, after that, I don't know whether he returned or not!

The narrator continued, “This accountability reminded me of the memories of the war in this period. The age of Dr. Nikpour and others like him did not match the war time at all. But they repeated those memories. Families had entrusted their loved ones to us as doctors, and this was a very heavy responsibility. They expected us and the pressure that came to the treatment staff was no less than the pressure that was brought to the patients' families. Among all these memories, there were also sweet memories. Most of our guys, from cardiovascular surgeons to nursing guys, were involved and even went to the point of death and we brought them back. The number of martyrs should have been much higher. In Mena tragedy, even though most of the medical staff were in the center of the incident and were involved a lot, we only had two martyred doctors and we did not have more martyrs. I think one of the reasons for the return of these loved ones was the prayers of the patients. Although martyrdom is very good and man loves martyrdom; however, staying well is much harder. The fact that man is tested every day and in these apocalypse problems every day he faces the invasion of virtual space and...It is difficult and you have to live as a martyr to be martyred.

The narrator continued by saying, “Another noteworthy point is the discussion of innovation and self-confidence. We hit the first peak before the west; after China and one or two months before westerners. Many of these treatments were started by our guys before the westerners. That is, they had done these things before other activities were seen and people noticed them. We had almost 20,000 patients in Baqiyatallah Hospital alone, which is a very high number, and a significant percentage of the treatment personnel were able to save the patients. It means self-confidence. The corona vaccine, of which six types have now been offered, was made by the youth themselves in Baqiyatallah Hospital from zero to one hundred. When I saw these, I was amazed. All these are reminders of that era. Even if donations were received to make some vaccines, but really zero to one hundred of the Nora vaccine was made by the faith and trust of these young people. This issue itself is a development.

He also said, “Regarding the crisis management, I say a memory as a point. During the outbreak of the pandemic, like many other centers, we formed a scientific committee. In those early days, we were all left wondering what to do with this new disease about which we have no information. In those days, we made a team with the children. We visited the patients and with the care of the team, the patients who no one thought would survive were fortunately saved. The group work of the scientific committee made us avoid diversity of opinions and we could all work together equally.

This was an important experience. In peak of the Delta variant, there came a time when the number of patients had increased so much and there were many people visiting the hospital, we were afraid that we would have to prepare the street floor for the admission of the patients; because there was no bed. A proposal was made for this problem in the scientific committee, and we came - not for outpatients, but for patients who definitely needed hospitalization, and we could improve a sick patient who, for example, had a methylprednisolone pulse, etc. - we opened a day clinic. This clinic started work in one ward until 7 pm. The week after that, it became round-the-clock. Two weeks later, it was divided into two wards and then we set up a conex in the hospital yard. After that, we prepared the hospital praying room, which is a very big place, within a few days. Just like in the days of war and the front when they set up aid and emergency posts and did relief work, within a few days the prayer room of the hospital turned into a clinic where patients were visited. This work was done all over the country and by the grace of God, our patients did not remain on the ground. In western countries, whose claims go to the sky and have facilities thousands of times ours, unfortunately, their patients remained on the ground. This service is an honor for us. Even in this day clinic, we had a doctor's father who was not willing to be hospitalized at all. There we started to take the necessary measures, which we also did for one of the close relatives of the president. There were also people who needed to be hospitalized definitely and they did not respond to care. These patients were admitted to different wards. In the end, this service was a divine success for us. It should be appreciated that God put this on our shoulder so that we may regret less on the day of regret, which is today.


To be continued...


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