Unforgettable stories

Our doctors treat hundreds of people everyday while working in some of the toughest places in the world. They deliver lifesaving medical care in settings where they have to quickly adapt to different cultures, different living conditions, and stressful environments. Along the way, they meet people who inspire them. On National Doctors’ Day, three MSF doctors share stories of resilience and hope that keep them going. 


Anitha Muthusami Miracle Girl 


“The first day, when I received her, was the last day I saw her cry. The second day when I walked in and she opened her mouth, smiled and greeted me in that sweet little voice of hers “Maley!” (a Nuer greeting),  it made my day.”

Anitha Muthusami, a surgeon, went to Lankien in South Sudan in 2015 for her first assignment with MSF. Here, she tells the amazing story of an 11-year-old gunshot victim and her resilience.


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Bhavna Chawla Hope for Hape 


“As surgeons and clinicians, in most patients, we anticipate a course of recovery or dread the lack of it, depending on the situation. Most of us are extremely passionate about all our patients. But then there are patients like Hape, the ones who become chapters etched forever in our souls. I still have no words for the exact feeling he brought out in me. ” 

Dr Bhavna Chawla, a surgeon with MSF, went to Papua New Guinea in 2016, where MSF provides medical care for victims of domestic, tribal and sexual violence. Here she recalls the remarkable story of one of her patients, who came back from the brink.

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Mukul Singhal Zehra’s story: “Her smile can light up the entire hospital” 


“Through surgery and counselling, MSF tries to give something back to Zehra and others like her, and I feel proud to have been a part of it in a small way. It was my first time treating war injuries, but managing complicated wounds proved much easier than saying goodbye.” 

Orthopaedic surgeon Mukul Singhal went to Jordan in 2017, where MSF provides medical and psychological care to war-wounded patients from Syria. He tells the story of an inspiring young patient and her family…

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