Medical Service

Who Brought Me Back to Life?

“Half a century has passed since I was rescued from the jaws of death,” said Pang Ha Su, an old man living in Puksong-dong No 1 in Phyongchon District.

The name Pang Ha Su reminds the Korean people of the medical workers of the Chollima era. One day in November Juche 49 (1960) Pang Ha Su, 8 years old then, was rushed to the hospital attached to the Hungnam Fertilizer Factory. With a third-degree burn on 48 percent of his body and upper part of the body shorn of skin, he was walking the thin line between death and life. 

Believing that he was hopeless, his parents shed tears. 

However, the doctors and nurses of the hospital did not give up. They decided to conduct skin grafting operations on him.

The students from Hamhung University of Medical Sciences, who were interning in the hospital, enthusiastically turned out to help them. Many doctors and nurses of the hospital, students and patients volunteered to donate patches of their skin. The corridor to the operating theatre was crowded with such people. They were soon joined by many Hungnam citizens who happened to hear about the operation. Among them no one was an acquaintance of the boy. As a result, his upper body was grafted with the skin patches donated by dozens of people. 

On learning about this through a newspaper, Comrade Kim Il Sung called an official and said that he was very excited after reading an article carried in Minju Chongnyon that morning, and that it was a great event of the era of the Workers’ Party. Next day, he phoned a senior official of the province and requested the official to help the treatment, saying that such admirable deeds could be found only in our socialist system. It was an earnest request which could be made only by a great man who was endowed with love for human being.

He sent a lot of medicines for him until the patient entered the convalescent stage after four operations. Moved by this, many Hungnam citizens donated skin patches. Thanks to Kim Il Sung’s deep care and sincere help of many people, the boy could recover his health after some months.

In May Juche 50 (1961) a mass rally and procession were held in Hamhung in celebration of the inauguration of a vinalon factory in the presence of Kim Il Sung

Kim Il Sung lifted and seated the boy on the rostrum, and said to officials that this was Ha Su, who had been rescued from the jaws of death, and that he was a son of the Workers’ Party and communists.

That day Kim Il Sung repeatedly asked officials to cure the boy completely. From then onward, he took various measures for the boy.

Pang Ha Su, who had been completely cured after a year and 279 days of treatment, entered a school and then attended Kim Il Sung University. After graduating from the university, he was appointed to an important post of a central organ.

Struck with wonder and admiration after meeting Pang Ha Su, many foreigners including a head of state and overseas Korean compatriots said that this was a miracle born of love which could be found only in socialist Korea which values human beings the most.

Pang Ha Su usually says. “To look back upon the past, I think that a common man like me, who is not an innovator nor a hero, could be born again thanks to the socialist system which is a grand flower garden of human love of regarding others’ trouble as one’s own and devoting oneself for the sake of others. I owe my second life to the socialist system.”