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Documentary featuring Taiwan's 'medical miracle' to premiere

2012/06/26 23:01:24

Taipei, June 26 (CNA) Four patients from other countries who came to Taiwan to battle their diseases are featured in a National Geographic Channel documentary that will have its premiere in South Korea Wednesday.

"Taiwan's Medical Miracle," the channel's first about Taiwan's international medical services, chronicles the treatment of an Egyptian doctor, a Malaysian, a Filipino girl and a woman from the United States.

The Egyptian surgeon, surnamed Solimen, who lost two fingers during the Arab Spring pro-democracy movement, underwent microsurgery at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in New Taipei.

A medical team used two of his toes to reconstruct the two fingers broken by stray bullets during the turmoil. Six months after returning to his home country, the surgeon was able to resume his work.

Mitsuki, the girl from Malaysia, suffered from severe thalassemia and traveled to Taiwan to receive an umbilical cord blood transplant that helped her regain her health.

The Filipino, a one-year-old from Dubai identified as Iya, had biliary atresia resulting in liver fibrosis. She underwent an urgent liver transplant at Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital using donor tissue donated by her aunt.

Taiwan boasts the world's highest five-year survival rate for liver transplants, Iya's mother notes in the show.

The American woman, meanwhile, obtained relief from years of backache due to spinal disc herniation following treatment at Taipei Medical University Hospital.

Gary Shih, the production company's director, said that of course there have been far more than four successful cases, but said time and production constraints limited the number of cases they could document.

The program, with Mandarin Chinese narration, will be aired in Taiwan July 1, after which an estimated 200 million viewers in 44 other countries and regions will be able to see it.

(By Chen Ching-fang and Kendra Lin)
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