Rescued schoolboy recovering in hospital

Kathmandu, February 1

John Tamang, a 17-year-old schoolboy who was found yesterday six days after he went missing in Phulchowki Hill, is recovering after the traumatic event.

He is receiving treatment in the intensive care unit of Gwarko based B&B Hospital.

John Tamang, a sixth grader at Ajaya Shiksha Sadan in Thasikhel, was among the 11 students who went hiking led by school principal Durga Bahadur Oli to Phulchowki Hill.

A group led by the professional rescuers and adventure tourism entrepreneurs Chandra Ale and Anil Bhattarai rescued the boy from a forested area of the hill at around 4:45pm yesterday.  He was found leaning against a log.

Search operation was carried out from the very next day of John’s disappearance. Relatives, friends, locals, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, Nepali Army and around 200 volunteers were involved in the search operation, according to John’s uncle Deepak Rai.

Rai said, “John was found with the help of professional rescuers. Without their help, there was no way we could have found him.”

Deepak Rai and John’s father Gautam Tamang are adventure tourism entrepreneurs and had summoned their colleagues to search for the missing boy.

Chandra Ale, 52, who has been working as a professional rescuer since 1995, was able to locate the boy the same day he went to search for him.

According to Ale, John had fallen into the gorge nearly 300 metres below. Ale runs a rescue  organisation called ‘Rescue 3 South Asia’.

“The area was so dense with trees that we could hardly see the sky from there. But we identified where the boy had slipped, we followed it and found a tiffin box and little further a water bottle, so we kept on moving until we found the boy,” Ale said

“Once I found the boy, I called him by his name who was still awake and aware. He looked at me in the face and started crying, I then hugged him,” he added. Ale said that the boy had  injuries to the right part of his body and was possibly bleeding internally with a fractured right ankle.

Police and family members rushed to the location with an ambulance and took the boy to the hospital. Doctors and the hospital refused to provide information regarding John’s health, saying they need his family’s consent before divulging anything.

Family, friends and well-wishers had gathered at the hospital to visit the rescued boy. Among them, John’s twin brother James Tamang was utterly happy to have his brother back. “We seldom go anywhere alone, but this time I couldn’t go with him. This won’t happen again,” said James.

John has a hearing loss in one ear, according to a family source.

John’s mother Reema Tamang has yet to come to terms with the incident. She advised all parents and mothers to be careful before sending their kids to unknown places.

School principal Oli, who had arrived at the hospital, apologised to John’s parents.