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PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE LINDBERGS


“We saw everything from preemies to grandmas and grandpas. Whatever problems


people had, we did our best.” —DOUG LINDBERG (MD ’03)


presentations. And there was no orthopedic sur- geon down the street.” Because it was the only hospital around,


the Lindbergs treated all kinds of patients and symptoms. “We saw everything from preemies to grandmas and grandpas,” Doug says. “Whatever problems people had, we did our best.” The Nepali staff had worked there for years, and


although most didn’t have the Lindbergs’ creden- tials on paper, they had skills and experience that the hospital needed. “They were wonderful,” Doug says. “I would


bring someone in as a medical assistant to help me through surgery when I had to cut off a leg.” Ruth spent time working in the hospital as


well, but shortly after arriving in Dadeldhura, she became pregnant with the couple’s second child. With their daughter at home, and eventually their son, James, as well, Ruth spent a good amount of


time at home doing support work. “She did fundraising, communication, built the


website, and supported the volunteers,” Doug says. “She made it possible for me to do hospital work 70 hours a week.” The Lindberg family spent three years at the


hospital, the staff of about 65 people frequently changing. At times, the Lindbergs were the only Americans around. “There were 32 doctors who came and went, as


well as therapists and nurses,” Doug says. “We’d have junior doctors—interns and residents—who would spend six months at a time as part of their training and then move on. At times, we’d have Nepali doctors who would come for a year. There were usually about 8–10 people who were expats. A nun from Kenya who was a plastic surgeon came to work with us. She was 75 years old. She was awesome.” One of the Lindbergs’ close friends from Stritch


(and Doug’s former roommate), Jeremy LeMotte (MD ’03), brought his family to the hospital as well. LeMotte led community health efforts and spent half of his time in the hospital. In what little spare time the Lindbergs had, they


enjoyed hiking and getting together with friends for tea. They played board games. Doug would


get up in the middle of the night to listen to Bears games streaming on the Internet in his office. The Lindbergs were involved with the local church and helped show short-term volunteers the ropes. The Lindbergs had planned to make Dadeld-


hura their long-term home, thinking they might return to the US when their children entered high school. Their original assignment ended in March 2013, and they returned to the States, where they planned to stay for a year before going back to Nepal. Two months after arriving back in the US, the Nepali government nationalized the hospital, taking over the staff and supplies. The Lindbergs hope to return to Nepal to work elsewhere, although their plans are not set. In October 2013, they jointly received the Early Career Achievement Award at the Stritch Reunion Awards Dinner, which coincided with their 10-year class reunion. The Lindbergs do keep in touch with their


friends in Nepal. “It is amazing, the world we live in now,” Doug


says. “Even in remote rural Nepal, people have Facebook. With all the people who came and went, we stay in good touch via the Internet.” It is those connections that will likely draw the


Lindbergs to write the next chapter in their lives, if and when they return to Nepal.


Ruth Farrales Lindberg (MD ‘03) speaks to a gardener and friend in the greenhouse. She is holding the Lindbergs’ son, James. WINTER 2014 21


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