What seemed like a normal interview to a Spanish doctor who works in the Uk and these days fight against the coronavirus was rapidly becoming a memory of the tsunami that hit in 2004, countries such as Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand, with more than 250,000 fatalities. “You are that child who saved his mother from dying in the tsunami of 2004 and subsequently was able to gather with the family,” revealed the presenter Matías Prats during a conversation in his briefing with Luke Alvarez, now become a doctor of 26 years.
The family Álvarez Belón spent the Christmas holidays in the Southeast Asian country when the catastrophe took place. Its members remained separated for a couple of days: Lucas and his mother, María Belón, on the one hand; and his father, Enrique Álvarez, and the other two brothers, Thomas and Simon, on the other. The child, who at that time was 10 years old, he took care of his mother, badly injured, until they are all reunited. At the foot of the bed of María Belón, Lucas Alvarez made the promise to become a doctor and devote themselves to saving lives. “It was a unique experience and unfortunate in their time. But since to me it seemed almost logical to take that back to some point that debt is stuck with me,” explained the young man.
His story was made into a film by director Juan Antonio Bayona with the movie The impossible. The film, starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, won five Goya awards, among other awards. The role of Lucas Alvarez was played by Tom Holland, are now known to play Spiderman in the latest deliveries of the tape of the saga of Marvel.
That tragedy marked the life of the young, which these days faces another because of the crisis of the coronavirus. In the Uk there are up to this Wednesday, more than 130,000 cases diagnosed and the number of deaths roza 17,400, which makes him one of the five most affected countries of Europe. Alvarez works in the intensive care unit of a London hospital. From the british capital, has denounced the lack of material to attend to the patients: “a few days Ago us sent monkeys a painter. Last night we were restricted to using plastic aprons thin”. As a result, several of the critical patients who are admitted to your center are employed “until recently days or weeks working in the hospital.”
Alvarez also has criticized the number “baffling” to people who take advantage of these sunniest days to walk around the british capital: “it seems to Me a posture very little successful, arrogant and especially against the vulnerable people who for rations socio-economic don’t have that privilege of going out to the streets. It is worrying that people do not come to see the seriousness of the matter”. The pandemic affects even “people very young, without medical history”, for what has become a tough experience and is aware of “much work still ahead”: “The sequels to both physiological and psychological are going to be very beast. We know that we have a lot ahead of you, so you have to follow.” Despite this, she considers it “a privilege to be able to continue working” and to exercise “an important work”.
One of the brothers Álvarez, Tomás, won in 2018, the title sum cum laude in Science, Technology and International Relations at Georgetown University, in the united States. “If you work hard you can get very far,” he said to The Spanish this young man, that was one more on the brain drain that is experienced in Spain with the economic crisis of 2008.
The father of the family, Enrique Álvarez, was a volunteer of the NGO Proactive to help the syrian refugees who came to the island of Lesbos (Greece), conditions and precarious crafts. “All who cross it in the boat assume a risk impressive. The first thing that strikes you is to think of that journey, small because there’s not much more than 10 miles between the island and the Turkish coast, is in reality a further stage of a great odyssey in its journey to the destination that you dream of and aspire to. And yet in this stretch, you will play the life. They are heroes, I don’t know if I would take the same risks. In addition, those who do are actually privileged because they can afford to pay the mafias who trade with this trip. Those who do not have money, they are behind”, he told THE COUNTRY in 2015. That experience made him to remember what we lived for eleven years before: “I remember the tsunami and Thailand because I am, as then, with the same feeling, with the desire to stay and help.”
The mother, María Belón, was the most involved in the project of Bayonne. The producer Belén Atienza heard him tell his story on the radio and wanted to bring his story to the big screen. The movie became a success in the Spanish cinema. Naomi Watts commented about it The Country Weekly: “When I ran for the first time with Jack [el director] in Berlin and explained to me how Mary was all the time checking the script and advising you to add this or that, because I thought it would be a very important presence, but I never imagined how much: she was there almost all the time, and that helped me a lot, a lot.”
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