My mother is Kim Myong Wol, senior doctor at the ophthalmic department of the North Hwanghae Provincial People’s Hospital.
Greeting Mother’s Day, I can hardly repress my warm feelings towards her.
Born into an ordinary health worker’s family in the capital city of Pyongyang, she graduated from the clinical faculty of Pyongyang University of Medicine in Juche 74 (1985) and has worked as an ophthalmologist.
My grandparents were health workers and my father also works in the public health sector.
Since she began her career as an ophthalmologist, she had particular attachment to her job and made painstaking efforts to improve her practical abilities. As a result, she could perform various ophthalmic operations of high degrees of difficulty in her 40s and introduced in an audacious way the method of transplanting artificial eye lens into cataract operations which had been conducted only at central hospitals at that time, thereby making thousands of patients who had lost their eyesight or had poor eyesight restore their sight. Among them were children, housewives, young builders and grey-haired old people. As the saying goes, man is worth a thousand nyang (an old Korean monetary unit), eyes prove to be worth eight hundred nyang. That is why the feelings of those who regained their eyesight got beyond words. Whenever they extended heartfelt gratitude to my mother, saying that she had treasure hands, she would tell them that such credit must go to the Korean-style socialist system which values the people most.
She has devoted her all to the treatment of patients with selfless devotion and warm sincerity and never hesitated to cut off her conjunctiva for a patient and took good care of them like her own family members. She always learned in detail about the health conditions of those who left hospital after recovering their health in order to take necessary measures, and was not satisfied to treat patients in the hospital.
With a resolve not leave aside even a single blind in the country where the universal free medical care system is enforced, she made frequent visits to major industrial establishments and cooperative farms in the province to treat patients on the spot. She reportedly conducted about 20 rounds of operations a day.
When I asked her if she felt exhausted, she replied with good grace that health workers in our society are engineers of human life who are obliged to help all the people take an active part in socialist construction in good health.
Once I asked her for whom she was preparing a special dish at midnight at home, she answered that it was for the birthday celebration of her patient from a remote area who had undergone an eye surgery the previous day. It was a common case in my house.
My younger brother and I graduated from Kim Chaek University of Technology and left home to work at important workplaces of society. My mother would tell us that she would do more good things for the grateful country which gave free education to our brothers and put us forward, and leads us to work hard for the country.
Many people continue to visit my mother’s hospital and house to open their hearts to her, calling her “our doctor”. Seeing her, I think that the lifetime of a man is glorified by moral excellence and tender feelings, not by money or wealth.
The government put forward my mother and others, who regard it as their duty and ennobling virtue to share pains with patients and dedicate themselves to them as they would do their own family members, as models of the times and meritorious persons of socialist patriotism. It also made sure that they were given wide publicity through newspapers, radio and TV.
She makes redoubled efforts in her workplace even at present.
I love and respect my mum.
On the occasion of meaningful Mother’s Day, I would like to extend my warm congratulations to her and other mothers throughout the country.
Hyon Myong Song, researcher at Kim Chaek University of Technology