6th March - Leighton Buzzard on Sunday

Dr Tush Touches Down to Start Tsunami Aid Mission

A former GP has arrived in Sri Lanka, where she plans to build a children’s hospital in the south of the country.

In the first of a series of regular reports Tushara Wickramanayaka – known as Dr Tush – has revealed her plans to try and get some much needed aid to the children of the country, left devastated by the Boxing Day tsunami.

Calling from Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, the 37year old former Leighton Buzzard doctor revealed how the heat took her and her party by surprise after landing.

She said “it is over 34 degrees which has obviously had a detrimental effect on those needing aid because people living without a roof over their heads are living in this kind of heat”

She also revealed her immediate plans adding “This week we are going to meet the Secretary of Health for Sri Lanka and are currently conducting a survey on what materials we need to build a hospital. We have not had a chance to go to the affected areas and we are currently dealing with the logistics like meeting up with officials in Colombo.

“The Children’s Hospital is a gift to the government and people of Sri Lanka. We are concentrating on property surveys and discussing things with the officials because we want to get it right.

“Although progress in the moment is very slow, most of the construction is being carried out by the Sri Lankan government so when we get there we should have a bit of a head start.”

Dr Tush said after touching down she soon realised the huge task facing the Government and international aid agencies as they continue with the clear-up operation.

She added “The people of Sri Lanka are in shock, many people have lost somebody they know and some people have lost everything. The operation still continues but it is slow. Two trains, which were derailed as a result of the tsunami, have not been cleared and there are still personal belongings like wallets, clothes and shoes strewn across the tracks.

“Nearly three months have gone by so quickly but the harsh effects are still being felt. We hope to have a meeting with the president of Sri Lanka to discuss the children’s hospital and other issues.”

Last week we revealed that Dr Tush had sold her Mercedes for £17,000 and out the cash into her appeal fund which raised just under £25,000. She and her husband, Gary Cutter also spent £7,000 of their own money to fund the trip to Sri Lanka.

Read Leighton Buzzard on Sunday next week for Dr Tush’s next update.