A little boy was rescued after 105 hours in shaking rubble

Aras (left) and his grandfather Mehmet

Aras has a “strong personality”, says his grandfather Mehmet

Five-year-old Aras is sitting on his back playing with a model car.

It is one of the miracles of Turkey.

Rescue teams freed him from the rubble of his home in the now-destroyed city of Kahramanmaras, 105 hours after the earthquake.

When he was admitted to the intensive care unit, hypothermia set in and his body temperature dropped to 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit).

Áras may have survived, but his seven-year-old sister Hiranur did not. Neither was his nine-year-old brother Alp. Nor his father.

He is just one of so many families irrevocably broken by this disaster.

Sitting on the side of the bed on Áras and gently brushing his grandson’s dark hair is Mehmet.

“He is an honest boy. He has a strong personality. He is sincere. He is not a spoiled boy.”

Although he is now 72 years old, Mehmet tells us that he will take care of Aras for the rest of his days as if he were his own son.

“The rescuers did so well to save him,” he says, “and by the grace of God they brought him back to us alive.”

Aras flinches a bit as the doctor changes the bandage on his swollen left leg. He is making a good recovery.

Aras’s mum also survived – but he hadn’t seen her since life had affected them. She is being treated at another hospital in the city but is expected to improve.

Dr. Mehmet Cihan

Dr. Mehmet Cihan, pediatrician, traveled from Istanbul as quickly as possible to help his colleagues in Kahramanmaras

It was in an intensive care unit set up by Israeli doctors that Áras’ own life was saved.

But as we walked through the ward on Monday, it was not only a child with a great story but also a 65-year-old man.

Samir from Syria was pulled from the rubble after enduring six freezing nights.

Doctors then saved him, but both of his legs had to be amputated.

For the medical practitioners who were at the heart of this disaster, it was an extremely traumatic week.

Pediatrician Dr. Mehmet Cihan traveled from Istanbul as quickly as possible to help colleagues in this broken city.

“It’s very bad. Too many children have lost their parents. I don’t know. It’s very difficult for me … too difficult for me.”

Dr Bryony Pointon

Dr Bryony Pointon says Turkish and international doctors and nurses are under a lot of pressure

The international medical effort reaches far beyond Kahramanmaras.

In the town of Turkoglu, green British tents pitched by NHS doctors stand alongside Turkish tents with red tarpaulin.

Doctors from the UK are setting up a field hospital on the grounds of the town’s hospital which was damaged in the quake.

The need for emergency care in the hours after the earthquake may be over – but the 80,000 people who live here lack many medical services.

Dr Bryony Pointon is a GP from Chichester, who came to Turkey as part of UK-Med – a leading medical aid charity funded by the British government.

“We are working with the Turkish doctors and nurses who are here – setting up their own tents and seeing patients but they are under siege,” she explains.

“After all the trauma you have the people who have their usual chronic illnesses – they’re still sick, they don’t have the facilities to deal with them. So, we’ll see those patients, as much as we can.”

There are doctors and nurses from all over the world in Turkey now to help the physical injuries.

But the mental trauma is also profound – both personal and national.

Additional reporting by Naomi Scherbel-Ball and Dogu Eroglu

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