April 23, 2020
At a time when the COVID-19 is spreading around the world and the joint efforts by the government and the people of Taiwan in pandemic prevention and various foreign aid initiatives have garnered international praise, MOFA is today releasing an all-new short film, ‘Looking Up Again,’ showcasing Taiwan’s high-quality medical care to the international community, spreading the message that “Taiwan can help and Taiwan is helping” when it comes to global public health.
The film describes how a Guamanian man suffering with untreated spinal and hip deformities and at a low ebb in life, was recommended medical treatment in Taiwan by a friend, and, as a result, is once again able to hold his head up high and look up at the sky, with a new lease of life. The protagonist of the film, Theodore D. Nelson, or Ted, was previously a strong guy able to lift 55 gallon drums of water. Due to hip and spine deformities, however, for nine long years, he’s been unable to do seemingly simple and ordinary things, like walk, fish or even sleep. These are luxuries that the pain he suffers no longer affords him.
As his health continues to deteriorate, causing him continual anxiety, on a friend’s suggestion, he traveled with a family member to CMU Hospital in Taiwan last year to receive treatment. After undergoing three surgeries on both hips and his spine, Ted is finally able to walk upright again, and the pain no longer causes him to lose sleep at night. Now he can even enjoy the pleasure of fishing with friends.
At the end of the film, Ted walks into a café and sits down to enjoy an everyday pleasure. Looking at a photograph of himself and his family smiling brightly alongside the Taiwanese medical team, he thinks of everything he’s been through, and the new lease of life he has now and writes down “Thank you, Taiwan,” and, getting a little choked up, he says thank you in English and Chamorro (Thank you, Si Yu’os Ma’åse), a testament to how Taiwan’s high-quality medical care gives back to the international community.
As Guam is lacking in medical resources, in the past people there sought medical attention in neighboring countries, but more recently Taiwan’s reputation for high-quality medical care has spread, and so more and more Guamanians are choosing to come to Taiwan for medical care each year. This includes local elites, such as Ted, who comes from a political dynasty in Guam.
Through releasing this short film, MOFA hopes to show the world that Taiwan is putting the UN sustainable development goals into practice, ensuring the health and welfare of people of all ages around the world and calling for international support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the World Health Organization, so that we can all work on pandemic prevention together.
MOFA is first releasing a short version of just one minute in length, before releasing the full-length four-minute version. The film is in English and is being released in 10 different subtitled versions, including English, Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish, German, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese and Russian, which will all be released simultaneously. You can watch them on MOFA’s Facebook Page or on the Trending Taiwan YouTube channel and Facebook Page. Feel free to share the video with your friends! (E)