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West London doctor reveals how his evening unfolded one year on from Grenfell

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A London doctor has revealed how he was one of the first to treat survivors and victims of Grenfell Tower, one year on from the tragedy that claimed 72 lives.

Dr Philip Lee, an Elderly Care and Acute Medicine Physician at a West London teaching hospital, was summoned out of bed at 3.39am and called into work – where he immediately set about treating survivors of the blaze.

Lee recounted on Twitter how the night unfolded, before paying tribute both to the firefighters who were battling to bring residents out alive and the Grenfell residents themselves, who showed “quiet dignity” in the face of unimaginable horror.  

He went on to describe the disorientation that faced him both before and after he arrived at the hospital:

Lee, who was born in Hong Kong and has worked as a physician for 14 years, went on to describe the bravery of the firefighters and police officers on the scene, and how unprecedented the situation they were facing was:

The 15-tweet thread shed light on the vital actions of those that were tasked with treating victims and the survivors – something that may have been forgotten over the past year.

Lee went on to reveal that the tower his patients had escaped from was visible from his hospital ward, and that the full scale of the tragedy was still very unclear in the hours and days afterwards as he attempted to process what he had witnessed.  

He ended the thread by explaining how he is still suffering the effects of that night, months afterwards.

His closing tweet was a tribute to the victims, and a plea to ensure that an incident of the same nature is never repeated:

Twitter users were quick to react to Lee’s recount, offering their thanks and assuring him that he had no reason to feel guilty about the events that he witnessed:

The fire, which broke out on the fourth floor of Grenfell Tower in Notting Hill’s Lancaster West Estate, raged for over 24 hours before finally being extinguished just after 1am on Thursday 15th June.

It claimed 72 lives. The oldest victim was 84-year-old Sheila, whilst the youngest, Logan Gomes, was stillborn at seven months just hours after the tragedy. His parents Marcio and Andreia and sisters Megan and Luana survived the fire.

An official inquiry was opened on 14th September 2017. There has been a pause in proceedings today, to mark the one year anniversary of the disaster.

Image credit: By ChiralJon (Grenfell Tower) CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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