Neurosurgeon Lu Junti was relieved when his emergency helicopter landed in Shiyan City, Hubei Province on Monday afternoon, the end of his 50,000 kilometers journey.
Days ago, Lu was assigned to bring a seriously injured Chinese worker in Bolivia back home.
The worker Xiong Fuxing was injured about two months ago. Due to poor local medical care, Xiong's relatives sought help from Shiyan Taihe Hospital, the best hospital near the village where they live.
The hospital dispatched Lu, who speaks good English, to brinig the patient home. He departed from Shiyan on January 13, passing through the Netherlands, Ecuador and Peru before he finally arrived in Bolivia. The 25,000 km one-way journey took more than 80 hours.
"I found him in a coma when I arrived," said Lu.
He and two of Xiong's coworkers brought the patient home five days later. During the trip, Lu had to carefully monitor Xiong's condition and be prepared for emergency treatment at any time.
"I gave him liquids every two hours and injected antibiotics every eight hours," Lu recalled.
They also encountered storms and uncooperative airport officials.
"But thanks to many kind-hearted people, especially overseas Chinese, the life-saving journey ends in success," Lu said.
Their flight arrived in Wuhan, capital of Hubei, before Lu and Xiong shifted to an emergency helicopter which is faster.
Xiong is being treated by hospital doctors now. Lu has been hailed as hero by Chinese netizens after his story went viral online.
"The doctor travelled to a foreign country and brought a critical patient home by himself. It's very challenging. I was moved by his selflessness," said a web user with a screen name "He Yanping".
Another web user "Xiaoyaoyou" commented: "I hope the injured worker to recover soon, making the life-saving journey a real success."