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Radio Diospi Suyana

Dr. Werner Wigger: adventurer, founder, Christian

Titel Werner Wigger

The definitive book about the founder of the German Mission medical team

It has been on the market for several days: the life story of a man who escaped in the darkness of the night from the GDR and would much later live in Africa. Here is the preface of the book:

Christmas 2012 was approaching. I sent Werner Wigger an email with a request to assist us in finding a surgeon. Our Diospi Suyana hospital in southern Peru needed urgent surgical assistance for the following months. My hope was that Werner Wigger, with his wide network, could conjure up a colleague on a voluntary basis.

I was disappointed. On December 27, I wrote Dr. Wigger, and he had not found anyone. I had secretly expected this answer, but not the second part of his message: “I’ll come.”

Whoever would write such a thing must be a special person. I was very pleased to get to know the experienced surgeon. I remember well one evening in our living room, when Werner Wigger told about his life. His story was so exciting that the delicious food my wife had made stepped into the background. After this memorable round table, I told him, “Werner, you absolutely must write a book!” I’m almost a little proud that he took my advice.

A week before his return to Germany, a bus rolled over near the hospital and 34 injured patients were admitted to the emergency room. With Werner Wigger, we had the right surgeon in the operating room. His experience was seldom needed more urgently than that afternoon. God had sent Werner to Peru at exactly the right moment. There was no doubt.

His book shows this clearly again and again. Dr. Wigger is a man who is willing to deal with major challenges in the name of faith, and his life stories encourage me to trust in God. I have a feeling that most of his readers will experience the same encouragement. / Klaus-Dieter John.

Werner Wigger untersucht Patienten
Dr. Werner Wigger in der Ambulanz des Hospitals Diospi Suyana

Excerpt from the chapter “Chicken in the OR”

Werner and Ernst did not travel alone to Uganda. During the German Break, they brought along Hans, a medical student who works in the hospital with Werner.

Uganda is a dangerous place for foreigners. The successor Idi Amin is a despot who took authority from his predecessor and otherwise ruthlessly deals with the people. As Werner and his companions get in touch with the German Embassy in Kampala and decide go to the northern Nile District to set up a clinic, they are hit by the official. “This is the most dangerous area”, the embassy staff says. “Mr. Wigger, you are crazy! We are glad that we have gotten the other Germans out of here. Why do you want to go? Unthinkable! All foreign aid is already set there. There are maybe some foreign workers on the emergency doctors committee, but we do not know because we do not have connections.”

The three cannot be put off and are preparing to travel by car. At night, however, the real danger begins, because there are shootouts in the streets. In the morning, a truck comes to collect the bodies like garbage bags. For years, Uganda Airlines has kept their flights and MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) from flying in this area. The only air route goes through uninhabited steppe and scrubland, a retreat of rebels and unpaid mercenaries, a place where arbitrariness and the law of the jungle prevail. The team has stocked up with food, and they set off in the morning from Kampala. Late in the afternoon, they arrive at Pakwatch—finally, a populated area. Fortunately, they are allowed to pass the only bridge over the Nile for many miles.

After an arduous and interminable day tour, they reach the Kuluva Hospital late in the evening, where they actually meet three employees of the German emergency doctors committees. They have brought this hospital up and running again and are very happy to finally be replaced, but only to move on to rebuild the formerly Catholic hospital in Maracha. The paramedics put Werner in a crash course over how to perform a caesarean section and give him tips for the most common diseases in the region. Soon afterward, they left, and the three had not even seen the entire hospital. The missionary doctors and hospital staff had fled years ago, although their homes are still available, but plundered and filthy.

Werner, Hans and Ernst set up a makeshift clinic here. The poverty and despair of the locals are unimaginable. From them you can get neither money nor food. …

… The operating room is a mud hut, which of course does not have air conditioning. Not even a fan will run to the ceiling, so it is stifling hot and the doors are left open. During surgery, the doctor might have to chase a couple of curious chickens to the side. The team brought a few drugs, but they lack dressing material and surgical instruments. Often they do not know what to do. Then there is the prayer that God does a miracle and the healing process begins, although sometimes there is no medical hope. Always remember: Empty hands are free to pray…!

Title: Miracle included: Dr. Werner Wigger – A life full of risks and side effects (Fountain Publishers). Here is Dr. Wigger’s email address:  wigger.gmmt@t-online.de