Flight

When the editorial received the next letter of thanks for a military doctor, the head of Orthopedic and Trauma Department of Central Military Hospital of Ministry of Defense, Major Levon Zhamagortsyan, I started to prepare for the interview with him. I started to get interested in the biography, fame and interests of the hero of my future review. He is not an ordinary person; he is original, enthusiastic and full of life… He paints, he has a lot of paintings…He has made a cockpit of «Boeing-737» with his own hands. He is an artist by nature… In such cases you must put your questions in a very simple, certain and definite way in order to be able to find the «doctor» in the domains of artist of «Boeing-737» and put it in the frames of one article. So, I start the conversation with the simplest and prosy question. «When was the idea of becoming a doctor born»? «My dream was to become a pilot. I have always dreamt of the sky. My father Meruzhan Zhamagortsyan was an experienced pilot. He had dreamt of becoming a doctor but one day when he saw the planes flying in the sky, he fell in love with the sky. He was a devotee to the sky. He was the only person who was not a communist but became a commander. I still have Brejnev’s decree to the minister of USSR aviation Bugaev. He orders to appoint my non-party father as a commander as an exception. I often flew with my father. My childhood was a flight and expectation of a flight. I did my best to be allowed to fly as my punishment was a deprivation from the sky».

I understand that I shouldn’t give in the conversation, that I «Shouldn’t rise to the sky and go deeper»… because falling will be difficult, because this conversation is not leisure, it’s a work, a duty…a duty to write about a good work of a military doctor. I understand that after the conversation I will have to sit before the white paper and try to make a character…But I cannot resist temptation. «I don’t know what the sky is. The plane for me is a means of transport. That is, I haven’t been to the sky». «The measurements in the sky are different, your volumes in the sky are different and the contact with the space is different. The volumes of freedom, love, harmony, honesty are different. The sky is a perfect beauty. Ideal music sounds in the sky. The most beautiful human dreams live in the sky. <<Do you draw a sky>>? <<No, the sky is ideal. In my paintings I improve the terrestrial reality. Painting is a flight of soul. I paint the nature. I take an image, refine it and put it on the canvas. I paint the world as I would like to see it. I create my own world. <<And what do you clean>>? <<Evil, jealousy, materialism, cowardice, all the masks, false smiles, lies, empty eyes and cold hearts, everything that fixes you on the ground and does not let you fly, everything that cuts the wings of your soul>>. <<Your friends told about a <<Boeing 737>>. To tell the truth I didn’t understand very well. Do you make a plane? Why>>? <<I have collected the <<Boeing 737>> for years. The cockpit is already ready. Why? I have collected my dream part by part. That way I am closer to the sky. Why? Why does a person paint, write a poem or compose music? I don’t know why. Once on the plane I asked the stewardess to ask the pilot to allow me to enter the cockpit if the surname Zhamagortsyan reminded him of somebody>>. After a short while the stewardess came back and invited me to the cockpit. The pilot said that he was my father’s student and owed him a lot. After a short while my wife also was invited to the cockpit. When my wife entered the cockpit she cried <<This cabin is so much like our home>>. In <<Boeing 737>> I am at home and I fly>>.

I understand that I have failed this conversation. I understand that it is necessary to swallow the question <<How do you love>> and ask <<How did you become a doctor>> in order to save the conversation on the 20th anniversary of the foundation of military-medical service of Armed Forces with one of the best military doctors, doctor of medical sciences, the author of 43 scientific works (3 monographs), a doctor with a military biography of about 20 years Levon Zhamagortsyan.

<<I am a devotee in love. I have no selfishness at all. I give and it is my way to love. I love that way, without demanding anything. Please, don’t ask me what kind of women I like because that question in my case is wrong. I suddenly start loving. Who can explain the phenomenon of love?  It is a reference sent from the sky. But there must be some criteria. The women I loved were clever, kind and warm…Love is the only pill to cure the cancer of our soul. <<Whose words are these>>? <<I don’t remember>>.

 

There are three of us in the room – the doctor, my dear colleague Shushan and me. Shushan and I are having tea, the doctor is having coffee. The doctor speaks about the beauty of Shushan’s eyes. He says that the person’s eyes are the mirror of his soul. Then the teacher of 45 years from Buzhakan, who has been my previous hero, joins us, he has come to take several newspapers. Shushan whispers. <<There is no lack of good people in our room>>. Three of them talk about the sky, love and harmony. My voice was a little loud. I repeat my question that I had asked at the beginning of the interview. <<And how did you decide to become a doctor>>?  <<My father and mother were against my decision to become a pilot. My mother told. <<I have waited for your father for all my life. Am I going to wait for you now>>?  My father told that it was a fluke that he was with me now. He had been saved from death for numerous times. My elder brother was a doctor. I used to go to the hospital with him especially at the night shifts. One day he said. <<Let’s tell the surgeon Sergey Harutyunyan that you are a second year student of Medical Institute and ask him to let you help at the operation>>. I was in the 9th year at school at that time. I agreed. <<Are you adventurer>>? <<I like the risk. I like to win. My brother advised me to imitate the surgeon’s actions. I washed myself like him and wore a white coat. It was my first <<operation>>. Something moved in my heart, some feeling>>. <<What kind of feeling>>? <<The operation is a flight. Every operation is a flight in its own way. My father told that in spite of several dangerous situations none of his passengers has ever been injured. After the difficult flights he has got off the plane and walked in a victorious way. The same way I get out of the surgery – on the ground but with the delight of my flight in my soul,  completely free from fear>>. <<Fear>>? <<All the victories are born from fear. Fear for something or somebody. The sky is very beautiful and attractive but at the same time it is very dangerous. And that makes it more desirable. I enter the surgery with fear in my heart. I fear for the life that is trusted to me. And when I come out of the surgery…This is it – those several minutes, the star time of the doctor.

I have to finish this conversation this way. Perhaps there will be another occasion for doctor Zhamagortsyan to tell us about his master’s and doctoral thesis on wounds as a result of bomb explosion, about the operations of replacing the joints by metallic constructions which are unique in the region. I hope one day he will have the opportunity to explain us why he left his calm civil life and came to the army during the war years, how he managed to get over the hard days and what