Annemarie Sigle on the Baltic seashore.
Photo: Berliner Zeitung/Markus Wächter

HeiligendammTwelve steps and then another twelve. An almost insurmountable obstacle. How is he supposed to get up there? Half the stairs, then a break, then the other half. Fifteen minutes for one floor. Tamer Arslan shakes his head. He wants to take the elevator.

The world has been turned on its head for Tamer Arslan, a senior physician from Berlin. The surgeon normally operates on people's stomachs and intestines. Right now, he can't even make it up a flight of stairs without help. Breathing is difficult. His speech is sluggish. He’s barely surviving. He's learning to breathe properly again. He has no idea when he'll be able to work again.

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