Have you ever wondered where the inspiration for a gripping series comes from? ‘The Patients of Doctor García’ is a new Netflix series that has captured the attention of viewers worldwide. But did you know that its captivating storyline is based on a real-life hero? Let’s dive into the fascinating history that inspired this compelling drama.
A Hero in Madrid’s Post-War Era
Set in post-war Madrid, ‘The Patients of Doctor García’ follows the life of Doctor Guillermo García Medina, played by the talented Javier Rey. The story begins with the doctor living under a false identity, thanks to forged documents provided by his best friend, Manuel Arroyo Benítez (Tamar Novas). Manuel, a Republican diplomat whose life the doctor saved in 1937, returns from exile in 1946 with a clandestine mission. His objective is to infiltrate an organization led by Clara Stauffer, a German-Spanish woman with Nazi and Falangist ties, dedicated to helping war criminals evade justice.
Unveiling the Real Protagonist
The series delves deep into the lives of its characters, but there is more to the story than meets the eye. Even if you’ve read Almudena Grandes’ novel, you might not have discovered the true origin of the protagonist. Contrary to his fictional name, Doctor Guillermo García Medina, his real-life counterpart was none other than Norman Bethune.
The Real Story that Inspired ‘The Patients of Doctor García’
Norman Bethune, often regarded as the first “doctor without borders,” traveled from Canada to Spain to aid in the fight against the fascist uprising during the Spanish Civil War. This decision to join the fight for justice came after Bethune visited the Soviet Union in 1935 for a medical conference. His dedication to the Communist cause marked a turning point in his life, leading him to devote himself to the proletariat revolution in Canada. After his time in Spain, he journeyed to China to assist the Red Army. Tragically, Bethune lost his life after contracting an infection from a wound during surgery, and he is now considered a national hero in China.
But Bethune’s significance extends beyond his political ideals and commitment to the working class. It was in Spain that he had an idea that would save countless lives and earn him the nickname “Doctor Blood” among the Republican troops.
A Revolutionary Idea in the Midst of Battle
Bethune established the Hispano-Canadian Blood Transfusion Institute in Madrid, located in the heart of the resistance against the fascists. As the French were the most significant foreign group aiding the Republic, Canada had the second-highest number of volunteers. The institute, one of the war’s first services of its kind, saved numerous lives. However, Bethune’s greatest achievement was taking it a step further by creating the first mobile blood transfusion unit.
Realizing that most soldiers died during the transportation to hospitals rather than on the battlefield, Bethune traveled to London to gather the necessary materials and create this groundbreaking mobile unit. His innovation revolutionized medical assistance in times of conflict and emergency healthcare in general. It is the story of this medical hero, amidst the chaos of the Spanish Civil War, that inspired Almudena Grandes and now Netflix in ‘The Patients of Doctor García’.
If you want to experience the heart-wrenching tale behind the series, start watching ‘The Patients of Doctor García’ on Netflix today. Discover the remarkable true story that captivated audiences and let it transport you back in time to a period of hope, struggle, and unwavering determination.