The Minister of Health of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Luke Browne, is well known in Taiwan because of his strong advocacy of the country at the World Health Assembly. He has now come to public attention because of a humanitarian gesture he recently performed.
Minister Browne helped a disabled young man by the name of Yanick Charles, who is paralyzed from the waist down, achieve a lifetime goal by carrying him on his back to the top of the highest mountain in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This was an extremely difficult feat considering that the mountain is 1,234 m high and the trail leading to its summit is a very steep incline roughly 4 km long.
The pair's meeting was a result of Yanick’s participation in an annual summer program organized by Minister Browne. One of the activities in the program was a trip to the mountain, La Soufrière, which is an active volcano.
Yanick joined the others on the trip but was stuck at the bottom of the trail as everyone else started hiking up the mountain. He was expected to stay at the foot of the hill in his wheelchair and wait until the rest returned.
Yanick's friends gave him their bags to hold while they climbed. Minister Browne, who was waiting until everyone was on their way before going up the trail himself, noticed that Yanick was left behind. He did something about it.
Luke Browne is the St. Vincent and the Grenadines' Minister of Health, who on May 20 at the World Health Assembly presented a compelling argument on logical and ethical grounds as to why Taiwan should be included in the gathering.