Cheated Death Three Times

Bo Tromborg is true a fighter. More than 10 years ago the now 37 year old Danish wood technician died three times during his hospitalization at Rigshopitalet – Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark. But he was brought back to life every time and after several years of rehabilitation, he was healthy enough to live on his services in the furniture and wood industry in Indonesia. Then he was cut down again by the financial crisis in 2008.
But after a count to eight, the fighter Bo Tromborg is now on his way up again!

Our meeting
It was by pure coincidence that I ran into Bo Tromborg one Saturday evening in the backpacker street Jalan Jaksa in Jakarta. I was about to go home after an evening with music and some Bintang beers at Memory Café. Almost at the same time as the waiter gave me my bill, I heard Bo Tromborg’s loud voice behind me speaking his typical English with a very heavy Danish accent.
Bo Tromborg and his English friend were quite upset. They had just been rejected by the check inn staff in the airport.
“You won’t believe it; China has just over night changed its visa on arrival policy!” he complained.
“I have a meeting in Beijing tomorrow morning, but that will not happened. I have to go to the Chinese embassy tomorrow morning and start the visa process. Hopefully, with some luck I can get going Tuesday or maybe Wednesday!”
I wanted to meet him again so we exchanged phone numbers and on the following Monday, having submitted his application, we met again – this time at the wonderful small “KL” Restaurant in Jalan Jaksa where we found a table in the middle of an ethnic ocean of guests from at least ten different nationalities.

A long story..
Bo was looking at the menu when I asked him what brought him to Asia. He looked up at me, hesitated, then smiled and eventually started to laugh.
“Well, that is a long story,” he began, looking up to the sky where his one eye starts its charactheristic ‘wandering’.
“I was 14. My dad was a manager in a furniture factory when someone wanted to start a factory in Singapore. My father got the job as the manager and then my Mom, my brother Jan and I just followed.”
“It was fantastic in many ways. I went to an international school, where we were all more or less in the same boat. None of us had chosen to leave our friends, families and so on.”
“But it was very nice. I still have friends from my teen years in Singapore – today spread all over the world – and that’s nice”.
Three years later Bo anyway wanted to go back to his home town Skive, the centre of furniture production in Denmark. But at this point in the story, Bo suddenly gets nervous. How do I intend to write his story, he asks.
Instead of answering, I suggest we leave Jalan Jaksa and go down to the schooner harbour Sunda Kelappa where hundreds of schooners offload their wood from islands days or weeks away. Bo had never heard about Sunda Kelappa, so he is buying in to the idea without any problems.
When we reached the harbour we started walking along the ships anchored up and he continued where we left.
“When we lived in Singapore, I got this idea to break away from the craftsman traditions of the family and become a business man. That’s why I went back to Denmark to enrol myself in the local business academy. But it was a mistake,” hea adds.
“I never liked it that much. So when I was 20 I became an apprentice as a carpenter which was a bit late, but it was good for me and I finished the education in the estimated time.”
His first major job after he graduated was in Vilnius in Lithuania. It was not in the Far East, but at least it was abroad.
“I assisted the management of a factory there. It was exiting and challenging at the same time. I loved it,” says Bo.

Almost dead
Then the he starts telling me about the terrible time he went through when he actually passed away, and even several times – and still managed to cheat death last second.
“I was 26, when it happened. I had come to Vilnius on a very good contract. But I had hardly started on the job before I got seriously ill. I became dizzy, then lost consciousness and was urgently transferred to the Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark.”
When he woke up at the Danish hospital, he was told that he was born with an extra twin in his body. A so called “Fetus in Fetu”. It’s something that is estimated to occur in 1 in 500,000 live births. Normally the extra twin stays calm until the carrier gets into his or hers twenties. Normally it then starts growing in the lover back, and the foetus is then removed in a small smooth operation.
However, unlike normal cases, his twin was in his brain. And by a double misfortune it started to grow when Bo Tromborg was just about to turn all his dreams and hopes into reality.
“The operation took 11 hours. The fetus was at the size of a hen egg. The tumour like twin had pressured my brain, and it was that pressure that had made me so ill.”
“Later I met the brain surgeon, who had hands like frying pans. He told me that during his first coffee break four hours into the process, he almost gave up the whole mission. But luckily he carried on,” Bo jokes.
During the following days, he almost died three times. Bo clearly remembers one of the situations.
“I remember when I came to life again. I woke up to a terrible fuss. And I remember that I got upset and told the doctor and nurses to stop messing around and get out of my site. I had no idea, they were there because I had almost passed away.”
A nurse who later became his good friends, asked him to shot his big mouth and then continued moving him urgently to the intensive care unit.

Off to Malaysia
Months later, when Bo had recovered, he left Denmark once again. The only remaining sign of his crisis is the ‘wandering’ eye which is still there today. He was heading to Penang in Malaysia, where he was going to help his father run a furniture factory while at the same time recover his health completely.
Four years later, he returned briefly to Skive, to finish an education as a wood technician. But as soon as he had completed that, he went back to his beloved Asia again.
Since then, he has had only two jobs, both involving wood.
“The last job I lost because of the financial crisis,” Bo says.
“As it is, it is almost impossible to find a new job. Instead, I am trying to start my own company,” he says optimistically.
However, just to register a company in Indonesia takes approximately 100.000 US $ and this kind of money he is not able to raise himself. First step is therefore to find a trustworthy partner.

Happy family
While Bo Tromborg’s professional carrier is thus a little up in the air, the private part of Bo’s life is more secure and settled. While he was recovering from his illness in Penang Malaysia, he met a Christian Indonesian women. She belongs to the Batak tribe.
“Over several years we met now and then. Almost three years ago we got married and settled in the central Java, and build our own house in Wonosobo, close to the industrial town Semarang,” he tells.
“My wife’s sister has an agency taking Indonesian labour to Malaysia and my wife has now started doing the same. It’s a good business, so we can handle the daily life with our small daughter Alexandra who is brought up as a Christian. My wife believes god so much, that she is praying to him every evening before she sleeps,” Bo adds.
“I am more relaxed,” he admits.
“I join her now and then when she goes to church. They are singing very beautifully, so it’s not a big sacrifice,” Bo Tromborg smiles.

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