Category Archives: Nepal

Day 12 Nepal to USA

Blessings and thanks to each and everyone of you that uplifted my team and me during my stay in Nepal and on my ~ one third million marathons journey home. And a special thanks to CBN International out of Virginia Beach, VA & Compassionate Hands For Nepal, who gave me this opportunity to be the hands & feet of you all that supported me with your encouraging thoughts & prayers. I also want to thank my friend & colleague, Dick Furman, MD of Samaritan’s Purse, for being there with me on the ground in Nepal and his spiritual guidance.
I arrived back home late Wednesday, May 20th, to my supportive wife! I hope you got a sense of the magnitude of the continuing sad saga being played out in Nepal and will continue to remember them in your thoughts & prayers. Beth & I plan to return in the long process of rehabilitation, re-building and rejuvenation of Nepal. Blessings to you all. Carpe diem! On the ground in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, USA, mark

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Day 11 Nepal Disaster Medical Relief

My last day in Nepal was Tuesday, May 19th. The day began helping to load tons of supplies to be sent out into the villages of Nepal. Also heading out on this initial 7 hour drive outreach to Ramechhap is Donna Decker, whom I had just welcomed onto our team.
I then spent my last day at Kirtipur Cleft & Burn Hospital helping manage patients and saying goodbyes until I return again. They gave me a ride back to base camp in their ambulance revealing typical sites including the many outside tent camps, the frequent sacred cattle free ranging in the streets & a view of their electrical wiring along the roads. Then off to the airport for the long journey home with the support of each one of you guiding the way. On the ground my last day in Nepal, mark

Tons of suppliesT markt mark & donna IMG_6235IMG_6243IMG_6154IMG_6150IMG_6256IMG_6271

Day 10 Nepal Disaster Medical Relief, Kathmandu

I am honored, humbled and priviledged to be able to work these last few days with the dedicated Nepalese doctors and surgeons changing so many lives each day at the Kirtipur Burn Center. Heartbreakingly, I assisted in a 40% total body 3rd degree burn debridement and dressing change on a 17 year old girl among the many of which I was involved. Again, I am choosing not to show you graphic photos of the patients we treated today due to their horrendous conditions, but rather a few general pictures. Amidst  all the reconstructive surgeries, one OR room was used to squeeze in a C-section to allow  a baby Nepalese to be born today! I captured the event on video with my iPhone! Joy in the midst of tragedy!

While coming back from the hospital, I was on the scene of an unfortunate motorcycle accident in progress. I treated the patient with antibiotic ointment and bandage wraps & bandages for multiple abrasions and fortunately no broken bones. It was a little strange to see the crowded scene we created while treating the patient on the sidewalk.

We received 9 more trucks today in what now is 110 tons of blankets, tarps, rice, sugar & salt from India today for CBN International to distribute through Compassionate Hands For Nepal throughout Nepal. Tomorrow I will continue to work at the Kirtipur Cleft & Burn Hospital my last day in Nepal before departing for the long journey back home.

This is my last night in this country that has become a special place in my heart. I mourn for the people here who have endured not only difficult living conditions to begin with, but then have had unspeakable tragedy of multiple earthquake disasters thrust upon them. Many, if not most, are frightened, hungry, shelterless and disheartened. I pray for them and for greater mankind to always reach out to those less fortunate than us with mercy and compassion. While I have tried to represent  the hands & feet of Christ, we should all consider “To whom much is given, much is expected.”
Still on the ground in Nepal another day,  mark

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Plastic Surgeon from Fayetteville Helps Nepal Victims

Day 9 Nepal Disaster Medical Relief Kathmandu

Today I saw the Nepalese victims of the Earthquake like never before. I am choosing not to show you photos of the patients we treated in graphic detail due to their horrendous conditions, but rather a few general pictures of the work of these brave, dedicated and skillful surgeons. Several patients were burned beyond recognition or burned on most of their bodies yet still survived requiring extensive skin grafting and flaps. Other wounds were secondary to bone fractures now requiring multiple types of closures including free flaps (moving tissue from one part to the body completely to another connecting blood vessels under the microscope). It was an intense day so a nice respite when I came back to base camp to see Donna Decker had arrived safely.
I assisted in unloading 20 tons of supplies yesterday and we are expecting the other 60+ tons of blankets, tarps, rice, sugar & salt from India tomorrow for CBN International to distribute through Compassionate Hands For Nepal throughout Nepal. Tomorrow I will continue to work at the Kirtipur Cleft & Burn Hospital. On the ground with the surviving Nepalese, mark

Burns m2mdBurns FacialBurns Total BodyBurn BabyBurns legKitapur HospitalDonna Decker Arrives11283205_408582309321028_723327388_oUnloading 2Unloading

Day 8 Nepal Disaster Medical Relief, Kathmandu

Another incredible day for us here bringing in 20 tons in 4 trucks of 83 tons of supplies from 16 trucks arriving from India in the next few days. We unloaded tarps, blankets, rice, salt & sugar. Four more trucks arriving in the morning. I’m a little sore from unloading, but it was worth every drop of sweat. I will also start operating at the Kirtipur Hospital, Nepal’s Cleft & Burn Center. Posting pictures yesterday of the wards, so lot’s of trauma patients to treat with flaps & grafts.

The Earthquake today was a 6.4,  a house collapsed with a trapped woman with leg fracture treated by one of our Israeli doctors. The earth was shaking!!! Glad to get out of the building. I’m on the 4th floor so ran down the steps only wearing shorts…no shirt or shoes. All the locals running out of the buiildings screaming! Some cracks beginning to show in the foundation! We may have to start sleeping outside! I am now debating of sleeping outside tonight, possibly in a van to increase my safety margin. Most of the Nepalese are sleeping outside in tarps, tents, etc in fields, along the roads, on sidewalks, etc. The fear factor was increased with the 6.4 earthquake today and predictions are now 1.13% of a 6.5+ earthquake in the next 48 hours. On the continued shaky ground sleeping in a van away from large buildings in Nepal, mark

Unloading truckUnloading blanketsRolling blanket sacksimage-2image

Day 7 Nepal Disaster Medical Relief Kathmandu

Attended the United Nations Health Cluster this AM of all the multinational disaster relief groups…inspiring. Got to spend time with Shankar Man Rai, a world famous reconstructive plastic surgeon and native of Nepal, who has devoted much of his life to providing free plastic surgeries to children with birth defects, cleft lips and palates, and burn injuries in areas of the world where these disabilities and deformities can be devastating. He’s done over 13,000 cleft lips and cleft palates. He received the Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award from the Dalai Lama in 2009. I will have the honor of working with him in the coming days. Ran into the Indiana team again with their group leader Prakash Karki MD.
Saw more earthquake destruction throughout as well as continue to feel multiple daily 4+ aftershock tremors. Experienced the sacred river cremations occurring 24/7 which is quite normal in Nepal, only not as frequent as post quakes. Each body is put on top of a platform of wood and dried grass and wood placed all around it and then, the body is set aflame until it becomes a small pile of ash. This is then swept off the platform and into the sacred river. Notice all the monkeys, seemingly oblivious to what has just taken place, chattering in the background and in the river. Continue to experience the love of the people of Nepal, despite their tragedies.
On the sacred ground in Nepal, mark

Son BlindMother Child PrayerWalking 1st timeNamaste Father GrievingCremationsKitapur HospitalWard 3Ward 6 Free FlapWard 1Ward 2Ward 5 Orthoafternoon mealBldg collapseOld man with caneChild MotherWoman in RedChild WavingIndiana TeamShankar Rai MD

Day 6 Nepal Disaster Medical Relief Kathmandu

We held a medical clinic at a children’s school in the village of Goldhunga south of Kathmandu today. Emotional day for me as I treated a father whose daughter and grandchild were killed in the 1st Earthquake. He and his son were also trapped in the rubble. I treated the son too who had facial fractures/lacerations and became blind in one eye. My feelings could not be held back as I treated them medically, then embraced and prayed for them both during this devastating time. I cannot imagine the anguish they are experiencing. So sad…
We continue to experience frequent 4+ aftershocks while although gripping, they are nothing compared to the 7.4 magnitude the other day. The attached picture is of a private hospital in Kathmandu that collapsed from this most recent major quake two days ago where doctors, nurses & patients were affected. Lots of lives were lost in the city and also surrounding countryside where we were that day. We wear masks when traveling as the pollution here is one of the highest in the world! Still humbled by your continued support of us all over here. On the ground in Nepal, mark

Feel the loveTreating earthquake victimSetting up ClinicMy clinic deskHospital CollapseMasked in CarMark & patientMark surgery patient

Day 5 Nepal Disaster Medical Relief Kathmandu

Things over here have escalated now with new search teams out for current survivors of latest major earthquake 7.4 magnitude. I am OK and our entire team of 46 is OK!!!! Just arrived back in Kathmandu from remote village of Thandidanda towards Mt. Everest where 28 of us had traveled. It is strange to see people have moved into the streets & courtyards in Kathmandu setting up tents not to go back into houses or buildings. We experienced the 7.4 magnitude earthquake in Dhulikhel where several buildings nearby me collapsed & with partial mountain avalanches. Lots of people died. We heard a hospital in Kathmandu collapsed. I got on open ground & could barely stand as the whole earth shook violently for about a minute and a half. Quite scary!!! We had a 6.3 aftershock ~ 20 minutes later and another 6.3 magnitude at 3 AM this morning as we were sleeping out under a tarp in this small village, Thandidanda, where ~ 50 people of 32 families live. It is near Kolanti near Bhumlu way up on the mountain top barely accessable.
We did run a medical clinic there this morning where we saw over 300 patients who had not been seen by any disaster teams since the earthquake 2 weeks ago! They were overjoyed to see us! Continued thanks for thoughts & prayers for protection to all over here. On shaky ground in Nepal, markToday, our CBN Humanitarian & Disaster Relief Team did run a medical clinic up in the high hills of the village of Thandidanda where we saw over 300 patients who had not been seen by any disaster teams since the earthquake 2 weeks ago! This time I was honored to work beside 2 Israeli doctors and 1 from Indonesia along with nurses/techs from Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, India & Nepal. Notice that I am one of only a few Americans representing our entire group (of over 40) & am wearing a North Carolina baseball cap representing not only the USA but our great state of North Carolina!?! Also notice my Tarheel lapel worn on my vest in one of the closeup pictures! And thanks, Chick Jacobs, for the nice article in the Fayetteville Observer, as I represent you all in Fayetteville/Cumberland County, too! Victor Emmanuel , who is on our team, is also posting great photos on Facebook. Also attached pictures of our sleeping tarp/tent converted to a medical clinic including the Israeli contingent, my desk with a bed beside where I performed minor surgery, myself with a woman who had just lost her home in yesterday’s 7.4 earthquake but she survived!, the food distribution program, the unbelievable mountains of Nepal, and jumping for joy to avoid the next aftershock!?!?

Continued thanks for thoughts & prayers for protection & mercy to all over here. Still on shaky ground in Nepal (but as some of you commented, “with a firm foundation”), mark

  • CBN TeamThandidanda, Kolanti, Bhumlu VDCMedical Clinicm2md medical clinic deskNepalese man & m2mdMark & patientMedical Clinic LineThandidanda VillagersHomelessIsrael BannerPanaroma Thandidanda, Kolanti, Bhumlu VDCTent Setup ThandidandaTent camping
  • Building crumblingm2md in flight

Day 4 NEPAL Disaster Medical Relief, Kathmandu

Today, our CBN Humanitarian & Disaster Relief Team was deployed west of Kathmandu running a medical clinic in the village of Sitapaila. I saw 65 patients today while working beside doctors from Indonesia & Israel who were seeing similar numbers. Our 2nd medical team was placed in another village. We drove by medical base camp setups in Kathmandu from multiple countries including Japan & China (Incredible coming together of nations)! Of course, another 4+ magnitude earthquake took place early this morning! Although knowing they come daily, it still does not diminish these quivers’ psychological impact on me & the Nepalese people.
Tomorrow, our CBN International team ventures further east out to the far reaches of the Kavrepalanchok District towards Mt. Everest. I have not seen the mountain yet due to cloudy weather conditions and smog conditions in and around Kathmandu. We will set up our tent/tarp camp, cook by the campfire like the people we will be serving and run medical relief clinics from there before returning mid-week to base camp in Lalitpur just south of Kathmandu. We will be taking a revolutionary Air Mobile Rescuer water purification unit producing 25 gallons/hour of pure water and eventually dropping them off to the unreached disaster areas.
So you will not hear from me for a few days during this outreach. Your thoughts & prayers for safety & healing are always welcome & appreciated by all of the international volunteers assisting in this massive relief effort (especially me)! Reporting on the ground in Nepal, mark

Dr. Mark SurgeryHead Deformity BabyThanks for PrayerFallen BuildingSitapailaHouse FlattenedHouse destructionCows in road