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
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
FAYETTEVILLE NATIVES PROVIDE EARTHQUAKE RELIEF IN NEPAL
Plastic Surgeon from Fayetteville Helps Nepal Victims
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
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
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