Courtenay nurse leaves Friday for Nepal

Jen MacDonell member of second CMAT crew

  • May. 14, 2015 11:00 a.m.

Jen MacDonell

Terry Farrell

Record staff

 

Jenny MacDonell knows all about helping the wounded and sick. She’s made a career out of it.

So when the opportunity arose to go to Nepal as part of an earthquake relief team, the registered nurse from Courtenay did not give it a second thought.

“I have always wanted to do something like this, using my skills and abilities in the far reaches of the world,” she said.

MacDonell will be a member of the second Canadian Medical Assistance Teams crew to head to the devastated country, to help out in any way she can.

“The first team that went was 16 people; paramedics, RNs, practitioners, doctors,” she said. “This second team that is going will relieve that first team and there is a higher volume of RNs this time around. There are three doctors and a mental health counsellor.”

MacDonell is also certified for operating room duties, but she expects most of her assignments will be on the spot, as opposed to a formal OR.

“Most of the experience will be primary care – I’m expecting a lot of fractures, blunt force injuries, and of course at this stage there will be a lot of gastro-intestinal issues from the lack of accessibility to clean water.”

MacDonell will have some familiar company on the trip. Jan Neuspiel, an Island Alpine guide  from Cumberland who has spent a lot of time in Nepal (he speaks fluent Nepali) is also a member of the CMAT crew that leaves for Nepal on Friday.

Another Comox Valley resident, paramedic Jason Stevens, will finish his tour of duty this week. He went to Nepal May 1, with the first CMAT crew.

MacDonell said he was her inspiration to sign up for the team.

“He definitely inspired me,” said MacDonell. “So when the opportunity came up, I went for it, and they chose me. I’m honoured to be going. The response from across Canada from other medical professionals has been overwhelming to the organization.”

Things took a turn for the worse in Nepal this week, as another strong earthquake (7.3 magnitude) hit the country on Wednesday. Though not as powerful as the 7.8-magnitude quake on April 25, it has further hampered recovery operations.

MacDonell said news of the second quake has not wavered her decision to go.

“Jason texted me (Wednesday) morning and said that everything was alright, and all my flight details were sent to me this morning from CMAT so there has been no changes.

“And having Jan with us is another reason why I am quite confident about our safety. He will be assisting us getting to villages that have been cut off.”

MacDonell will be in Nepal for two weeks.

She has set up a crowdfunding page at bit.ly/1E4ehvZ for anyone interested in helping her and her CMAT team with the expenses associated with the trip.

 

Just Posted

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Mount Washington

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

Comox Archives and Museum makes presentation to d’Esterre Seniors’ Centre

At its June board meeting, Comox Archives and Museum board presented an… Continue reading

Annual Denman Island pancake breakfast coming up

Local fundraiser supports many initiatives

VIDEO: Miners Memorial graveside ceremony

For 34 years, the Cumberland Museum and Archives has presented Miners Memorial,… Continue reading

Having a day in the park

A temporary transmitting station is set up in Filberg Park in Comox… Continue reading

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Most Read