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

Courtenay family looking for help after baby born two months premature

A GoFundMe page has been set up as a difficult pregnancy and a long stay in Victoria have left the family struggling to get by

Land & Sea Brewing Company opens its doors in Comox

Managing director says the brewery will be a compliment to the Valley’s craft beer scene

Two Courtenay Habitat for Humanity families receive keys to new homes

Lake Trail Road project officially has residents

Preparations ongoing for Courtenay’s annual Earl Naswell Community Christmas Dinner

The doors of the Florence Filberg Centre, downtown Courtenay, will open again… Continue reading

CFIA announces recall of some types of cauliflower, lettuce due to E. coli fears

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has announced a recall of certain types of cauliflower and lettuce due to possible E. coli contamination.

Top of mind: ‘Justice’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

Merriam-Webster has chosen “justice” as its 2018 word of the year, driven by the churning news cycle and President Trump’s Twitter feed.

‘Spider-Verse’ swings to the top; ‘Mortal Engines’ tanks

“Spider-Verse” has been very well-received among critics, and audiences in exit surveys gave it a rare A+ CinemaScore.

Canadians spent almost $64,000 on goods and services in 2017

Households in B.C. each spent $71,001 with housing costs contributing to higher average

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

RCMP estimated more than 1,500 people attended the rally in Grande Prairie

White House closer to partial shutdown with wall demand

Without a resolution, parts of the federal government will shut down at midnight on Friday, Dec. 21

Canucks score 3 power-play goals in 4-2 win over Oilers

Vancouver sniper Boeser has 6 goals in last 5 games

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

Most Read