Margo volunteers for a group called Cardiostart International that provides cardiac surgery and medical training in under-served parts of the world. A team of 30 medical professionals were already scheduled for a mission to Nepal, starting on May 3rd for two weeks.
Overnight, the mission changed to one of providing emergency medical relief at Dhuliknel Hospital, 17 miles from Kathmandu, where their mission was initially destined.
Before she left on her mission, Rotary District 7710 and the Clayton Rotary Club provided Margo with significant financial support and supplies so she could assist the Nepal people that have been devastated by the two massive earthquakes that hit on April 25th and 26th.
On Sunday morning April 26th, Margo was attending the annual conference of Rotary District 7710, in New Bern. Members of the Clayton Rotary Club noticed that Margo was visibly upset. Margo’s group a few months ago sent two containers of medical supplies to Dhuliknel to provide cardiac surgery training, but now she needed emergency medical supplies, water filtration systems and gear for sleeping outside so they could deal with this crisis. She also needed cash to allow her to buy the needed supplies here, but more importantly to purchase items while in Nepal. This was Sunday and she was scheduled to leave on the upcoming Friday.
An email on Monday, to John Long, Clayton Rotary club president, got the process going as he made Matthew Kane, District Governor, and Leigh Hudson of Clayton, Chair of the District Disaster Relief Committee, aware of the situation. John also sent an email to the Clayton Club making them aware of the situation and asking them to provide what emergency supplies and funds they could for Margo to take with her to Nepal.
On Wednesday, the District provided Margo with $2,000 to purchase what she needed here and in Nepal. Matthew Kane also made contact with the Rotary District Governor in Nepal making him aware of Margo’s arrival and developing a connection for Margo while in Nepal.
The next morning, Thursday, April 30, at the regular meeting of the Clayton Rotary Club, Club members brought cash and many emergency supplies for Margo to take with her.
On Friday, May 1, Margo started her daylong journey to Nepal, with money and supplies provided by Rotary at the Club and District level.
In Nepal, Margo was involved in providing support to the local trauma team, mainly amputations. Her team became aware that rural villages were in desperate need for food, in addition to medical attention, so Margo’s team traveled to these areas to deliver aid.
While Margo was in one of these remote villages providing aid a large aftershock happened on May 12th. In the mountainous Nepal area, the earthquakes also cause dangerous landslides. There was concern whether Margo’s team would be able to get back to the main base. Fortunately, after considerable negotiations her team was able to find a driver willing to risk the landslides to take them back.
Nearing the end of her time in Nepal, Margo’s team traveled to a village where the school had been destroyed. In less than a month, the monsoons would be hitting the area and housing was required so the students could return to their studies. The team spent the remaining days constructing the tents for this temporary school.
In Dhulikhel, Margo reached out to the local Rotary club and attended one of their meetings. Working with the local Rotarians they determined how to allocate the remaining supplies and money. Medical supplies were divided up between the hospital in Dhulikhel and an outreach clinic in a small village. Water filters, camping supplies and clothing were left with another village. The remote village of Khukhraechor received a significant supply of food as hunger is a significant issue. On the last day, Margo even left her extra clothes and hiking boots for the local people.
This is a great example of how Rotary, at many different levels, can move very quickly to do what is necessary.