US Nurses and UK Anesthesiologists to Nepal to Assist ReSurge's Nepalese Surgical Team
Photo by Abir Abdullah of Elise Reay-Ellers from a ReSurge trip in Bangladesh in November.
ReSurge volunteer nurse Elise Reay-Ellers, of Seattle, is in Nepal for two weeks as part of a humanitarian effort to care for victims of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck April 25.
Reay-Ellers, a post-anesthesia care unit nurse, flew to Kathmandu on Thursday, April 30, and will return on Mother's Day (May 10). She will assist ReSurge's year-round, 50-person Nepalese team, which has been inundated with the injured and has pivoted its local focus to prioritize emergency care in the crisis.
"I'm devastated by the situation," said Reay-Ellers, who works at Swedish Hospital in Edmonds and Northwest Hospital in Seattle. "But I'm thrilled to be able to give my time and skills."
The April 25 quake, the most powerful recorded in Nepal in more than 80 years, left at least 6,200 people dead and more than 13,000 injured. Many of the injuries will require reconstructive surgery to minimize permanent disabilities, or to undo damage resulting from delayed or inadequate medical treatment.
Reay-Ellers and our local ReSurge Nepal reconstructive surgical team will join forces with Nepalese and South African orthopedic surgeons to help close wounds, perform skin grafts, set broken bones and provide emergency and other care for the injured. Many of the injuries also will require reconstructive surgery to minimize permanent disabilities, or to undo damage resulting from delayed or inadequate medical treatment.
She will also relieve staffers who have been working around the clock since the injured began arriving. Three other ReSurge volunteers will join her early next week. They are: Brad Schauer, OR nurse from Portland; and Drs. Rowan Hardy and Joe Silsby, both anesthesiologists from London.
"Going into a disaster zone can be unnerving and the uncertainty can be intimidating," Reay-Ellers said, who has volunteered with ReSurge since 2004. "But as a mother, sister, wife, daughter, human being, we are all in this together. I feel privileged to be a part of ReSurge's mission in the world." .
ReSurge has established the Nepal Earthquake Victims Surgical Care Fund. to support the Nepal ReSurge Surgical Outreach Program. These donations are being sent to our Nepalese team to fund the immediate surgical need, as well as the tremendous need for reconstructive surgical care and rehabilitation in the weeks and months to come.
ReSurge International is on the vetted InterAction and USAID lists of key NGOs responding to the crisis. It has worked in Nepal since the 1980s and has the largest year-round reconstructive surgical team in the country--providing surgical care for 1,300 people annually, with local NGO PHECT-Nepal.