Nepal Earthquake – Wednesday May 6

** Please donate!  Check out the links above **

It’s amazing how the passing of a few days can change things …. for the better.  It’s like as if SIRC are into a bit of a routine now.  What was once new and challenging a few days ago, has become less frazzled somewhat.

Make no mistake, the patients are continuing to arrive and there is much much work to do!  But there are now processes in place and everyone knows what they are meant to do.  Many of you who know me, know I am a bit of a process queen so this delights my heart.  A little nerdie of me, I know.  Enough of me for now.

There has been great progress on all fronts at SIRC.

Chanda (Rehab in  Charge) and Mandira (Nursing Manager) are now living 24/7 at SIRC.  Unsure if this is any good for their personal lives, but it clearly shows their dedication to the many SCI patients arriving daily and those who now call SIRC home.  They are on call for whenever they are needed.  They are inspiring young professionals.

Mandira (right) and Chanda (2nd right) - both still smiling!

Mandira (right) and Chanda (2nd right) – both still smiling!

Professor Taslim Uddin is from the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation BSMMU, Dhaka and his arrival has really strengthened the knowledge of SCI amongst the medical team at SIRC.

Professor Taslim Uddin 2nd from right

Professor Taslim Uddin 2nd from right, consulting with the team of doctors

Drs Peter Wing and Claire Weeks from Bowen Island, BC Canada have been providing daily consultations and mentoring to the medical team at SIRC via Skype.  Here’s a photo of Peter & Claire taken by Dr Raju of his laptop screen while on the skype call :-).  Check out more detailed updates on the support Peter and Claire are giving, on their blog SpiNepal.

Peter & Claire mentoring via skype

Peter & Claire mentoring via skype

A donation of dozens and dozens of pillows were gratefully accepted by SIRC from a very generous local business man.  Pillows are key to managing pressure sores.

Arrival of the pillows!

Arrival of the pillows!

Fiona Stephenson has been appointed the Volunteer Coordinator for SIRC – this no mean feat!  Fiona has experience setting up SCI facilities in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, so is in an ideal position to effectively do this key role.  SCI experience is critical for any medical volunteer coming to SIRC, otherwise the existing staff will spend more time training the volunteer, and less time on the patients themselves.  Needs will evolve over the coming months as the patients progress through their individual rehabilitation programs.  Fiona has the experience and knowledge in similar circumstances, we are fortunate to have her volunteer to do this important role.  Here’s Fiona’s posting on Facebook.

SIRC Fiona

If you or anyone you know is aware of medical professionals with SCI experience willing to help onsite and remotely, please contact Fiona.

Fundraising is going really good with CAD$26,425 donated on the Handicap International – Canada online donation page.  That’s 17% of our target, a long way to go yet but still something you should all be proud of – it translates to paying for the rehabilitation costs for almost 9 people.

Please donate if you haven’t done so already.  Please share the link with your friends & colleagues if you haven’t done so already.  


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About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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2 Responses to Nepal Earthquake – Wednesday May 6


    Hi Kate,

    Just a FYI in case you get an email or anything – I’ve forwarded this to SCI – BC, in case they can pass it along to folks who know SCI and might want to volunteer. Jeanine (Muriel’s friend)


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