Canadian Red Cross delegate proud of team at Nepal field hospital

Topics: Asia, Emergencies and Disasters Worldwide
July 22, 2015


Patrice overlooking the field hospital set up in Dhunche.

With more than 25 years of nursing experience in places like Afghanistan and Sierra Leone, Patrice Gordon is no stranger to working in developing countries. Her most recent deployment with the Canadian Red Cross takes her to Nepal to assist those affected by the earthquakes.

As leader of the 20-person Canadian Red Cross Emergency Response Team, Patrice will be overseeing the Red Cross field hospital in Dhunche, which is providing critical life-saving health services to the Nepalese community. To date, more than 3,600 patients have been treated at the hospital.

“In spite of losing their homes and living in tents in the rain, the Nepalese people are warm, kind, ready to smile and laugh,”  the British Columbia nurse practitioner and Red Cross delegate says. “The resilience is impressive – there’s a real sense of peace and gentleness all around us, in spite of all they have been through.”

In addition to the field hospital tucked away in the Langtang Valley, the team also operates a mobile clinic that travels at least three times a week to nearby communities where the needs are vast.

 “With the instability from the earthquakes, the road conditions are significantly worse than ever before,” Patrice explains. “Many days the roads are impassable due to the [landslides] and we still have at least a month of monsoons before it eases off.”

The days are long in Dhunche, as delegates provide people with adequate shelter, nutrition, access to clean water and sanitation, and health services which are vital to prevent illness and disease.

 “I’m so proud of our team,” Patrice says. “Some days, there are things to cry about. It’s hard to see people suffering. But there are so many more triumphs than tears. Each childbirth is greeted with joy and excitement, like we are welcoming a new member of our family.”

“We miss our homes and our families, but really, none of us would be anywhere but where we are right now. Every single one of us considers it a privilege to be working with the people here.”

Canadians are encouraged to support people impacted by this disaster by making a donation to the Canadian Red Cross Nepal Region Earthquake Fund.​