Scripps nurses home after helping Nepal quake victims

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SAN DIEGO –

A team of five Scripps Hospital workers are back in San Diego tonight after helping more than two thousand earthquake victims in nearly 13 Nepalese villages.

Dozens of family members, friends and co-workers gathered with signs and balloons welcoming them. One of those people was a Scripps co-worker from Nepal.

“Every time someone asks me a question I can’t stop the tears from coming down. It’s very emotional,” said Scripps nurse Sarita Shakya.

Scripps Health Vice President Tim Collins, nurses Debra McQuillen, Jan Zachryr, Patty Skoglund and Steve Miller left for Nepal on March 1st, soon after a 7.8 tremor shook the region.

“Almost every house was raised, demolished, falling down and with the aftershocks we’d see even more,” said Scripps nurse Debra McQuillen.

The earthquake wiped out entire villages, leaving more than eight thousand dead. As the San Diego teams raced against time to help victims, a second 7.3 quake rattled the region.

“All of a sudden, we heard this rumble, and the earth started to shake,” said Scripps VP Tim Collins.

That earthquake killed dozens more, injured nearly two thousand, and left some of the nurses cut off from the world on a remote mountain village 1,200 feet above sea level.

A second chopper eventually rescued them and took them to the next village where they continued to save lives.

Collins says they helped patients with broken bones, scabies and lung problems.

It was hard for the nurses to leave the thousands more that needed help, but they know they left a lasting impact on the people there.

“I think when we were ready to leave, they really felt like they were ready to build a new Nepal,” said Skoglund.

The Scripps employees worked under the International Medical Corps. To help their efforts in Nepal, click here: https://internationalmedicalcorps.org/.

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