B.C. nurse reflects on helping Ecuador earthquake victims (May 22, 2016)

Written by Sumayah Altokhais

Published by CBC on Sunday, May 22, 2016

A B.C. nurse is reflecting on his relief efforts after helping people injured in the devastating earthquake in Ecuador last month.

Ian MacKay, 25, was part of the disaster assistance response team with the international organization Samaritan's Purse

He working with a crew deployed to an emergency hospital just a few days after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit and left 650 people dead and thousands of others injured. 

MacKay said the field hospital he worked at, which was set up with the help of the Ecuadorian military, was essential in saving lives because it was well equipped. 

"In this situation, we had the resources and capacity and personnel to keep people alive," he said, adding that, in other situations, people that should have survived didn't because of the lack of resources .

He describes the three-week deployment as "action-packed, with 12 to 18-hour work shifts in long and hot environments."

MacKay said it was hard leaving patients behind.  

"You really do have to learn to separate yourself to keep going and push through," he said.