MAF evacuates Northern Irish missionary and OBE recipient in the DRC

Published: 7 Jan 2015

MAF evacuates Northern Irish missionary and OBE recipient in the DRC

Maud Kells was flown by an MAF plane to hospital to be treated for gunshot wounds during a robbery in her village in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The 75-year-old missionary from Cookstown, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland was shot twice in the shoulder in a night attack by bandits in Mulita, on 4 January 2015. Staff from MAF's Nyankunde base co-ordinated a medical evacuation and reported that her wounds were treated. She remains in hospital in a stable condition.

Shortly after Maud received treatment, Jon Cadd, a pilot and programme manager for MAF's operations in eastern DRC, said, 'It was great to be part of the MAF team getting Maud out and helping her recover. The trauma team cleaned up the wound this afternoon and things are looking good. It made me happy to be one of the pieces in the puzzle. We just took some supper to Maude down in ICU and she actually sat up to eat. She asked us to pray and thank God for taking care of her.'

Speaking in 2011 about Maud, Jon said, 'She is really remarkable. Even though we fly in a lot of her supplies, sometimes she has an urgent need for something at the hospital. So she rides her bike for a whole day to get to the nearest small town, gets what she needs, stays the night and then rides back all the next day.'

Working for WEC International, Maud is based in the remote rainforest village of Mulita, in the Ituri Forest, south-east of Kisangani.

MAF has flown Maud often, including an emergency evacuation when rebels took the nearby town of Punia in 2013. In an earlier interview with MAF, Maud said, 'I've been flying with MAF since they started flying here way back in the 1980s.'

She featured in 2015's New Year's Honours list, receiving an OBE for services to the people of the DRC, where she has served since 1968, primarily in nursing.

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Further pictures available on request (credit MAF)

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