Magnificent Maud: Determination like no one else

Magnificent Maud: Determination like no one else

Perhaps one of the most shocking stories of the year takes a very inspirational turn.

Let's meet Maud

Maud Kells has perhaps one of the most inspirational stories out there!

Since 1968, Maud has been serving the people of DR Congo as a nurse with WEC International and she has been a frequent flyer with MAF ever since we started flying there in the 1980s.

As amazing as that already is, Maud’s story in the last year escalated horribly when one evening she nearly lost her life.

What happened to her

On 4 January, Maud received a startling phone call late at night from someone pretending to be the husband of one of her patients.

The elaborate request lured Maud away from her home in Mulita, where she was living, and upon returning to the house from the clinic, she was confronted by armed bandits.

I was just coming into my compound when, suddenly, two bandits ran from around the back of the house, pointed what I thought was replica gun because they were wearing masks and camouflage clothing and they were covered in leaves and that kind of thing… I thought it was replica gun that was pointed at me. I went to grab it and immediately of course he pulled the trigger. I was shot through the chest Maud Kells telling her story at Belfast Telegraph Woman of the Year Award, 2015

Soon after, Maud was aided and her condition was stabilised but she was going to need more medical attention.

Here’s where we get involved! MAF were called in order to perform a medical evacuation and so, within a few hours, MAF pilot Jon Cadd had flown to Mulita from the MAF base in Nyankunde with a team of local doctors!

From there, Jon and the team flew Maud back to the MAF base where she was transported on to Nyankunde Mission Hospital. Now she was safe and recovering well!

Jon Cadd along with his wife Cher kindly hosted Maud in their home for a week before she made the trip back to her home in Cookstown, Northern Ireland, where it looked like she’d stay for a lengthy amount of time.

Now we understand if you’re thinking that, so far, this makes a good story on its own. Maud was horrendously attacked and she survived, MAF helped, Maud lived to tell the tale! That’s an amazing story!

However, it didn’t end there!

There was no stopping her

Despite all that had happened in Mulita, despite going back to the comfort of western living, Maud’s story in DRC was surely not going to end there!

Maud was determined to go back to Mulita and she jolly well did!

It’s been under a year since the gunshot horror occurred but she wasn’t going to let that stop her from continuing the vital she’d been doing for the last forty seven years.

With the same gumption she’d always had and an “Inspirational Woman of the Year Award” under her belt, 76 year old Maud was greeted by the entire community of Mulita as she returned to DRC on Friday 4 December!

There was singing and dancing – a celebratory ceremony! Maud had returned to a community full of joy!

Not only had she returned with full-health, Maud had returned, also, with a MAF plane full of medical supplies, baby clothes and gifts for the community – very Maud-like!

It’s amazing for us to be part of such an inspirational story – a privilege in fact! We’ll continue to look out for Maud in DRC as she remains committed to looking out for the community of Mulita, DRC.

So much of the healing process was really MAF caring for me, loving me,
and just being so kind and so hospitable… I probably wouldn’t have survived if it hadn’t been for MAF Maud Kells in an interview with Amanda Ferguson, Belfast Telegraph