I don't know where to begin... but, Mickey Sampson died last night. Please pray for Mickey's wife Wendi and their four kids, the two girls: Michael (16) and Madeline (14), the two boys: Isaiah and Zach (12).
About 1-2 months ago Mickey complained of chest pains and numbness in his hands. He had is heart checked out and went through a few scans. Everything seemed to check out and it was diagnosed as bacterial, he started to recover as a result of this treatment. After ending treatment, though, about a week ago the problems returned. His wife told him to go to the doctor, after an examination the doctor wasn't too worried but noticed some things they wanted checked out. He was referred to a hospital in Thailand, because hospitals in Cambodia aren't any good. This morning a man was supposed to meet Mickey at the guest house he was staying at and the man found Mickey's body. They think there might have been a possible ceisure, but they're not sure. Doctors are examining the body.
You would have had to know Mickey or have been to RDI to know the scope of what he did for Cambodia and for many other places in the world. I want to tell you about Mickey. The Sampsons have lived in Cambodia for 11 years. Resource Development International (RDI) was started by Mickey, who has a Ph.D. in Chemistry. Because of his knowledge and skill, RDI has been able to give clean drinking water to thousands of Cambodian families. But not only Cambodia, the scope of his influence is felt all over South East Asia (Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, etc...) Just over a week ago he was one of the key note speakers at a conference in Atlanta for the Center of Disease control on his work in Cambodia. And just last week he was working on the finishing touches for a portable, ceramic water filter factory with the intentions of sending it to Sudan to help the refugees of Darfur. These are just a few of the many accomplishments of Mickey. With only 11 years on the field, he was able to accomplish hundreds of milestones for the developing world on clean drinking water.
Mourning has begun on the RDI compound.Things won't be the same, but many things will go on. One of the things that Mickey did well was training the people. Because of his efforts, a lot of what RDI does can continue working as normal. The filter factory, the rope pumps, the rain water harvesting tanks, the water testing, etc... will continue to work because it was run by Cambodians. Marc and John are the other two permanent Americans invested in this facility. They will be able to carry on Mickey's work. The one area that is questionable is the lab. That was Mickey's baby and pet project. Monday was supposed to be the beginning of a conference on water led by Mickey. Several people were flying in from universities for the conference, like: Stanford, Dartmuth, University of Manchester (England), Univesity of Guelth (Candada), etc... The list goes on and on.
I don't know how this will affect my stay in Cambodia. I'll keep you informed as I learn more. Much of what RDI does was pioneered by and centered around Mickey's work.