Village News

Conversation with Dr. Corpron, part 3

In part 3 of my conversation with Dr. Corpron, he describes what it was like taking care of patients when there was not yet a hospital building.


Note the shed on the right in the photo above. This was a storage shed converted to a clinic. The structure going up on the left is a “sala”: a roofed over area where people can get some rest out of the rain or out of the sun. This was to become the patient waiting area.  Photographer has his back to the doctor’s house.

Dr. Corpron will tell more in the link below:


Phil McDaniel


Conversation with Dr. Doug Corpron, part 2

L to R,  Dr. Phil McDaniel and Dr. Doug Corpron. This video interview took place in the home of Carol McDaniel Licht, Phil’s sister, who was also our videographer. Thanks, Carol!


Here is part 2 of my conversation with Dr. Corpron in Yakima, Washington, January, 2019. There will probably be about 4 parts altogether. The house call for the bur hole will likely be in either part 3 or 4!


–Phil McDaniel

A Conversation with Dr. Douglas Corpron, Founding Doctor of the KRCH, Part 1

In January, 2019, I [Dr. Phil McDaniel] had the privilege of doing a video interview with Dr. Doug Corpron, the founding doctor of the Kwai River Christian Hospital.

Dr. Corpron told how he dealt with patients who came to him at the original mission site in 1961, even before there was a hospital building. Not only did patients come to him, he made house calls! Would you believe a house call for a bur hole?

Part 1 of my conversation with Dr. Corpron, which is about 8 minutes long, can be viewed by clicking on this link:




Reflections from a Visiting Nurse

Hannah Luah, a recent nursing graduate from the National University of Singapore came to visit us in August 2018. All our staff tremendously enjoyed her visit, and the gentle, genuine way she fit into our nursing and hospital community. We were impressed with how quickly she picked up Thai as well: I remember one evening in the operating room when someone asked for the vital signs of the patient, and the answer came back in perfect Thai – in Hannah’s voice! Hannah, we wish you all the best in your next steps in your journey and hope you will visit us again soon. 

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Kwai River Christian Hospital in the Rainy Season (August 2018)

The Kwai River Christian Hospital (KRCH) is a hospital located in Village Huay Malai near Sangklaburi, within the Kanchanaburi province of Thailand. Its cosy compounds comprise an inpatient ward, outpatient facilities, one ED, 1 OT and 1 delivery room. There are also lab, pharmacy, radiology and physiotherapy services.

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The Pharmacy, bill payment counter and hallway to the X Ray Room and Operating Room

The hospital staff are a warm, close-knit community of Thais and foreign missionaries who live within the adjacent hospital housing, or around the village. Located near the Thai-Myanmar border, they provide care to the Thai, Karen, Mon and Burmese people who live around the region, including refugees. Sometimes, patients are referred from Sangklaburi Hospital or Myanmar as well.

A day usually starts with worship, prayer and morning devotions in Thai before most work begins. As a freshly graduated nursing student, I followed the nurses closely throughout my 1 month there. Coming from Singapore’s specialty-based system, I was amazed to see the breadth of responsibilities the nurses there had. Sometimes, we would start the day with a delivery, then go back to inpatient ward duties, and assist in surgery in the afternoon. Being mainly trained to function in the inpatient ward setting, I learnt a lot from observing deliveries and surgeries, and eventually circulating in the OT. That same nurses could efficiently run the inpatient ward, operating theatre, and delivery room all in the same day really blew me away. The next week, they would rotate to the outpatient department/ED, and then back again. It was eye-opening to see such flexibility and capability, which I never would have seen in Singapore. I also learnt a lot from visiting doctors and teams who came from many different backgrounds, and brought with them expertise in pediatrics, A&E, anaesthesia and internal medicine.

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A quiet moment in the Emergency Room
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A view from the Inpatient Ward nurses counter
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In the Operating Room

I also appreciated the autonomy and independence the nurses were granted, a sign of the good rapport and trust built among the team. Apart from confidence in each other’s abilities and intentions, I feel these relationships were augmented by the interactions out of work that arose from many staff being neighbours in the hospital-provided housing as well. In Singapore we are often taught about teamwork through inter-professional education (IPE). However, IPE had always seemed limited in my opinion until I saw how the relationships in and outside of this hospital led to a close-knit community pursuing the best interest of the patient.

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A teaching moment in the Operating Room seen from the scrub station

I will always remember KRCH for the people and the warmth the community gave off. It has all been very inspiring to me and though I know that we rarely have the luxury of such a convenient setting in Singapore, it motivates me to try my best not just with my patients, but with my fellow healthcare providers as well.

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Celebrating Dr Thew’s Birthday
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A touristy moment on the Sapan Mon-Thai Friendship Bridge in Sangklaburi

– Hannah Luah, 2018

Celebrating Christmas at Huay Malai


It’s been more than 12 years since we’ve had Christmas as a holiday at Kwai River Christian Hospital. This year we are turning back the clock, and most of our staff will have the time off on Christmas day to remember and celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ with their churches and families.

This year’s sweet December kicked off on the 30th of November with a huge crowd in the hospital front lawn and parking lot.

A beautifully decorated tinselly and aluminum foil on bamboo lattice backdrop graced the stage for the narrated Christmas pageant – sort of the prodigal son meets the Christ child to find the meaning of Christmas. Along the way, the prodigal and his friends were partying it up with our young nurses who were quite enjoying being bargirls for the night. Fittingly perhaps, our antenatal nurse played the part of Mary, silently and calmly cradling the CPR mannequin baby Jesus through the night, without having to resort to chest thrusts or back blows despite the shepherd-nurses bearing IV poles as crooks.

The KRCH choir and a several vocal groups from the hospital, the Gethsemane Bible Institute and Saha Christian School gave lovely performances. Ajarn Surachai gave a warm welcome to our village neighbors and Ajarn Somsak gave a prayer of blessing to start the evening.  Apart from the pageant, the other big draw for the crowd (to stay to the end) were the raffle ticket prizes for which you had to be present when your number was called – these included a shiny red bicycle with a pillion seat, a standing electric fan, and a hot water dispenser.


May Ajarn Mark’s message ring strong and true through our village neighborhood and to the ends of the earth! John 3:16-17 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” The true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of this incredible act of love. May your Christmas be most richly blessed as well!


A Visit from Lea Lindero

Lea Lindero caring for a baby in the incubator

Lea Lindero, our dear friend and one of our longest serving KRCH nurses (1983 – 2015), came by to visit before flying back to the Philippines where she will start the next phase of her “retirement” life building up the church her father originally planted in her hometown.

Celebrating Lea’s Retirement at Jan’s Chalet
Lea’s Montage
Gethsemane Bible School Choir Tribute to Lea

The People We Serve

By Dr. Phil McDaniel


The Kwai River Christian Hospital welcomes young and old, rich and poor from many ethnic and language backgrounds. Thai, Sgaw Karen, Pwo Karen, Burmese, Mon, Lao, and Chinese patients come to the hospital for treatment.



KRCH doctors, nurses, nurse aids, pharmacists, receptionists, and cleaners all speak at least two languages. Some speak three or four. Dora, the longest serving employee, speaks five! The patients themselves often speak two or more languages. Between the languages that the patient speaks and the languages the staff speaks, we can usually find a match and communication can begin.