Albany native helps with body recovery effort in Southeast Asia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany native helps with body recovery effort in Southeast Asia

Albany- When the waves of the Indian Ocean wiped out much of South Asia, they took more than 150,000 lives with them.

"It's something that you can't really explain," said Michael Fowler of Albany.

Fowler is a member of a disaster team that recently used his skills as a forensic pathology assistant and mortician to work in Thailand. He has done disaster work for years. He's seen death in the aftermath of floods, tornadoes and even after September 11th.

"So many people were charred, there were so many people that were burnt that you would probably never find," he said. "I thought 9-11 was the worst I've ever seen. I think this is worse."

For the past three weeks, Fowler worked around the destruction and chaos to identify bodies and return them to their families.

"We did whatever it took to get the job done."

Returning loved ones may be the only way for families to find closure after a disaster.

"That's why we take our time in making sure that we work through our process of doing our identification in the right manner that we don't make mistakes."

But working around death and devastation takes a certain kind of gift.

"But I feel when I'm doing this it's a ministry that I am helping this family get their loved one back and go ahead and go forth with their life," he said.

Helping families move forward. A journey that begins with help from Michael Fowler.

posted by brannon.stewart@walb.com