Be the change you want to see in the world. ~ Ghandi

Monday, May 14, 2012

"A Dream Trip"

Liza Leukhardt, RN will be traveling with the organization Nurses for the Nations to India May 14-24.  Liza will be part of a group of nurses providing charitable medical care in Andra Pradesh, India.  In Liza's own words:  "This mission is a dream trip for me. Since I was a teenager, and probably before, I've fantasized about doing humanitarian work as a medical person. In my teens, when other kids were listening to rock and roll, I was listening to African folk music, and driving my mother crazy. I've been a nurse now for twenty years, and I feel that 2012 is going to be a year of huge transitions and accomplishments for me.  I'll be starting graduate school in the spring, with the goal of teaching nursing in the near future. I've been a hospice nurse for most of my career, so I know a lot about dreams, fantasies, and bucket lists. I expect this mission will be life changing for me. I've been blessed with a comfortable life and feel a need to not only broaden my perspective, but show my gratitude. I'm delighted and thrilled to have been accepted by Nurses for the Nations for this mission to the dalit, or untouchables, in India. I expect to work very hard in a tough, dirty, hot environment with people who are ill with diseases I've only read about. I expect this won't be my first mission. I'm thinking about retiring into the Peace Corps. Until then I'd like to use my skills to provide compassionate care to as many people as possible."

Liza Leukhardt decided to become a nurse 20 years ago after caring for her three year old daughter during two years of chemotherapy for childhood leukemia. Having already worked as a newspaper reporter, elementary school teacher and theater costumer, Liza views nursing more as a ministry than a career. For the past twenty years she has been a hospice nurse. Her ability to work with the dying is a gift she discovered during her daughter’s illness. Today her daughter is a robust and healthy 29 year old woman with an exceptional empathy for others in need. Liza currently works as a weekend Baylor nurse for a local home care agency while pursuing a master’s in nursing at the University of Hartford. She is a contributing writer to and her story may be found in the anthology “Nurses on the Run” edited by Karen Buley.