Tuesday, April 9, 2013
First mission to Ecuador
Shortly after arriving at the airport in Baltimore, I knew this was going to be quite an adventure. I was the 'newbie' among the seasoned veterans..There were surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, dentists and many other invaluable volunteers coming together for this medical mission to Ecuador. I had a lot to learn, but definitely felt up to the challenge! I was immediately accepted as one of their own.
As we arrived in Ecuador, i still wasn't sure what to expect. Thank goodness I had my good friend, Deb Skovran with me, to show me the ropes...
My job is in the Neonatal intensive care unit at the university of Maryland medical center in Baltimore. However, my role on this mission was that of a PACU nurse! We traveled with Ecuadent, a non profit out of Baltimore that treats over 2,000 children each year.
43 surgical patients came through the PACU doors in that Hospital in Salinas Ecuador... Ages ranging from 4 months to over 40 years old... cleft palate/fistula repairs, many patients with polydactyly/syndactyly, among many other surgeries ..
I realized that not only did we help the children through these surgeries, we made a difference in the lives of the entire family. The gratitude from the parents and patients alike, crossed all cultural and language barriers..
One nurse At a Time made it possible for me to be a part of this incredible journey, I am very much looking forward to the next mission.
..before I went on this mission, a friend told me that this trip would change my life. That friend was right :)