Doreen Messerli and Sue Burkard are both registered nurses, and they both work at Bellin Orthopedic Surgery Center. They both have also always wanted to do a medical mission trip. Earlier this month, they were able to go on one together.
Their trip was through the Green Bay chapter of the Friends of Haiti, a nonprofit organization that serves four areas of Thomazeau Haiti through medical and surgical mission trips.
“We were assigned to the community of Grand Boulage, a mountain community approximately 18 miles from Port Au Prince,” Doreen says. “There were no paved runs, no running water or electricity, and our group saw about 1,300 patients in the three-and-a-half days the clinic was set up in their community center.”
“We worked with family practice physicians and interpreters to provide assessments, medications, and education to the residents, and we also assisted with procedures from lab testing to wound care and even the delivery of a baby,” Sue says.
Both Sue and Doreen also got to experience providing care outside of the clinic set up by the medical mission group. Sue accompanied two patients who were in critical condition down the mountain to be admitted to the hospital. Doreen had the opportunity to make a home visit,which took her farther up the mountain.
“The Haitian people dressed in their very best to come see us, and they smiled a lot and were very thankful,” Doreen says.
“No matter how much or little we did, and despite the language barrier, you could see in their eyes how much they appreciated the care,” Sue adds.
Now, back in Green Bay, Doreen and Sue have refreshed perspectives on life.
“I’ve come back wanting to focus on the basics in my life: health, family, community, and thankfulness,” Doreen says.