Hello everyone! I am headed to Africa again! This time there will be no climbing, altitude sickness, or camping. I will be doing what I do every day at NYU, helping kids breathe! Many of you may remember my Habitat for Humanity days. My HFH trips were and still are fond memories that I think about often. The fun we had and the bonds created made me feel guilty back then. It was like I was getting more out of it than the people I was trying to help! I am still friends with many of those people I shared those experiences with and I used some of those skills during my own house construction. Meeting some of the owners of the houses I helped build made me realize the importance of giving back and how much it meant to them that we were helping to build a new life for their families.
This time, I will be participating with a different HFH organization. Hospitals for Humanity is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to decrease barriers to healthcare for people living in the least developed countries in the world. Hospitals for Humanity strives to improve the quality of life of those in need.
85,000 children are born each year with congenital heart defects in Nigeria, however less than 1% get the medical attention they need. Through the construction of modern medical facilities and organizing medical mission trips, HFH’s Paediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Initiative has performed over 50 cardiac surgeries on children who otherwise would not have had it available to them. Through knowledge transfer and building of partnerships, HFH provides the expertise needed to guide the local healthcare workers with the tools, enhanced knowledge, and skills in the latest treatment modalities to better serve their people.
On May 25th, I will be joining a team traveling to Jos University Teaching Hospital in Jos, Nigeria to help recover 12-15 pediatric patients after their open heart surgeries. The Respiratory Therapy profession is not present in other countries. It will be a great opportunity for me to impart my knowledge of ventilator management and oxygen therapy modalities to the local healthcare professionals. Respiratory Care truly is a vast and complex specialty. I continue to enjoy learning and expanding my knowledge in my 13+ year career. It will be great for me to pass on my pediatric and neonatal experience and expertise as well, because there are different ways of managing children compared to adults. I am sure I will come back better appreciating my work environment and the care available in the USA after facing the challenges and lack of resources available in this developing country.
I would appreciate any donation you can give to offset the cost of my flight and to help further fund Hospitals for Humanity initiatives so that every child can have the opportunity to live and run around with their peers!