TMC nurse positively impacts patients 2,500 miles away

TMC Orthopaedics Nurse Sandi Triplett tends to a Haitian girl at a clinic

TMC Orthopaedics nurse Sandi Triplett tends to a Haitian girl at a clinic

TMC Orthopaedics nurse Sandi Triplett is back stateside after a medical mission with Friends of the Children of Haiti, a humanitarian organization that provides vital medical services, clean water and economic opportunity to tens of thousands of people in one of the world’s most impoverished countries.

Triplett had such an enlightening experience during her first medical mission to the country two years ago, that she jumped at the opportunity to go again. This time, she also brought her husband Merle. They were among 23 volunteers who powered on for two weeks, seeing as many as 300 patients a day, like a little girl who had been in a motorcycle accident, the gentleman who had a “crutched leg,”  a baby with congestive heart failure, a baby with pneumonia, and another baby who was diagnosed as failing to thrive.

Merle Triplett visits with a mother and her children

Merle Triplett visits with a mother and her children

“These patients were willing to endure long lines, even wait for days outside the clinic just to be seen,” said Triplett. “They wore their best clothes to get treated, even though the soles of their shoes were often worn to the ground. Their children were extremely well-behaved and well-mannered. They would also wait in long lines without complaining. There’s one little boy in particular who I will never forget. He was about 3 or 4 years old. He was sitting quietly beside his mother in a rather long line. When I handed him a toy car, he jumped up, hugged me, gave me a kiss, and said ‘Merci!’ It truly made my day.”

Triplett worked in the lab and physical therapy. Her husband, who worked as a non-medical volunteer, spent his time as a pharmacy tech, delivered toys to children, and modified shoes for patients with sizable wounds on their feet. “Sharing the experiences at the clinic with Merle was amazing,” said Triplett.

A Haitian girl receives a breathing treatment at the clinic

A Haitian girl receives a breathing treatment at the clinic

During her visit two years ago, Triplett said she was overwhelmed by the number of patients with blood pressures and blood sugars that were completely out of control. “Friends of the Children of Haiti started educational programs for these patients, and it has made a huge difference. This year, a majority of them had their blood pressures and blood sugars much closer to normal. They were more knowledgeable about their disease process and were taking ownership of their health. It was really wonderful to see.”

 

Last year, Triplett volunteered as a nurse with Honor Flight Southern Arizona, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to send as many World War II veterans to the National WWII Memorial in Washington D.C. as donations will allow. Please click here for that story.

Comments

  1. Claire Aragón says:

    Sandi, you are a huge burst of sunshine in so many people’s lives! You show us the way to be! What an impressionable experience for all of the lives involved, esp. for all of the volunteers! Thank you for sharing this!

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